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Posts Tagged ‘Pub Quiz’

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Posted by evankessler on June 18, 2007

It’s been a strange weekend. I certainly have much to talk about this weekend recap, unfortunately my brain feels dead after too many scotch and sodas at my High School Reunion last night. It may be a struggle to piece together the events of this weekend. I wish there was a way to increase brain cells after a night of alcohol intake. Unfortunately after this weekend there is a good number of brain cells I will not get back.

Before I jump head first into the weekend I need to take a few steps back. It was another busy work week but I had a few opportunities to experience life outside employment these past 7 days. I had tickets to go see the Happy Mondays on Wednesday night. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the show was cancelled and I had the opportunity to partake in the Pub Quiz at Black Sheep. Myself, Andrew Morton, Patrick H, and his soon to be Sister-in-law Katie O comprised “Old Man In Wifebeater With Cane” which was our team name that was decided upon when we saw a painting in the pub that was of an old man in a wifebeater with a staff. We thought cane sounded betther than staff. I wanted our team name to be “The Rivers And The Lakes That You’re Used To” as I was inspired pre-quiz when TLC’s “Waterfalls” was heard on the Jukebox. I did not win that debate as nobody seemed as inspired by T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli as I had been. The Pub Quiz was a bit of a travesty as we garnered a mere 28 correct answers out of 50 and finished in 4th place. The quizzes have certainly gotten harder since Andrew, Katie, and I emerged victorious several months back.

Thursday was another evening activity as I met up with Arby (and Marie, Robert, Jenny, Zak, etc), to see Matt Filler’s band, Monocle, play at The Annex on the lower east side. I have to say I was really impressed. The music was excellent and reminded me a lot of Stereolab. There’s always a fear that when you go to see a friend’s band they’ll suck and you have to pretend to like it, but I actually really liked them. They’re playing Brooklyn Lyceum this Thursday. If I’m not working that night, you should go with me. That’s right, I’m asking you, whoever’s reading this to go to a show with me…if I’m not working.

One of the best things about Thursday night was when I found out that I didn’t have to work on Friday. That was nice. On Friday, I celebrated by meeting up with my old high school buddy Jessica I, who was in town from New Hampshire for our 10 year reunion and Father’s day. We hung out in our friend Jaime’s apartment, took her dog for a walk and wandered around the upper west side for awhile. We also took a detour to Barnes & Noble so she could get some gifts and some cards. I was amazed by the selection of musical cards. It used to be musical cards used to have dinky weird sounding versions of lame songs now, they can actually put real songs in cards. There was a card that played “What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye and one that played “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones and it played pretty loudly. My favorite one played “Conga” by Miami Sound Machine. I kept opening it and dancing around Jessica while she picked through other cards. It was the most fun anyone could have looking for birthday cards.
We went our separate ways after watching some wardrobe makeover show in Jaime’s apartment.

Friday night’s plan was to go see Cold Hands Collective at The Baggot Inn and that game plan was executed. I arrived at the bar probably around 9:15 and while no one from the band was there yet I was greeted by another acquaintance. It turned out that I knew someone in the band that played after. My friend Stacey A’s old roommate Alan was one of two members the group Pat Miscellaneous. I sat with Alan and had a beer for a bit until my friends showed up. There was an okay turnout for the show, though usually it’s bigger. Lina, Pat S, Kishore, John H, and Eric S are the only people I can remember showing up. Potts was also there but he played with the band so I guess I can lump him in with the band since I haven’t mentioned them by name. Anyway, the show was not their best performance. It probably didn’t help that Rich’s top keyboard didn’t work and Anand and Ajay were both ridiculously drunk. Abdullah wasn’t present due to the fact that he was busy recovering from an incident in Baltimore so Anand was rapping his parts in some of the songs and so he kept changing positions on stage to make like he was covering up the space that Abdullah would have taken up on stage. That being said it was a fun evening on the town with good friends. I’m not sure what time we left but I don’t think it was ridiculously late.

Even when ridiculously drunk Ajay can be described as multi-talented

Anand rhyming…I know you can’t hear it but trust me that’s what he’s doing.

Saturday was the day of the big 10 Year Ramapo Senior High School Reunion. I wasn’t really that excited about it but it was something to do. I spent the majority of my day just sitting and watching the Mets lose again. I think ever since I started working the Mets have been in a free fall. Maybe I should take that as a hint and stop working. If it’s good for the Mets it’s good for me…just kidding. The game lasted til 5:30 and by the time it ended I had an hour and a half until my reunion. I showered up and got dressed and made for Libation on the Lower East Side. Feeling slightly weird I strolled up to rented out room where I saw green and yellow balloons in the shape of the numbers 9 and 7 denoting my graduation year. The first people I saw when I got in had not been in my life for 10 years (except for Mike S he was part of my post college eurotrip). I said hello to Melissa B, Erin W, and Mike S. briefly and then moved on to the folks I see on a regular basis. Matt C came up from the DC Area with his fiancé and Joe D was there. I had seem Adam , Drew G, Darren G recently so there was no surprises there. Jessica I, Melissa L (my prom date) and Jaime showed up soon after. Rich M showed up a little laterThe first half hour of the party seemed like a clique-fest. There were two distinct circles of people not mixing but once the drinks began to flow the ice was broken and the mingling began. I found myself engaged in several bouts of pleasant small talk. I’m not really sure who I was excited to see but it was certainly interesting to see how everyone basically looked the same.

Just Like The Olden Days..Myself , Drew, and Joe

With Melissa L: Just Like Prom Night, Except Now I Have A Beard and She’s Married

With Jess I: It’s Like American Gothic except without that pitchfork and we’re in a bar and not old farmers

I think the most fascinating part was just to see the people that you knew from Elementary School up to High School even though you might not have been best of friends now, these were still people that knew you growing up, so there was certainly a bond there and seeing them and talking to them felt somewhat surreal but fun. I had good conversation with Leslie, Esse, Hope, Gary M, Shaun S, Jason K, Cheryl S,Jessica D, Robin L and various other blasts from the past. I probably spoke the longest with Ricky A and his wife who had just moved to Syracuse and inquired for some advice from a former local. As the night got later the crowd of my current crop of friends dwindled down to none. However, I was very much feeling the alcohol in my blood and was moved to hang out later. I felt like I talked to everybody there even if we weren’t the best of friends in High School.

Getting Down(lame phrase) with Ayikele, Aisha, Hope, and Kim

Getting some Esse love

I look like A deer in headlights but Leslie and Robin have the right idea

I Think Gary and I are way past drunk at this point

I left the bar well after the open bar was over with my old High School buddy Jason K and his girlfriend. I don’t quite remember who came with us. I think Emily R and maybe Leah. I’m completely fuzzy on the details. I have no idea what bar we went to though I remember going there. I think we had a drink there then I headed home. I certainly took some pictures I didn’t remember taking.

I’m not exactly sure when and where this happened but JK and I are sitting
at desks which goes well with the high school reunion theme…Get it?

I woke up this morning to the sound of a buzzing doorbell. I didn’t wake up this morning to the sound of the phone ringing 5 times. It was the doorbell that did it. My mom was at my apartment. In the crazyness of my high school reunion I had forgotten about my brunch plans with my mom and Irwin. My mom was kind enough to give me time to shower…while she got a table for us at Alchemy. Before heading out to meet my mom, I sifted through my clothes from the previous night to find my wallet and came up with my wallet, my keys, my iPod, and 2 cameras. Apparently in my drunken stupor I had taken someone’s camera by accident. Luckily, I’ve since figured out who it was. However, I had no idea when this camera confusion could’ve taken place and as I walked over to meet my mother and Irwin I couldn’t help but think what else I don’t remember from the previous evening.

I had a pleasant brunch and then took her to see my new apartment. Mike was kind enough to stick around to let us in. My mom and Irwin seemed to like the new place and I’m certainily excited about moving in. After the apartment, we walked through the 7th avenue street fair and until we reached where my mom parked and I saw them off. The rest of my Sunday was spent nursing my hangover and staring at my computer. I took a couple of hours off from that to watch the Mets lose again. Ugh…C’mon Mets, snap out of it. I guess that was the weekend. I feel as though I didn’t do an adequate job describing the surreal madness that was the high school reunion. That being said, I’m not quite sure I’ve had enough time to wrap my head around it. Que sera sera.

Posted in Cold Hands Collective, old friends, Weekend Recap | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

We Won’t Back Down

Posted by evankessler on May 24, 2007

Well, it was another day of ankle nursing on the Evan Kessler.com front but when the night hit all couch sitting duties were brushed aside in favor of the ultimate evening activity…The Pub Quiz.

Once again, our crew consisted only of two, myself and Andrew Morton. Andrew had come up with our team name prior to meeting up. We were to be Abe Lincoln And The Heartbreakers. As soon as I heard this name I was immediately in favor of it. Sure we’ve got a boatload of other names we’re dying to use but you can never have too many Pub Quiz team names.

When we arrived at the Black Sheep Pub to partake around 8:20 all of the tables were taken. We regrettably took seats at the bar and were all but resigned to this being our spot for the evening when out of nowhere a couple got up from their table. We rushed over to grab it. Yes, we would be quizzing it in the comfort of our very own table. Andrew and I were very antsy for the pub quiz to begin. I had read the Wednesday New York Times and was sure I knew the answers to 10 possible questions. Unfortunately, my studying only paid off in two instances.

Abe Lincoln and the Heartbreakers got off to an extremely slow start tallying only one correct answer in round 1. Our spirits immediately dropped after the challenging array of questions. We only scored 1 in that round because I had read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and there was a questions about The Golem. Things started to look up in Round 2 as we took care of quizness sweeping all 5 answers ranging from certain World War 1 personalities to The New Michael Moore movie.

Round three saw us getting back on the roller coster as we failed to conjure up answers for where Krispy Kreme’s are made and which candy item had $250,000 worth stolen in the past month at one location. We did however know that Tinky Winky was purple and that Cicadas are a very noisy bug that come out by the millions ever several years. Only 2 right answers in Round 3.

The questions seemed to get harder and harder and we only garnered one right answer in round 4 because we knew that Joan Jett was in The Runaways. This was turning out to be a shameful outing but if we were doing this bad no one could really be doing much better. Round 5 was nearly as difficult but we managed to get 2 right to bring our half time total to 11, a fire cry from our previous 1st half high of 18.

When the scores were announced I think we ended up only being in 4th or 5th place. Our deficit was certainly surmountable and Andrew and I turned on the “nothing to lose-balls to the wall mindset”. We had yet to get any theme rounds or multiple choice rounds and I think that hurt us a little bit.

Rounds 6 and 7 saw a marked improvement as we got 3 out of 5 questions in each of those rounds including andrew knowing that Kublai Khan was the ruler of China who was visited by Marco Polo and my educated guess as to which alcohols constitute a Long Island Iced Tea. I suppose now I can be a bartender.

The tide really started to turn for Abe Lincoln and the Heartbreakers with Round 8 being the first theme round. It was announced that it was an all star wars round so I calmly handed the answer sheet to Andrew and focused my attention on the Met game being projected on the back wall of the bar. 2 minutes and 5 questions later we had a perfect round. We were feeling a little better about our chances, but to be honest the Star Wars round was kind of easy. I sort of wished they had asked more difficult questions that weren’t common knowledge to most non-Star Wars nerds.

Round 9 presented many obstacles in the form of difficult questions but somehow we managed to sweep that to. Andrew made an educated guess that Shirley Temple Black was the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic in the late 80’s and early 90’s and somehow he knew that Ian Fleming wrote “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. I on the other hand knew that Teddy Roosevelt was responsible for the Panama Canal. I’m not exactly sure what the other questions were but their answers as written on the paper in front of me were 3 and B.

As round 10 rolled around we had the feeling that we might be in this thing even though we were pretty sure we weren’t. Another sweep would’ve been nice but instead we could only figure out that taxicabs were being replaced by hybrids (question 1) and Jack, Janet, and Chrissy were the original roommates on Three’s Company. When all was said and done a tie was announced for 3rd place but we were not one of the teams competing. Upon the reading of the final scores Abe Lincoln and The Heartbreakers had finished tied for 5th. Not exactly the finish we were looking for, but you can’t win ’em all. We’re gunning for the top spot next time. Fellow quiz contestants beware.

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Shocking Report: The Good News

Posted by evankessler on May 10, 2007

I’m aware that the length of time between posts is starting to make each new post akin to that of a weekend recap. Though given the time of the week this one is taking place, one might be inclinded to say it’s a Midweek recap. So go ahead…call it a midweek recap… To say the last few days have been eventful would, I suppose, be an understatement. Maybe it would be an overstatement. Perhaps, your definition of eventful is slightly more busy than mine and might also rely heartily on your definition of the word “understatement”. In any case, the past few days have been eventful and of a rather fortuitous nature.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been mentioning outings into the city, calling some of them business and some of them errands. Some actually were errands and some were actually job interviews. On this beautiful Monday past, to begin the week, I ventured into the city for an actual errand run. I was originally tempted to just stay in bed the entire day due to the fact that I had not slept a wink the previous evening on account of feeling ill. However, the weather was too nice for me to avoid the sun altogether and after an hour nap after writing my daily Costner post, I set sail for the city with my iPod in hand starting my Monday journey at The Roots “Without A Doubt” and racing through the W’s passing by songs about Wondering, Wonderwalls, Words, Work and “The World At Large”. My trip to the city wasn’t prolonged by many events just a simple in and out deal and I arrived home to the cheers of the live concert crowd at Madison Garden at the beginning of Johnny Cash’s “Wreck of The Old 97”. I didn’t get much past the crowd noise prior to putting a stop to the Monday iPodysssey leg.

The rest of the evening seemed to be status quo as far as Mondays tend to go. I had a bowl of cereal for dinner since I wasn’t particularly struck by the hungries and I watched 24, which just seems to be getting more and more ridiculous by the second. Well, at least there’s only 2 more episodes. Free at last! Free at last! My Monday nights will be free at last! After another hour of audacious plot twisting, I went to my room to browse the interweb while my roommates while my roommates watched Heroes, which I have no interest in. Upon arriving back at my room I noticed my cell phone vibrating with a voice message notice. When I checked the call log I noticed a West Coast phone number. This was a call I had been waiting for. I had interviewed with an L.A. based production company the previous week for an AP position on a New York based reality show. I immediately returned their call and learned the delightful news, that I had a new job! My mood was transformed from annoyance (from the pathetic episode of 24 to absolute giddyness. Evan Kessler is back on the job…but not for another few weeks until it starts up.

I was absolutely delighted that my morning would not be filled with job hunting and resumé sending. That was a good thing too since the temperature was to be in the mid-70’s and enjoying the sunny weather would be preferral to perusing the interweb indoors in a windowless room. Yes sir and or ma’am, I was in a good mood heading to sleep that night. I went to bed with my hands folded behind my head and ready to drift off to dreamland. While in that blissful dreamland I felt a surge coming through to my hand. I don’t recall what I was dreaming about but the surge did not feel at all relevant. It felt electric. Somehow I was able to determine within my dream that the feeling was based on an occurrence in the actual real world of my bedroom and I was able to rouse myself from my sleep and not a moment too soon. You see, the one electrical outlet in my room is behind the head of my bed and since I have no headboard my extremities are ripe candidates to shake hands with voltage should I feel the need to extend them far enough and I had apparently felt that need this evening in my sleep.

Luckily for me there was no damage sustained. I think there was a little mark that has since disappeared but it must not have been an extreme voltage situation. I was sufficiently freaked out thinking that after such a good day it would have been ironic to accidentally commit suicide in my sleep via electrocution. After pondering a 3am room rearrangement I decided that I’d sleep with my head on the opposite side of the bed for the rest of the evening. The task of finding a safer spot for my bed would have to wait until the next morning or at least until a time when I wasn’t so tired.

Tuesday Morning, I awoke safely, not having had anymore sleep accidents. I was ready to start what effectively was a three week vacation since my new job wouldn’t be starting until the end of May. After the daily Costner post I headed out with my iPod in hand to wander around the neighborhood. My Tuesday iPodyssey began at Johnny Cash’s “Wreck of The Old 97”. Coincidentally, I was wearing my Old 97’s (they were named after that song and I swear I didn’t even think about it before putting it on) band shirt. I walked all the way to Connecticut Muffin on 7th and 1st Streeet and got myself an iced green tea. Unfortunately, there were no spots for me on the bench so I walked all the way to 5th and Union where I sat outside in the blazing sun in front of Louie G’s Ice Cream shop and read my latest book, Sarah Vowell’s Take The Cannoli.

During my sitting streak I welcomed and said goodbye to the 5 songs X-section of the iPodyssey which began with Liz Phair’s “X-Ray Man” and ended with the Magnetic Fields “Xylophone”. The Magnetic Fields also began the Y-section with “Yeah, Oh Yeah”. After a few more Y songs I made for home. There’s only so much sun one can take in per afternoon. I walked through the door to the sound of Radiohead’s “You”, which was as good a place to stop as any since it seemed to be the beginning of a very long section in which a particular word dominated.

The rest of my Tuesday was rather relaxed. After spending some time futzing around my apartment I decided to cook myself some teriyaki chicken for dinner, so I ventured out to the Key Food for supplies. Several minutes later it was cooking time and I resumed the iPodyssey all the way to Yo La Tengo’s “You Can Have it All” which is where my iPod was when I was done cooking. The next 4 to 5 hours were spent couching it in favor of baseball on the idiot box. At around 11:46pm, Arby sent me an IM asking if I wanted to get a drink. Seeing as I had no plans for the next morning I felt I could be up for a few. We met 10 minutes later at The Lighthouse amidst several barstools, one bartender, a bar owner, and no one else. It was a quiet night in The Slope indeed. Three drinks later we called it a night. I went to sleep with my head nowhere near the light socket once again.

Wednesday Morning felt eerily similar to Tuesday. No responsibility save for a Costner post and striking beautiful weather outside once again. I got the blogging out of the way quickly and then high tailed it to Target. Of course I brought my iPod with me. There’s no way I’m not taking that thing with me everywhere seeing as the end of the iPodyssey is so near I can taste it. I resumed at Yo La Tengo’s “You Can Have It All” as I tossed my baseball up in the air to myself never once losing it in the bright sunlight as I walked down the street. Before I knew it I was at Target in the familiar sock aisle. I made a quick study of my options, made my sock selection and promptly paid. Just like that I was out the door, heading back for some more relaxed reading in front of Louie G’s. This time I got my Tea from the Tea Lounge on Union St between 6th and 7th Avenues. I have to say, I most certainly discovered a new favorite coffee/tea joint…maybe. One visit isn’t enough to call something your favorite, though the Green/Lemon Iced Tea was quite the satisfactory beverage.

I sat, reading on a bench outside of Louie G’s until 3:05pm when it was time to go back to my apartment and watch the Mets-Giants game. My Wednesday iPod journey stopped when I got in my apartment at PJ Harvey’s “You Said Something” with a mere 39 songs left on the iPodyssey. Mark my words, the iPodyssey ends Thursday.

Wednesday had already felt productive enough with my trip to target, the reading, and the baseball watching, but Wednesday night also held fun in the palm of it’s hand. Wednesday night is Pub Quiz Night twice a month and while the regular crew has not been making a priority out of it, that didn’t stop Andrew Morton and I from putting our theoretical cards on the table. We arrived at the Black Sheep Pub a determined twosome. After discussing previous favorite quiz team names we settled on “Please Escher Don’t Hurt ‘Em” (like instead of MC Hammer we were referring to MC Escher for those of you who have no idea what we are talking about). We did come up with some good new quiz names though. We added “Full Court Breasts” and “Steenburgen” (as in actress Mary Steenburger, we think it sounds like a 70’s metal band name) to the mix. There was some discussion of “Ted Dancin’ ” but that joke might rely on the name to be too visual to get.

Anyway, Andrew and I were encouraged after our last championship showing with the two of us and Katie nearly a month ago. We were not afraid of the other pesky teams. Besides, quiz night was substantially less crowded than usual and damn those other teams with 4 people. We’re smart cats. “Please Escher Don’t Hurt ‘Em” got off to a mediocre start in the first 3 rounds answering 8 out of 15 correctly including questions about French Prime Ministers, The View, and Tom Hanks Movies. However, the heat was turned up as we swept both rounds 4 and 5, the latter of which was all about film theme songs (don’t waste our time, really). We were sitting pretty at the halfway point tied with two other teams with 18 correct answers.

We had a dogfight on our hands but we were brimming with confidence. Our next two rounds we managed to muster 8 out of 10 possible correct answers, which was way better than the 5 or 6 we had perceived as the right answer. Apparently we know a thing or two about Nazi Generals, Slavic Capitals, Mountain Ranges and Green Day. God bless quiz question diversity. Unfortunately round 8 so us fall back to earth with 2 correct answers, one of which I had learned from Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen the previous evening during the Mets broadcast (and it wasn’t sports related). Knowledge comes from the strangest places.

Andrew and I were slightly discouraged by the 2-round but we knew we still had a shot at taking home the big bucks. Luckily, for us in round 9 I was able to use my knowledge of “Dora The Explorer” that I gained this passover to our advantage and Andrew relied on his knowledge of Wicca to score us a 4. It was down to one final round, but it wouldn’t be easy. We were at 32 and while that might have been enough in other weeks, it might not be enough today. Luckily Andrew new enough about Birth Control and Michael Jackson and we scored a 3. One of the answers in the round was Candace Bergen but we realized that after we handed in our sheet and couldn’t get it back. Oh well, this was the moment of truth. Could a team of two wipeout an entire bar? Well, almost. It was a tie.

We had tied with a team of 4 with 35 correct answers and it was time for a tie-breaker. The final question. If you were to make a fence that stretched the entire U.S.-Mexico border, how many feet long would it be…the closest team wins. I knew I had to figure out how many feet are in a mile and just multiply it by 3,000 or something like that. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how many feet were in a mile. My final answer was 4,740,000. Unfortunately, I was about 5,000,000 feet short and the other team was a bit closer. Andrew and I finished in 2nd place but we weren’t ashamed. We came to realize that we can probably contend for the money every time from now on and as a team of two split the winnings. We were both $14 richer tonight and pretty happy about it. We’re willing to take on more partners though, the more the merrier. It’s just that if no one wants to join us, well then more money for us. And with the end of quiz night, effectively came the end of Wednesday.

Lots going on Thursday, The End of The Ipodyssey, Cold Hands Collective at The Slipper Room on the LES. There’ll be plenty more to talk about tomorrow night…maybe…if I don’t just fall asleep after coming home…stay tuned.

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Takin’ Care of Quizness

Posted by evankessler on April 12, 2007

Originally I was planning on catching everyone up to the iPodyssey but that’s going to have to wait until the end of this post. You see, this day was far more important than any of you realize. Today was the day, that myself and two friends took care of Quizness.

I guess it all started over the weekend when Andrew Morton reminded me to send out an email alerting our friends that Quiz Night at the Black Sheep Pub in Brooklyn was fast approaching this Wednesday. I wasn’t sure if the next quiz was taking place this week or next week so on Tuesday afternoon I strolled on down to Bergen St. and looked at the flyer in the window. Sure enough, there was a quiz night being held this week and was only a day away. It was time to alert the troops. Once the Quiz Night role call email was sent out on Tuesday I received three almost immediate responses. Andrew was in. Laura R was in, and if she didn’t have to work Laura B was in.

This morning (Wednesday) I awoke looking forward to one thing and one thing only. While it appeared we were to have a much smaller crew than before, I was confident we would still have a fun time, even if we might be less competitive with our resources depleted. As the day passed, I did a little research to prepare myself for an onslaught of current events questions. I bought and read some of the newspaper because somebody had to be aware of the world around us in case the quizmaster were to unleash a question assault ripped form the headlines of the New York Times.

My sole purpose of the day wasn’t merely to prepare myself for pub quiz. I also did a little job research and spoke with a few prospective employers. This was mildly productive. A shock came to my system around 4:4opm when I got an email alerting me to the fact that both Laura R and Laura B were bailing out of Pub Quiz. Lame was the first word to pop into my head to characterize their rejection of our newfound tradition. However, I knew I was still determined to show myself at the Black Sheep Pub and I was pretty sure Andrew was still game.
An hour after the Lauras had turned their back on the quiz, we received an email from fellow quizfiend Katie O. She said she might be up for the quiz, and with that our crew of two had been turned into a possible trio.

At around 7:50pm Andrew and I met outside of Pizzatown on 5th Avenue to grab some eats that we could take to our seats so we could secure the area that would be our citadel of correct answers. We were not quite sure if Katie was going to join us, but lo and behold, in the midst of a conversation in which we were trying to figure out our team name, Katie arrived. We would be a team of three. The quizmaster had previously announced that in addition to a prize being given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, there would also be a prize given for the team with the best name. Andrew and I thought we had that won. We had a pretty good list. This is how it read:

Takin’ Care of Quizness
Hot Fudge Saturday
Battlestar Spectacular
E=MC Hammer
Please, MC Escher, Don’t Hurt ‘Em
Candidates for Infection (Affection)
Pale Horse, Whale Rider
The Feelings Police
Skynyrd Lynyrd

Ultimately, we asked Katie which one she liked…and seeing as she only liked one of them, we decided to go with that. We didn’t want any team arguments. Plus, Andrew and I came up with all of them so it wasn’t as if we disliked any of them. We thought some were funnier than “Takin’ Care of Quizness” but it was certainly funny enough to beat any of the lame names that the other teams came up with.

We got off to a fast start in the first round, scoring a 4 out of 5 on a pretty simple mix of pop culture, history, and sports. As the rounds went on they weren’t necessarily harder but we did have some trouble with the Tax themed round. We finally aced the last round of the first half and finished with a 16. There were two teams in front of us. One had 17 and one had 19. We could’ve easily been tied with them save for a few answers we changed at the last second. No matter, we would’ve just been happy with a third place finish anyway. However, one of the teams that was beating us was a bunch of loudmouth assholes who had to scream at the top of their lungs like an Olympian weightlifter who just broke a world record in the Clean and Jerk and dropped the bar on his toe, after every correct answer.

Our team on the other hand was much more quiet. We knew we were still contending but we weren’t cocky; especially after the last outing when we performed horrendously. All we had to do was ace a couple of rounds or get some 4 out of 5’s and we could contend. These douchebags around us weren’t smarter, and they certainly didn’t have more useless information than we did.

The next few rounds were a blur. I barely remember any of the questions. We scored 4’s In rounds 6 and 7 and the tension was certainly palpable. However, the next two rounds we felt our chances fade as we only answered two questions correctly. There was still optimism abound, as the crowd reaction wasn’t so great. We were aware that everyone pretty much got the same questions wrong in the previous rounds. Perhaps, the difficult questions of rounds 8 and 9 were a bullet that we so gracefully had dodged.

Round 10 was the moment of truth. The questions rolled off the tongue of the quizmaster one by one and we were extremely confident on 4 out of the 5 questions. Again, I don’t have the list of questions. I think one was about the number of british sailors who had sold their story. When the answers were read we had accumulated a total of 32. Some weeks that was good enough to garner a 2nd or 3rd place prize. However, this week was different, as the questions seemed significantly more diverse and certainly more difficult to certain segments of the crowd.

It appeared as though it took very little time for the quizmaster and his assistant to add up the final tally. Katie, Andrew, and I looked at each other seemingly wondering if we had done enough to get 2nd or 3rd place. At that moment the quizmaster said the words, “The Winners of a $164 pot with 32 points is Takin’ Care of Quizness”. It was a moment frozen in time as a look of shock adorned our three faces. We didn’t know what to do. When we finally thawed out no one was sure if we were supposed to pick up our money straightaway or if we waited til all of the announcements were made. Andrew made the move for the money and Katie and I started to follow him but quickly sat down since we realized we didn’t all have to get up to pick up the envelope of cash.

The annoying folks next to us won best name. They had something about Evel Knievel as their team name. It wasn’t that great. We had a slew of better ones that we’ll win that prize with next time. I don’t even know what they won but it didn’t matter because for one shining moment…we had taken care of quizness.

Upon receiving our winnings I did some long division to divvy up the purse. We each made out with about $55. Victory was sweet and we were hella excited. In celebration, we called up all of the people who couldn’t make it and shamelessly gloated. We done good. Now we have to defend our title in two weeks and everyone’s gonna be gunnin’ for us. There’s a price on our heads, but that’s the price of being champions.


In a totally unrelated note…since monday I’ve gone from The White Stripes “Truth Doesn’t Make A Noise” to The Rolling Stones “Under My Thumb” in the iPodyssey. That’s right, we’re in the U’s. It’s just a matter of time before I can put the ol’ iPod on shuffle again. Have a good night.

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From Contenders to Pretenders

Posted by evankessler on March 30, 2007

Happy Thursday night, Friday Morning Everyone. I hope everyone has had an excellent week. I thought before I disappear into the weekend, I’d better get everyone up to speed in regards to my all important ongoings. Fortunately for you there haven’t been too many ongoings this week. It’s mostly been a run of the mill routine of applying for jobs. However I did get down to one activity last evening and let me just say thatWednesday evening was a blight on the history of Pub Quiz.

I arrived at the Black Sheep Pub on Bergen St. around 7:45 where I was joined by Andrew Morton, Maureen, Laura R, Laura B, and quiz newcomer Kelly R. Prior to the start of the quiz at 9pm I got me a $8 pitcher of Michelob and allowed my anxiety to build. I was determined that whatever team I was a part of we were going to win. This would be an important pub quiz as well due to the fact that it was to be Maureen’s last Pub Quiz hurrah before heading off to Los Angeles to find out if there are indeed greener pastures on the West Coast. It was to be a bittersweet evening no matter what the outcome. In a shocking turn of events, we only had enough for two teams of three. We’re usually used to having enough for two teams of 4 and some excess participants who often get divided in an odd manner.

The first team was called “Best Friends 4-Ever” and it consisted of myself, Maureen, Laura R., and Maureen’s brother Patrick who joined us just as the quiz was beginning. The 2nd team went by the name Beers for Fears and was made up of Andrew, Laura B, and Kelly. We were all feeling good about our chances after the 1st 2 rounds. I think our team got 4 out of 5’s the first 2 rounds. Things went downhill fast after that. And after scoring a solid 8 after 2 rounds we had only manage muster up 14 correct answers after 5 rounds. We were 5 points behind the leader. The questions just seemed to get exponentially harder. After a couple more subpar rounds we knew that this was not our week. After being serious contenders in all of our other experiences at Pub Quiz the “Best Friend 4-Ever” finished with 30 points. We were not a proud bunch. “Beers for Fears” did a little better. I think they came up with 32. I felt dejected afterwards. I was kind of annoyed that some of our regulars hadn’t made the trip, but I guess we made our best effort and that’s all that counts. We’re going to win it some day. I just know we will.

I woke up early in the afternoon today (Thursday) as I hadn’t been able to fall asleep until after 4am the previous evening. My first order of business was to come up with a Costner post. My 2nd order of business was to apply for jobs. My third order of business was some room cleansing. The third order of business was largely ignored when I realized that I wanted to go to Target to buy a baseball simply because I like holding a baseball and tossing it up in the air and catching it. I’m easily amused. So with little hesitation, it was off to Target to get me a baseball. I picked up my iPod and hurried towards the Atlantic Center.

It was a lovely day outside though slightly cooler than the day before. I still felt summerific as I walked down 5th avenue listening to “The Sun Goes Down and The World Goes Dancing” by the Magnetic Fields. I got in 3 more Sun songs before I got inside, though two of them were repeats of Supergrass’ “Sun Hits Sky”. The tone rather changed after The Beatles “Sun King” turned into U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, which somehow seemed appropriate for being amidst the chaos of commerce.

When I finally got to the sporting goods aisles I noticed they were not selling individual baseballs, so I had to get a two-pack (not to be confused with Tupac). While I found that a bit annoying, I couldn’t really complain because it only was going to run me $3.99. That was not to be the last of my purchases though. I decided to purchase Monty Python’s Life of Brian for $9.99 and some mouthwash. At the end of my shopping outing, I had still managed to spend less than $20. After leaving the store I ravaged the wrapping to my tw0-pack of baseballs and immediately began to toss it up in the air while I walked home. It was a completely relaxing and engaging new wrinkle for my normally static walking routine. I happily strutted down the street being careful not to deflect my new toy into the street where I would not be able to jump in front of a car and retrieve it. I made it home to the tune of Lauryn Hill’s “Superstar” playing on my iPod and I certainly felt like a superstar with my new baseball.

Overly pleased with myself I decided to boost my ego even more by going to the gym. I kept my iPodyssey going for another 15 tracks while I sweated at the No Frills Fitness Center as I like to call it. Soon enough though, I walked through the door to the tune of the Talking Heads’ “Swamp”. I thought that would do it for Thursday’s portion of the iPodyssey but then I remembered I had left out some chicken to defrost. Time to cook and chill. The Thursday finally ended as Clem Snide’s “Sweet Mother Russia” began and I mixed my chicken and brocolli with the pasta I had prepared. Nothing like the feeling of a meal well cooked and ready to be enjoyed by the chef. The rest of the night was a TV watching and Fantasy team tinkering festival. I know it all sounds too good to be true but I promise you there’ll be more going on this weekend because I lead the most exciting life in New York City. Have a good weekend. I’ll catch you on the recap.

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The Continuing Story of Pub Quiz ( The Correct Answers)

Posted by evankessler on March 15, 2007

This here is the story of an above average Wednesday night in Brooklyn. Like all good stories there’s going to be some preamble and exposition before we get to the meaty part. When all is said and done, even if you aren’t sure you’ve heard the meatiest part, you can rest assured that you have.

Now what would a Wednesday be without a Tuesday. Odds are it would be a Tuesday. I wouldn’t be doin’ Wednesday any dang justice by neglecting to tell you just how this young sharpshooter spent his Tuesday. Legend has it that Evan Kessler spend his darn tootin’ Tuesday in the most darnedest way possible. He aimed his six shooter at a target about 2 miles away in Manhattan, trying hit the employment bullseye. Unfortunately, that bullet completely missed even the outermost target and ricocheted off a few buildings before settling all nice and quiet like on a sidestreet somewhere under a marquee. The best part about that is he didn’t even have to leave his Brooklyn Apartment. He was firing shots all over the place and while no targets were hit, nothing got damaged ‘cept for maybe the pride of this young sharpshooter.

Our hero figured to take a stroll and stop feelin’ so doggone down. As he strolled outside down the dusty path into town he had the sweet tune of Ryan Adams “She’s Lost Total Control” bouncing around his brain. He headed on to his local savings and loan to watch the money swirl around from his unemployment fund to his checking account. “Look at that there money go”, he exclaimed. Not once did it occur to him to knock the joint over. A job like that is best left to outlaws like Jesse James, William H. Bonney, or maybe even a Kris Kristofferson. After watchin’ all the money change hands it was time for our Mr. Kessler to pick up a copy of his local newspaper. Despite being confined to his solitary station in the world, our hero had a yearnin’ to know about the world around him. He’s worldly like that. I suppose that knowledge is something a man can be proud of. He returned home still sporting a song in his brain, only this time it was a different one. It was a bunch of Beastie Boys from around these parts spouting off some silly rhymes about how “She’s Crafty” or something or other.

Upon arriving home he took that paper and dang near read all of it. Though to be fair readin’ is just a generous term for scannin’. He kept the humming along to the music all the while. He finally put that intee-lec-shoo-al piece a paper down as a Matthew Sweet’s “Sick of Myself” echoed throughout the room. That pretty much did it for the day except for a trip to the general store and a good ol’ fashion hearty meal of Rice, Beans, and Chicken. The rest of the evening was spent settled down on the furniture and taking in some visual entertainment.

Our hero had to rise at the early hour of 9am this here Wednesday morning. Now, I know 9am ain’t very early for those who work on the farm, but to our hero that’s about as early as can be. Ain’t nobody ever cock-a-doodle doo’s round his parts before 10 in the AM, past month or so. I reckon something important must’ve been going on in order to rouse him from his slumber at such an unlikely. Turns out he had to go down to the Unemployment Office for some sort of o-ree-en-tay-shun. Now, I ain’t never had me no o-ree-en-tay-shun…but it don’t sound like too much fun.

As the story goes, this cowboy vacted his premises in order to make it to the o-ree-en-tay-shun at around 10:05am. He didn’t take no horse though. He mosied on down to 250 Schemerhorn St. on the 3rd floor. On his way, he shuffled several more songs through his consciousness. He took up where he left off with that ol’ Matthew Sweet song and rolled on through Travis’ “Side”, Ben Lee’s “Side View” and even two versions of Luna’s “Sideshow by the Seashore”. What could possess a man to enjoy the same song twice in a row? Don’t that beat all? There were other songs too but too numerous to mention all of them.

The time spent in that there unemployment office was quite uneventful and our protagonist had to wonder who it was helping. An elderly man read off job listings for positions at dining establishments that certainly did not appeal to most people present in that there room. Feeling as though it had been a great waste of time, Mr. Kessler reversed his mosey back towards his humble home. He returned home after a couple of songs about Silver and his brain rested on one particular Bob Dylan song entitled “Simple Twist of Fate” as he twisted his key in the door.

On the other end of the door our sharpshooter picked up his revolver and fired a few more shots at employment targets with similar results as he had seen the day before. Instead of sulking in his chagrin, he made for the door to the store filled with books. He restarted the previous tune in his head and made for the Barnes & Noble. That Barnes & Noble was certainly packed to the brim with readin’. I have to hand it to those guys. I don’t know who does more work, Barnes or Noble, but I give ’em all the credit in the world.

As our learned lovable loser scanned over the libros he noticed several titles in particular, aimed at dummies. Now, I don’t know ’bout you, but our man had to wonder how readin’ somethin’ for dummies was bound to make the reader feel. Especially on titles like “Depression For Dummies”. If a dummy can’t get over depression by readin’ “Depression for Dummies” ain’t that gonna make them more depressed? Sounds a little bit hinky if you ask me. After about 40 minutes of scanning the volumes of verbiage, Evan decided to high tail it home for some further periodical perusing. He picked up the times and arrived at his home to the tune of some Nada Surf singing about “Sleep” or something like that.

An hour after returning back home our Urban Cowboy made a move to better his physical standing by taking some time out to run on something called an “Elliptical”, and wouldn’t you know it he played songs into his head while doing that too. He went from hearing songs about “Sleep” all the way to one where some New Pornographers sang about a “Slow Descent Into Alcoholism”. I know what that’s like. That pretty much did it for the musical portion of the
day. Next up was the academic allotment.

At around 8:30 in the PM Evan headed out to a Black Sheep Pub for some rowdy times with the Pub Quiz Gang. The pub quiz gang consisted of Laura R, Laura B, Andrew, Mike H, Stephen H, Katie O, Maureen H, and Pete F. There were 9 folks on hand and there could only be as many as 4 on a team. The teams split up into threes and Evan was a member of “The Correct Answers” with Laura R and Stephen. The Correct Answers were quite the posse for being only three folks. They rustled up quite the score in the first half at the contest. The quiz master originally shortchanged them one point, but The Correct Answers set him straight. They weren’t playin’ no games…except Pub Quiz. Unfortunately, for The Correct Answers the questions got much more difficult in 2nd half. Despite their promising start the group had just about met their demise. When the scores were all added up there was a tie. Seems The Correct Answers were all knotted up with 2 other teams for 3rd place. There would be a tie breaker question to determine which team would hit pay dirt for that free round of beer given to the third place team.

The teams eagerly awaited their tiebreaker question. then it happened. The quizmaster asked, “How many species of Rodents are there?”. Evan wrote the number 38 on a napkin as a pure guess. Stephen wrote out 1200 and after several seconds of reasoning the team decided on Stephen’s answer. Upon handing it in the tension was so think you could cut it with a knife, albeit a butter knife, but that’s still a knife. It ain’t no Crocodile Dundee Knife but what is these days. You can’t carry that ’round these here parts.

Several seconds later the announcer said that the answer was “2000”. The Correct Answers had gotten the incorrect answer. However, there was still hope since it was all about who was closest. However, they would soon learn that they were not the closest and would not be getting a free beer. In fact, they came smack in the middle between the two other teams tied for 3rd place. That meant they were officially 4th place. There would be no pub quiz victory tonight…but Evan and his compadres vowed that they’d get revenge next time…and that they’d be more prepared.

So that’s it…That’s the entire story. I hope you didn’t miss the entire meat of the story…and if you did…well go back and find it.

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Not About Love

Posted by evankessler on February 15, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kevin Costner and The Agony of Victory

Posted by evankessler on January 25, 2007

If you just read further, you’ll understand why he’s here

It would’ve been really easy to come up with another title with “Love” in the title as a nod to today’s portion of the iPodyssey. However, that would be misleading as Wednesday was about much more than the songs that I listened to on my portable music player.

For the most part, the majority of my day was spent in a stationary position with my ass cemented to my desk chair and my eyes wearily gazing at the same computer screen that they are glued to this very moment. I was scouring the world wide netweb for employment and chatting up some friends on the Instant Messager (Messenger?). At around 3pm I decided to venture outside for what amounted to approximately 3 minutes as I ran to the corner store to grab a New York Times and a Village Voice. I had decided prior to stepping outside that I would buy the New York Times because tonight was Pub Trivia night at the Black Sheep Pub and my team, The Dead Parrots, would need all of the knowledge we could get our hands on. Furthermore, I thought that it would be a pleasant activity to do the crossword and read the newspaper while eating lunch and listening to my iPod over the kitchen speakers. It was the perhaps the laziest and therefore most rewarding form of multitasking ever imagined.

I followed through with the aforementioned plan, not missing a single step. Sandwich-Check, Crossword Puzzle…Check. iPod…Check. Speakers…check. Let’s make some magic. The magic began as the speakers blared Ryan Adams “Love is Hell” and continued through 18 more tracks finally stopping at Broken Social Scene’s “Lover’s Spit”. At that point I had managed to make a small dent in the crossword, browse through each section of the newspaper, pick up key facts, not to mention finish my sandwich and white bean salad. It was quite the efficient cram session.

After my cram session I went back to sitting in front of ol’ Señor Computador and got into an IM session with my ol’ Syracuse friend Jill G. We started discussing blogs and getting traffic to your blogs…the following is a direct transcript of what happened next in the conversation:

JG: oooh, i’m gonna start a blog

EK: but if you build it, they will come

JG: that’s what i’m told

JG: but i don’t even know what to blog about

EK: you should make a blog about getting kevin costner to visit your blog and send you a picture of him on your blog

EK: you should call it, If I Blog Him, He Will Come

JG: hahaha

JG: I should totally do that

EK: or If I Blog About Him He Will Come

EK: Actually I might do that now

EK: Blogging about celebrities to get them to send me picture of them visiting my blog

JG: it’s your idea… run with it

JG: hahah

EK: I’ll write it down

JG: haha

JG: I like that idea actually


There’s actually a lot more to that transcript but with that a new idea was born and I quickly put it into blog format. It is the exact idea laid out in the conversation above. It is entitled “IF I BLOG THEM, THEY WILL COME“. I encourage you to notify all of your friends in Los Angeles about it. Our ultimate goal is to get a picture of Kevin Costner looking at the blog. Once we get Kevin Costner to do so, we will move onto other celebrities. It may be the dumbest idea ever…but it’s just got to work.

Also as a result of our conversation, Jill started her own blog. You should check it out because Jill is certainly a very funny person with an excellent sense of humor. She was also the last person to participate in the EvanKessler.com Guerrilla Interview.

I spent the next several hours, crossing my T’s and dotting my lowercase i’s on the new blog, but soon enough it was time to venture out to the Black Sheep Pub for the long awaited Pub Quiz. After two weeks of salivating for our chance at revenge on the trivia gods, this was to be our one shining moment, like that song they play at the end of March Madness every April. The previous outing The Dead Parrots, consisting of myself, Maureen, Laura R, and Andrew Morton had finished with a mere 31 points out of 50. At the same time our B-team (Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys) consisting of Stephen H, Katie O, Laura B, and Dan F, beat us out and finished in 2nd place overall with 1 or 2 more points. We were determined to show them up this time.

At first it looked like our teams would not be reunited as we had an odd number of folks. We scrambled to make the teams fair but in the end, The Dead Parrots were together again, just like old times. We had a rough go of it at first. As the the first 5 rounds rolled by our team did a lot of grimacing at each other as the questions were certainly more difficult than the last time. On a couple of questions we had the right answers only to change them to the wrong one at the last second. At the halfway point, The Dead Parrots were in 4th or 5th place with 15 correct answers, but the two rival teams that resulted from our oversized gathering were slightly behind us. Maureen, Laura, Andrew, and I knew that if we were going to win a prize, we had to clean up the next five rounds. So how did we do? Coming into the last round, we had increased our average correct answer per round by one. We thought we might be in the running for 2nd or 3rd. I think we managed to get 3 or 4 in the final round and as the final papers were handed in we sat nervously, yet with confidence.

We had our gamefaces on fully expecting to come away with maybe the free round of drinks afforded the third place team. That would’ve been perfectly fine with us. However, something amazing happened…the trivia MC announced a 4-way tie at 36 and guess who was one of the teams? The Dead Parrots had done it. Our effort had been validated! This was truly an accomplishment. The only way we wouldn’t win something was if we totally screwed up the tiebreaker question…but how could we. We were on a roll.

Feeling supremely confident the quizmaster read off the final questions. “How many ridges are there on a quarter?”. Wow. What kind of question is that? We’re good with history, art, pop culture, geography, current events…give us something like that. This was like having a jar of jelly beans and asking…”How many beans are in the jar? The team with the closest number wins.” So, we all thought that the number of ridges would have to have some significance so Andrew blurted out 50 for the 50 states. Well, that logic made sense to me. So we handed in our answer…and that’s when I pulled quarter out of my pocket.

Damn You U.S. Mint!!!

Let me just say…we were off. Apparently a quarter has 119 ridges. Nothing significant about that number, just that’s all they could fit I suppose. We were the 4th closest team to the actual number and therefore we ended up in fourth place. No prize money, no free drinks, no nothin’. Oh the agony. However, the fact that we finished in a first place tie made us feel like winners. After pushing through the initial pain, we came to realize that we had accomplished a remarkable improvement and we’re that much more confident that we’re gonna win it all next time. As Jefferson Starship would say “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”.

Wednesday’s iPodyssey Favorites: Beth Orton “Love Like Laughter”, Jonny Polonsky “Love Lovely Love”, Luna “Lovedust”, The Cardigans “Lovefool”, Bright Eyes “Love I Don’t Have To Love”, The Clash “Lover’s Rock”

Posted in Kevin Costner | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Yes There Really Is A Kalamazoo

Posted by evankessler on January 11, 2007

I’m not much in the mood for writing but I feel that it’s my duty to keep a good thing going. Today was not very eventful but the event that took place today was quite enjoyable. … but first I’ll get you caught up on the iPodyssey. I went to the gym from at around 2pm and my daily iPodyssey began with Jurassic 5’s “Jurass Finish First”. Towards the end of my workout I broke new ground when “K-Hole” by the Silver Jews popped on. I figure the “K” section is going to be pretty short seeing as I can’t think of many words that begin with “K”. My Thursday iPod journey would end two songs later after two songs called “Kalamazoo”, one by Ben Folds and one by Luna. Who knew there were two songs by two different artists titled “Kalamazoo”.

The rest of my day was spent building up to the evening’s main event. A week or so ago I had sent around and email to a couple of friends about getting a Pub Quiz team together. Tonight, at the Black Sheep Pub on Bergen St. in Park Slope that team came came to play, or more specifically those two teams came to play. The response was so favorable to my Pub Quiz idea that 8 people came out to play and we were able to form 2 teams of 4 people to compete in the event at the cost of $5 a head.

Team one was the Dead Parrots, consisting of myself, Andrew Morton, Maureen H, and Laura R.

Team two was Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys consisting of Stephen H, Katie O, Laura B, and Dan F.

To make a long story short at the halfway point the Dead Parrots were leading over the entire bar with 18 questions answered correctly. We each had our high points and teamwork was certainly the watchword of the evening as we each contributed evenly. Everyone’s scope of knowledge complemented that of their neighbor’s. However, these were no easy questions and by the time the 10th and final round of questions had ended, we no longer felt so optimistic about our chances after being shut out in one of the final rounds. As the story goes, we ended up in 4th place and Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys took 2nd place.

However, I’d like to warn all other Pub Quiz contestants, The Dead Parrots will be back on January 24th and they’ll be back with a vengeance. Take heed.

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