Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hayden Lee Rosenstein (1986-2008 RIP)

I'm not really good at this sort of writing, but the Zaikov family suffered a pretty serious tragedy. My cousin Hayden suddenly passed away this morning at the WAY too young age of 21. Its way too early and I don't know all (any) of the details, but it really doesn't matter, my cousin was taken away from our family and it just doesn't quite seem fair.

UPDATE (5/28): As it turns out, Hayden had not been feeling well for a couple of weeks. Doctors couldn't figure out what the problem was. He was given a green light to go on a trip to Europe for a month. What the doctors did not pick up on was a virus was attacking his heart. And he died from a heart the age of 21. Even typing that out, it just will never make sense to me or anyone else in this family. We love you Hayden and you will be with us forever.

I encourage everyone to share whatever stories of Hayden you may have here in the comments section.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Swept Away

I don't really have much to say. Three days, four games, four losses. That SUCKED. I did it though, I wore a paper bag on my head. The Mets were actually winning until the 7th inning or so. So I went bag-less until then. After the Braves went ahead I had the bag on the rest of the game. I won't mention that I wrote something on the back of the bag that wound up being upside down. DAMNIT!!!!!!
Oh well, off to Jacksonville for a long weekend!!!!!! I need it!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Three Up, Three Down

I have just learned a whole new meaning to that phrase. Have you ever done something that you know is a bad idea but you just can't help yourself? Just keep going back for more? Ok, no, I'm not talking about drugs, although...just kidding. The last 2 days, I've gone to 3 Mets-Braves games, and all 3 have been equally terrible. On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to see the Mets barely show up to lose twice to the Braves. First, was a makeup game from a rainout in April, so I got to sit in the hot sun for a couple of hours - yes mom, I used sunscreen! (although I missed a spot on my neck). Yet the Mets lost, 6-1. Former Met and currently hated human (by me and many Mets fans) Tom Glavine tried to give the Mets a couple of runs in the first inning but they wanted none of it. The Mets were actually winning, 1-0. That didn't last. They didn't even get another hit until the 9th inning! Not a fun time.

In between games we went back to my friend Patrick's car and tailgated to kill some time. Met a couple of college kids parked next to us. We chatted with them for a while, they were trying to get their grill going and had a tough time of it, it was pretty windy in their defense. Eventually they got it going and after sacrificing a couple of hot dogs (picking up hot dogs off a grill with a spatula is harder than you might think!) they shared their food and beer with us! So, not all Braves fans are bad. After hanging out drinking for a couple of hours, I met up with some other friends for the second game - Matt, Divya, Jason, Tara and Eggbert*, . I also met up with Brian, who was in town for business. He was lucky enough to get some pretty good seats in the lower section. Our seats were in the front row of the upper deck, not bad at all! But...then came the rains. Lots of it. What better way to start a second game of a doubleheader than a 98 minute rain delay???? The second game was pretty bad too. I'm not sure if the Mets knew the game had started, they were on the field, but sometimes I wonder if they were even trying. It wasn't until the 8th inning that they showed up I think, already down 4-0, they managed to make it 4-2. Only to give the Braves 2 runs back in the bottom of the 8th to make it 6-2. Which also turned out to be the final score. As if thats not bad enough, on the last play of the game, arguably the Mets MVP of 2008 so far, Ryan Church got hurt:

Damion Easley grounded into a double play to end the nightcap, but New York right fielder Ryan Church and Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar were hurt on the play. Church, who was on first after a single, tried to break up the double play with a slide. Escobar, racing toward first after he fielded the ball, had his knee collide with Church, who was left with a bloody forehead after it scraped off the dirt. Both Church and Escobar had to be helped off the field. Church was diagnosed with a minor concussion and was taken to Piedmont Hospital. Escobar was limping in the locker room after bruising his right knee.

I will say this, I have HATED Chipper Jones for a long time. But when Church was laying at second base motionless, Chipper was the one calling for the Mets medical staff to come out and stayed right by Church until he got up. So, for one day anyway, I didn't hate Chipper as much as I usually do. But that was a pretty shitty ending to a pretty miserable 11 hours at Turner Field.

But thats not all. Wednesday I went back for more punishment. But this time I brought my secret weapon. My friend Jeanie. Whenever she goes with me, the Mets win. It happened twice last year and once the year before I believe. Those are probably the only wins the Mets have in Atlanta the last few years. We got off to a good start, 1-0. Then it got ugly. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, with one out, Mets left fielder Moises Alou walked off the field. One of the strangest things I've seen. He just left. Of course, in the stands, we've got no clue whats going on. Turns out he had cramps. CRAMPS!!!!! Are you f-ing kidding me??? CRAMPS???? Ughhhhhh. It got worse from there, the Braves went up 11-2, and won 11-4.

So it's been a pretty awful couple of days at Turner Field. And for some reason, I'm going back for more tonight. But, this time I very well may wear a paper bag on my head. It's getting embarrassing!

*-Eggbert is the official name of Jason & Tara's unborn child.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Andruw Tubbo Jones

I think I may have found a new hero. T.J. Simers. A writer for the LA Times. This is the second time (as far as I know) that he's interviewed Andruw Jones, and it's HILARIOUS. In case you don't know, Andruw Jones was a center fielder for the Atlanta Braves for the last 10 years or so. I've always disliked him because he appears to me to be very lazy. That's not me being a hypocrite. I'm lazy. But I'm not getting paid $18million a year to play sports. I'm getting paid a lot closer to minimum wage to count things. The last few years he's plumped up quite a bit. This past offseason he wanted a ton of money and the Braves weren't willing to give it to him, which is smart, because he sucks now! Anyways, without farther uh dew...,1,6834038.column

Dodgers didn't get a care package with Andruw Jones
Struggling center fielder dismisses jeers from Dodger Stadium crowd, saying 'you play for the team, you don't play for the fans.'
T.J. Simers
May 11, 2008

Since offering to go on a diet with Andruw Jones and getting nowhere with him, I've lost 14 pounds, so I checked in with the Tubbo on Saturday night to see how he was doing on his own.>

"Have you lost anything?"

"I don't care," he said.

I shook my head in disbelief, and he said, "I don't care what you think."

"Do you care what anyone thinks?"

"I don't care," Jones said.

Saturday night the fans in Dodger Stadium booed Jones' name when the starting lineup was announced. "Don't you care that the fans in Dodger Stadium have turned on you?"

"No," he said. "That's their problem."

I suggested that it's not human for someone not to be bothered by booing fans in their own stadium, and he stuck out his tongue and made some noise.

"How do I write that down?" I said.

All together now: "I don't care," he said.

Without the fans, I said, there's no reason for you to be here in Los Angeles playing baseball and no way you're getting paid $36 million over the next two years.

"I don't care," he said. "You play for the team, you don't play for the fans. The fans never played the game. They don't know.

"Both a Tubbo and clueless, which really isn't a very good combination for the player with the highest annual salary in Dodgers history.

I tried to tell him he was taking the wrong approach with the fans here by saying really dumb things and reporting to work fat.

"Don't you understand why people are upset with you? You sign a big contract and report to spring training out of shape. . . ."

"I disagree with you," Jones said.

So I checked in with Joe Torre, and he said, "I think he could have been in better shape."

I reminded Jones that I had lost 14 pounds and even had eaten a doughnut with the 7-Eleven Kid, and how does it look when the team's center fielder has a bigger belly than the columnist writing about the team?

"Look at your belly hanging out of your shirt," Jones said. "You're probably going to die tomorrow."

"Not before I write this column," I said.

When I told Torre about some of the things Jones had said, he shook his head. "I think he may be saying one thing and feeling another."

Why lie about such things?

"I don't know if it's lying," Torre said. "I know when I have a conversation with him, he says, 'I'm OK, I'm OK,' so in essence, he's lying to me too. Because I know better."

At best, Jones might say "I don't care" because it's a defensive mechanism, but at worst, he lacks common sense, striking out with the fans once again.

As for his play on the field, the Tubbo has one home run, and so far it looks as if he has only warning-track power, which suggests he has lost something.

"If you think that's what I've got, warning-track power, then write it down," Jones said, and it always helps when I have a player's permission to criticize him. "I lost my power, I suck, I should retire."

"I hope you're not waiting for me to disagree with you," I said.

Then Jones went out, and struck out on three pitches in his first appearance at the plate. I wonder if he cared.

PAMELA ANDERSON was at the Dodgers game and hugging bench coach Bob Schaefer. I'm just here to report the facts and not interpret them. Like everyone else, I'll just have to wait for the video.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT a while ago that a statue of Oscar De La Hoya was going up outside Staples Center before Jerry West or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn't make sense until this week when the Anschutz Empire bought a stake in Golden Boy Promotions.

MOST KIDS are probably frightened to check into a hospital, so I took the Boogey Man to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles on Friday to show them some things aren't as scary as they might first seem.

Just as I suspected, Jeff Kent was a big hit with the kids. He got the chance to visit the bone marrow unit, and while the rooms are usually sealed off, 17-year-old Brenda was far enough along in her recovery that Kent could stand in the doorway.

Brenda began fidgeting in her bed, moving her blanket this way and that, her mother finally wanting to know what she was doing.

"I'm getting up to take a picture with Jeff Kent," she said, while working to get herself out of bed. And people think Kent is tough.

Kent had made it clear -- any day, any time -- and he'd visit the hospital to help shoot a video to better explain why Scully & Wooden agreed to donate their time and appear in the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 13.

Tickets remain on sale at, by the way, and why wouldn't everyone want to catch Scully & Wooden together on Father's Day weekend?

Eleven-year-old Raul, wearing a "leukemia sucks" T-shirt, took a Dodgers cap from Kent and immediately gave it to one of his visiting cousins. Kent offered another, and another, and another and Raul had a lot of cousins.

When they had all been taken care of, he agreed to take one for himself -- in turn giving Kent a personalized framed painting of a penguin. I do believe the Boogey Man was touched.

AMAZING, OR is it, the number of generous folks out there?

Avengers team owner Casey Wasserman donated $10,000 to make sure everyone at Mattel's who wishes to hear Scully & Wooden gets the chance.

The Dodgers, Lakers, Kings and Clippers, among so many others trying to help the kids' cancer cause, have each bought $25,000 tables for a dinner to precede the event.

We checked, of course, and the Tubbo will be out of town with the rest of the Dodgers, so we won't run out of food.

MISSED THE Lakers' weekend in Salt Lake City to go out for dopos with the granddaughter, who was carried off in the middle of the night to Arizona a few months ago by the Grocery Store Bagger and former daughter. Just how bad is it living in Arizona?

Over doughnuts, when I asked the 7-Eleven Kid, she told me, "My favorite place is Home Depot."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Ranting

Rant 1 - Last year, me and a couple of coworkers would go over to Frankies on Roswell Road to dominate in Sports Trivia many many times. We were supposed to go last Thursday but it just didn't happen. So last night we go for it. But guess what! Frankies is CLOSED! FOREVER!!!!!! I didn't necessarily love that place, but that was one of my first Atlanta sports bar experiences back in the day, and the whole sports trivia thing was fun. Supposedly they're looking for somewhere else for sports trivia. Eventually Frankies will reopen as another Taco Mac. Taco Mac's are becoming like Starbucks around here. They're opening everywhere!!!!

Rant 2 - Got a bad email from the kickball league admin. No more alcohol will be allowed at the's some of the email:

As the park districts and police departments crack down on alcohol in the parks, they asked to meet with GOkickball management to discuss the topic, further communicate their rules, regulations and city ordinances, and identify the ordinances that GOkickball players have violated. A few examples so that you are aware include over 50 citations for open container and public intoxication, disrespect of park officials and management, and multiple players having been arrested for alcohol and ended up being taken to jail for disorderly conduct.

Going forward we will not allow alcohol to be drank in the parks during GOkickball games, including bottles, cans and cups. We encourage people to visit your league bar after your games to let the fun continue throughout the day and evening. To enforce this rule and be aligned with the City of Atlanta and Dekalb County Parks and Police, the follow steps will be in place and enforced by the GOkickball management, field supervisors and referees:
1- If neither team has alcohol, the games will start as scheduled and have fun.
2- If team's have alcohol, the games will not start until the alcohol is taken off park property or put away in cars. This will subtract time from your game.
3- If a team does not remove the alcohol, the game will be a forfeit to the other team. If both teams do not remove their alcohol, the game will not be played and counted as a tie.
4- And if players do not remove the alcohol and they will not leave, we've been instructed by the police to contact them.
We hope to never run into this situation!

What fun is kickball without being able to drink???? I'm not talking about getting absolutely shit-faced drunk, but just having a couple of beers is what's different than when we were playing kickball in second grade as kids!!! And what the hell were these idiots doing that they got SO drunk that they got themselves arrested????? Well, apparently they ruined it for the rest of us so a big F.U. to all of them.

It'll probably rain for 25 seconds this weekend anyways, meaning kickball will probably get cancelled again, so it probably won't even matter anyways. (End rants)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Long Awaited Return of the Double Feature

I view movie theatres the same way I view amusement parks. You pay to get in, then you can ride as many rides as you possibly can until they park closes. Well, with skyrocketing movie prices ($9 for a student ticket!!!! LAME!!!!) something has to be done, so I do my part.

This started back on Labor Day in 1996. My old roommate Tony Rojas (if you're out there somewhere...say hi!!!!) and I went to a Tallahassee movie theatre for an unprecedented attempted triple feature. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But good lord did we pick some TERRIBLE movies to go see. For some reason I even remember all 3 of em. First was "The Crow: City of Angels" (The shitty sequel, not the original), then we saw "The Fan" (Robert DeNiro and Wesley Snipes...who knew they could be THAT bad?), then to finish things off we saw the completely awful "The Island of Dr. Moreau". I had THE WORST headache during the third movie. But we pulled it off.

More recently, 2 years ago, me, Matt and Lauren went for another triple feature. Courtney also joined us for just the first portion of the event. This time we actually saw 2 good movies. Courtney and Lauren made us include a chick flick - The Break-Up. It had Vince Vaughn...but it still sucked. We then saw Mission Impossible III...which was a lot better than I was expecting. And then X-Men III. Also better than I was expecting.

So those are my only two triple-features. My most recent double feature was way back in 2006! Me and Lauren saw "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" which would've been better in 15 minute increments...then "Stranger than Fiction" which has Will Ferrell playing a more serious, yet still funny role. It was actually REALLY good, and I wound up buying the DVD recently.

A later double feature attempt was foiled by Lauren last year when we went to go see "Knocked Up". Unfortunately right when the movie started she was beginning a fight with her then boyfriend, who I named, Re-Todd (but pronounced...well, just say it out loud, you'll get it). So after she was crying through all of Knocked a bad way...I agreed to bail. I don't even remember what we were gonna see next, it might've been Superbad, don't remember. But I do remember Lauren saying she'd owe me one. I just realized she still hasn't come through, so that's why I'm including this part of the story :)

Anyways, last night the double feature returned. And it was a successful one. First up was "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay". It was actually funnier than I was expecting. An older couple (mid-40's maybe...the guy looked like Richard Simmons) sat down just before the movie started. I said that they'd be gone within a half hour...and they didn't disappoint. They walked out within a half hour! Not exactly a movie for "adults". Luckily I don't fall into that category, so I thought it was funny. After that was "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". This actually wasn't as funny as I was hoping, a little too romantic comedy-ish for me. But it was still funny. A little too much of Jason Segel's crotchal area ("Marshall" from How I Met Your Mother). Now that I think about it, I don't think there were any boobs shown in the movie. Just his junk. I was warned ahead of time so I missed most of it :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Who gets hurt playing KICKBALL???? Me!!!! Again!!!!

After 3 rainouts and a game missed because I was out of town, I finally returned from the DL to play some kickball yesterday. And because of all the rainouts, we had a doubleheader yesterday. Luckily our team plays for fun, and isn't too competitive, hell, half the team is from other countries and don't know much about baseball, so we're there for fun, beer and more beer.

So the first game starts, we're ahead 1-0 in the 5th inning or so (we play 7). I get myself my first hit (kick?) of the year. So, I'm on first base. Next batter (kicker?) gets a hit and I took off and scampered to 3rd base. I over-ran the base a little bit, because, no one in there right mind would slide in kickball, right? After I overslid the base, in trying to get back, I did kinda dive back into third base. Only because the pitcher got the ball back and was headed my way. In kickball, if you throw the ball at a base-runner and they're not on the base...they're out. With one exception: you cannot hit them in the head.'ll never guess where he hit me! Yep, right smack square in the face. Luckily those kickballs are pretty soft so it didn't do much damage other than getting my glasses dirty. So, no, thats not how I got hurt...although I tried ;)

Very next play, 2 outs, I'm on third. The next batter hits a ground ball and I take off from home, kind of assuming that the play will be at first base. No such luck, they were coming after me. I saw the guy was about to throw the ball my way, so without really thinking, i dove. Head first. In the dirt. Luckily I was safe or I would've been REALLY pissed. But with the big insurance run came came lots of blood and fun scratch marks on my legs and right arm. My teammates loved it though, got high fives from everyone. Of course, no one had any first aid of any kind, so I'm just sitting there, bleeding. Someone did find a couple of napkins, so I got some water and tried to clean myself up a little. I just got to play cheerleader the rest of the game. We were up 3-2 going into the bottom of the 7th and managed to lose 4-3, so that kinda took away from my hero status I think :)

A couple hours later was game 2. Luckily we had a pretty full squad so i didn't have to play in the field, but I got 2 at bats and managed to get RBI singles in both of em, all while limping my way around the bases. But it was fun. I'm sure the 7-8 beers I had helped ease the pain :)

After the game I got a ride to my car, which was parked in front of Erica's house, so I hung out there for a bit...then Erica cleaned me up a little. Hydrogen Peroxide hurts like HELL!!!! Just thinking about it makes me squirm a little. But it was for a good cause I suppose! Then after sobering up, I went home and planted myself on the couch with some ice and watched a 4 overtime thriller between Dallas and San Jose. After the 3rd overtime, around 2am...I was kind of falling asleep, so to enhance my pain, I took a shower. Owwwwwwwwwwowowowowowwww. Finally the game ended around 2:30 (8th longest game in NHL history) and Dallas won. I was rooting for San Jose, but, whatever, I was ready to sleep!

Don't worry, I'm hoping to get some good pictures up pretty soon...waiting for them to get emailed...

Harold and Kumar, urrrr me, Josh and David Go To White Castle

(Note - no illegal drugs were used in the making of this story...I swear)

First off, please be sure to go see Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (in theatres now!) and be sure to rent Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle!!!

I'm not sure why I don't own that movie yet. Living in Atlanta, the closest White Castle is in Nashville, which is a little too far for me. And who the hell wants to go to Nashville???? Chattanooga was bad enough, if I never go back to Tennessee it'll be too soon anyways. Damn tangents. Now, without further uh doo, onto our story...

Last Friday night I flew up to Newark for the Zaikov's annual Passover festivities. For me, the most exciting thing about going up there is White Castle. Down here we have a similar place called "Krystals" but its NO WHERE NEAR as delicious. Luckily this time we set it up so that I would land just about the same time as my Uncle David and cousin Josh. All big White Castle fans. We met up, rented a car, setup the GPS and were on our way. Punched in White Castle into the thing and off we went. We were officially just a couple of miles from a White Castle! Went through some strange roads, we passed a jail that looked like the White House...except brown. Fanciest looking jail I'd ever seen! We missed a turn, turned onto what seemed to be an empty road. Got to the end and it took us to a parking lot of what looked like a distribution plant. As we were pulling in, I noticed at the top corner of the building. White Castle. Yep. We were guided to a White Castle distribution plant!!!! Unfortunately it was after 10:00 and very closed. No tours, no free samples. Nothing.

Off we went, its New Jersey, there are White Castles everywhere! And wouldn't ya know, just another 2 miles or so was another one. So, back past the jail, take a couple of lefts and go through a neighborhood. White Castle should be popping up any second now! Kept driving...and wouldn't ya know it. We found a White Castle Regional Office! What the hell???? It was at this point that I knew this would be quite the adventure. We decided to just get on the highway and drive for a while and try again later. So we did. And eventually we found the lovely town of Eatontown, NJ. We got off the highway and found a real, live, open White Castle. It was the most wonderful feeling a boy can have...alright, fine, just let me relive my moment! We parked and made our way inside. We ordered Waaaaayyyyyy too many or so. In chatting with the lady behind the counter, we told her of our unsuccessful mission so far. We asked her what city this was and her reply...New Jersey. Gotta love it. End conversation. We got our food...then got a call from Alyssa (cousin) and ordered another 10 or so burgers at the request of some jealous family members who already arrived at the beach(less) house we were headed to. So off we went, devouring way too many burgers in the car on our way. White Castle must use crack in their burgers because its just sooooo good and addicting. Krystals doesn't come close to White Castle. Its no contest. And I can't wait to go back already!!!!
(I know its too hard to see in that first picture, but the bird on the sign REALLY looked like a Penguin!)