Saturday, November 24, 2007

My 15 Seconds of Fame

So last night I went to the Thrashers game at Philips Arena, as I pretty much always do. Usually me and Matt are able to buy student tickets for $15 each (technically I AM a student!!!!). However, last night they were all sold out. Unless we wanted to sell our respective houses, we couldn't afford what seats were left. So our other option were Standing Room Only seats for $10 each. Done. So we head to the upper deck to the very top of the arena where we are supposed to stand. We noticed Jay-Bird (He's the guy who does all the contests during Thrashers games) standing around up there. Matt had the idea to ask him if we could use his microphone to ask anyone if they had a place for us to sit. I thought that was a great idea but Matt wouldn't I did. I asked him if I could use his mic to beg for a place for us to sit. He laughed, which is surprising because he usually only laughs at things HE says (which is pretty much the most obnoxious thing you can do, in my mind). Matt asked him if we could sit in his seat, since he's just walking around, we could keep his seat warm! Jaybird responded with some comment that made absolutely no sense and had something to do with drunk people. And of course, he cracked up laughing. I told him we weren't that drunk, then asked him how you sign up to do one of the in-game contests. He, again replied with something that had nothing to do with contests...and laughed...then walked away. We weren't really that surprised, I think that's about what we figured a conversation with Jaybird would go. Then I texted Erica, who was sitting downstairs, "We just chatted with jaybird...he's even worse in person!" As soon as I hit send, jaybird comes back, taps me on the shoulder and wants us to come with him. He's gonna put us on the big screen to do a contest!!! It was a Home Depot game called "Risk it All" where they tell you an item and a price and we have to decide if the actual price is higher or lower. If you get it right, you win that item. The first thing was a pair of heavy duty it right. The second thing...I had no idea what it was, still don't...I even said, I have no idea what that is, but I'll say "higher"...and we got it right. The third item was an electric sander thing. Got that right. So then we have the option of keeping what we've won, or "Risk it All" in hopes of winning all that plus Thrashers stuff. We go to a lot of games...EVERYONE risks it all, so we did too, saying that I don't even know what some of those things are...and so then you pick a number from 1-9. We were surrounded by about 3-4 Thrashers girls...who were telling us not to pick #5, we've noticed that #5 usually says "lose all". So we knew better...we picked #3. What happens??? "LOSE ALL"!!! Of course. I think #5 was at least a $25 Home Depot gift card. #4 I think was "WIN ALL" We would've won the 3 items, free Thrashers tickets, $100 Home Depot gift card, and a signed puck or stick or something. Oh well, there went my 15 seconds of fame! Oh, me and Matt do get to split a $5 Home Depot card as our consolation prize.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Kim & Brian's Wedding Weekend, Part Deaux - The Rehearsaless Dinner

So after our tour of the Capitol, we all headed back to the hotel to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. I got in a good 30-45 second nap, so that was nice, but we had to get ready. I'm pretty sure the temperature dropped about 20 degrees in an hour or so. We walked over to the Italian restaurant that the rehearsal dinner was at and it was FREEZING cold outside! On the way I almost got my dad and I killed by walking across the street. It seemed clear when we started, but that didn't last long. We were standing on the double yellow line, ready to make a run for the sidewalk as soon as we thought we wouldn't die. Luckily we made it, and we realized everyone else we were originally walking with were smarter than us...they went to this thing they call an "intersection". I'll have to look it up on wikipedia.

I've been to maybe 2 rehearsal dinners in my day...on average I'd say they had about 15-20 people. Tops. I have no idea if that was the norm, but it certainly wasn't in Kim & Brian's plans. There were over 100 people at this thing! It was nuts! But it was a lot of fun. For the first time, I finally met Brian's family. They were beginning to think I didn't exist, but since they are apparently big fans of my blog - and here I thought 3 or 4 people paid attention to my rambling - I decided I would prove my existence...I think they bought it!

I'm sure most of you know how Kim & Brian originally met, but if not, time for a quick recap. Kim was with her friends at bar in Georgetown called Tony and Joe's. Some random guy bought her a bright blue Windex looking drink. Along comes Brian, staring at Kim's drink - not her. Kim then asks Brian if he'd like to taste it. He says he doesn't take drinks from strangers. Little did he know, they wouldn't be strangers for long!

So I think the highlight of the rehearsal dinner...wait, hold up, this is something I haven't been able to figure out yet. Why are these things called rehearsal dinners? We didn't rehearse anything! Ok, I had to get that out. Anyways, the highlight was Brian's Uncle Jay (not to be confused with me, because I'm "ay"-less) created an awesome slide show detective drama about the Mystery of the Blue Drink. It was pretty funny too, he had all the old 80's detective show music involved...including, my favorite...Inspector Gadget. It was really creative and funny. He went and found tons of old pictures of Kim and then of Brian. But the highlight for us Zaikov's was probably the video clip of our old Co-op in Howard Beach. Apparent Jay has a friend who lives in Queens. He sent them on a mission, first to buy a VHS Camera - to make it look like a video from the 80's...$15 at your local pawn shop. Then gave him our old address and off he went. He shot footage of our old place and a bunch of hot spots in the area. Brought back lots of memories from the old childhood!

So I mentioned in Part one that Kim had me and Alyssa draw some stick figures. Turns out she had a plan for them. Kim & Brian brought both sets of parents up and presented them with framed pictures...of our stick figures :) Apparently real pictures will replace them eventually. They also called up all the bridesmaids and groomsmen to give them little gifts. I'm not sure what the ladies got, but Brian gave each groomsman a very FSU-colored tie :) and we each got cuff-links with our initials on them in these cool boxes in the shape of a tux. Very cool. However, Brian felt the need to totally ruin it all by taking a cheap shot at my Noles though, questioning whether FSU was even gonna make a bowl game! pffftttt!!!! I believe his dad put him in his place for me, after all, Kansas has only been good for 3 months now!

Saturday morning I woke up and headed downstairs because I was pretty sure I could hear some Zaikov's chattering all the way from the 9th floor. So I hung out with the family for a while, the hotel provided a lunch at 11:30 us in Bubbie's room. It was nice, but all I cared about was getting to a bar to watch the Maryland-FSU game. Priorities!!! I managed to grab dad and we Metro'd our way to an absolutely terrible bar called Buffalo Billiards. I've been there before, but it was always pretty empty. Keeping in mind that the University of Maryland is maybe 10 miles away I'd guess...there were NO TV's with the Maryland-FSU game when we got there at about 12:15 (kickoff was noon). Unbelievable!!! There was a huge crowd gathered for the Ohio State-Michigan game for some reason. I had to talk to a manager to even get the FSU game on a TV in the corner. It took him what seemed like forever and finally he turned it on right as I got to see a replay of FSU's first touchdown! Woohoooo. So, we were warned that we weren't gonna be getting any wait service in the section we were in. No big deal, the bar wasn't that far. Little did we know what we were in for! Eventually a crowd of Brian's friends and family showed up. I'm pretty sure Brett was the only Maryland fan in this PACKED bar. WTF? And that wasn't even the worst of it for Brett (neither was the fact that Maryland lost) he ordered a chicken sandwich from the bar...and after asking about it 2 or 3 times, it finally showed up, literally an hour later. By this time, we all had to leave really soon to get back in time for pictures. I also went to the bar to get one last beer and close my tab. Unfortunately I signed my check before he physically gave me my beer. He began pouring my beer, stopped the tap so that the head would clear...but he walked away. He was taking other people's orders, putting dishes away. My evil look in his direction was no match for his plan to completely forget about my poor little half filled Guinness. I was soooooo tempted to cross off the - already small - tip from my check! Finally I yelled out to him to ask him to finish with my beer already. He said he forgot. Great. I took my beer and ran off. Drank it way too quickly and as soon as FSU officially finished off Maryland, off we went. We were quickly running out of time before we were supposed to be ready for pictures.
Did we make it back in time??? Tune in for Part 3!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kim & Brian's Wedding Weekend, Part 1 - The Days Before

I don't think its really sunk in yet. It doesn't exactly roll off my tongue just yet, but its true...I now have a brother-in-law. For one day anyways...I was a BLOG (get it? Ok, Brother in Law Of the Groom) Oh come on, thats funny!!!!

Anyways, it was an awesome weekend, and I will now tell you all about, so hope you brought your reading glasses, and maybe some coffee...if you're into that sort of thing. Actually I'm gonna split this up into a couple of blogs, just so no one gets scared away from seeing an obnoxiously long blog! So here comes Part 1...

The weekend got started in typical flight was delayed. I met my cousin Alyssa who had a layover in ATL. Her flight was an hour after mine. I tried to work it out to where we could get on the same flight, but Delta wouldn't have it. Oh well. I got into DC and was just gonna wait on her. My parents and Kim met me at the airport and wouldn't you know suitcase was actually one of the first ones out! Figures...since I was in no rush. Alyssa got in about an hour later, in between, to kill time, my dad learned all about how Segway's worked from a cop in the airport riding around on one. Finally, Alyssa showed up - apparently her bags arrived on my flight, good thing they couldn't work that deal out for people! My parents then finally dropped us off at Kim's condo. Kim had me draw a couple of stick figures on two separate pieces of paper, but wouldn't tell me why. Alyssa didn't like my first attempt so she drew the 2nd one. Meanwhile, I made Brian watch the end of the Oregon-Arizona game, where #2 Oregon lost to unranked Arizona, which is good for his and my adopted Jayhawks. We were all pretty exhausted, so it was bed time.

Friday morning, Kim and my parents met up with Brian and his parents and the rabbi who was to marry them. I got to sleep in :) When they were done me and my dad left for our day of tourism. We were hoping to go see the Air and Space Museum along with getting a tour of the capitol, but ran out of time. We also had to pickup my tux, and that took way too long, so we only had time to go to the capitol tour. My cousin Rob works for Congressman Michael Honda (CA). We missed out on meeting him, but were told that he gets a kick out of people taking pictures from his chair. So...we did just that. Then we got a tour of the Capitol from a co-worker of Rob's. It got off to a bad start when Alyssa got caught with mace. Apparently they don't want you bringing mace on tours of the capitol. They were very against us just throwing it away, so Rob had to bring it back to his office. Finally the tour started and I've gotta was pretty boring. Our tour guide was pretty much worthless. To her credit, there were almost 20 of us on the tour, when I think they're used to groups of about 5-10. And even Rob admitted that she wasn't very helpful. The only fun part was this one room which was built in such a way where, at one spot on the floor, if you speak into the floor, you can hear that person in another spot on the floor across the room. That's kinda hard to explain, but thats the best I got. There were lots of statues all over the place - Samuel Adams for example. I enjoy his beer, so I took a picture pretending to be drinking a beer. I only mention that because its hard to tell what the hell I'm doing in that picture (below). The fun part was trying to emulate the poses of some of the statues, also seen below - from left to right - Beer Man Samuel Adams, General U.S. Grant, and Robert M. La Follette, whose name, ironically rhymes with toilet, which is where I believe this guy was sitting when they made this statue.

Vickie's Milestone!!!

As everyone knows, I have two special ladies in my life (please note - this means you mom - I only count ones that don't breathe), and they are my beautiful TV - Mitsa - and my car - Vickie. They are by far the most costly and best investments of my life to date (I guess some day my condo might overtake one, but my condo is a boy anyways).
This morning - November 21, 2007, at 9:11am ET - Vickie cruised (literally) to her 100,000th mile.

Ironically enough, to me anyways, on the J-Pod was Weezer's song "Slave".

*-Professional cameraman, do not attempt

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Meeting Ray Bourque

So last night the Atlanta Thrashers were playing the Washington Capitals. It happened to be the debut of Chris Bourque, son of NHL Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.

I know alot of you aren't hockey experts, here's what Wikipedia has to say about him:

Raymond Jean Bourque (born December 28, 1960 in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, now a
district of Montreal) is a Hockey Hall of Famer who currently holds the records
for most goals, assists and points by a defenseman in the National Hockey League
(NHL) and has become near-synonymous with the Boston Bruins. He played for the
Bruins and Colorado Avalanche. Finally, on June 9, 2001, after 22 seasons, the
Avalanche—and Bourque—won the Stanley Cup, in what proved to be Bourque's final
game as a player. He had waited longer to win his first Cup than any other
Cup-winning player had in the 108-year history of Stanley Cup play.

Ok, so now you know he was a superstar. He was at last night's game since it was his son's NHL debut. He also just happened to be sitting in the same row as my friend Erica. So she texted me, "We are sitting next to Ray Borg". I had no idea who she was talking about until I said it out loud (seriously, try it!). Then when I cracked her spelling problems, I decided my gameplan. I picked up a free program, and snuck into their section. Borrowed a pen from a girl sitting in front of them and made my move.

I said, "excuse me sir, sorry to bother you, but I was your son by any chance making his NHL debut tonight?". (clever, huh?). He said yeah, I said I was how great that was and I asked him if he would mind giving me his autograph and taking a picture. He paused, I was scared for a second, then he said "Not at all". i opened the program up to the page with the Capitals roster...unfortunately it wasn't updated with Chris Bourque's name yet, but I had him sign that page anyways. Then took a picture. I told him I was a huge fan and it was an honor meeting him, all that stuff, and wished his son the best of luck. 7 minutes later Chris took his first ever NHL penalty.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Bad weekend to be out of town

Maybe there's some way I can talk my sister into postponing her wedding a couple of weeks? (Kidding!)

But for those of you lucky enough to be in Atlanta in 2 weekends, I'm jealous. On Halloween I was supposed to be going to see The Smashing Pumpkins at the Fox Theatre. I was REALLY looking forward to it, but the drummer had some health issues and the show was postponed. Guess when the makeup date is!!! :(

Here's what I'll be missing:

Thu Nov 15 - Dane Cook - Gwinnett Arena
Thu Nov 15 - Smashing Pumpkins - Fox Theatre (Makeup Show for Oct 30th)
Fri Nov 16 - Smashing Pumpkins - Fox Theatre (Makeup Show for Oct 31th - who wants to buy my ticket????)
Sat Nov 17 - Maryland @ FSU...last home game of the year. Ok, so technically that's not in Atlanta, but you get the idea. And I pray that its a noon kickoff, so I can at least watch it.
Sat Nov 17 - Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace - Tabernacle

I got a sneak preview of that last concert last night in Chattanooga, and that will be a blog in itself. Chattanooga is a horrible horrible city. The UTC Arena is a horrible horrible place for a concert. The sound is just BAD. But the people were 30 times worse. But more on that later...