Tuesday, June 23, 2015

RIP Nikita N. Klucsarits-Zaikov 1/10/2001 - 6/17/2015

I never grew up with a dog. My only pet experience as a kid involved fish. Then I started dating a girl who had a dog. A dog who allegedly does not typically like men. My first meeting with Nikita at Jamie's apartment couldn't have gone better. It was love at first site (I also liked Jamie a bit too). I fell in love with this dog. I didn't know I had that in me. I never knew the bond between a person and their pet. Those fish didn't do any tricks. They didn't care about me. Nikita showed me what unconditional love is.

This dog changed my life. She has made me a better person. I'm officially now a dog person. I admit, at first, I cringed and made faces when picking up Nikita's poop. After a while you get used to it. I'll never forget that last poop. I teared up. Because of poop. Of course, most of you guys know I have an affinity for poop. But that's a subject for another day, ok probably never.

It's been almost a week since we said goodbye. I still walk through my front door with the expectation of hearing her collar jingle. I miss having Nikita get excited to see me when I got home. I miss taking Nikita on walks in our neighborhood. I miss Nikita chasing after bunny rabbits. Even in her last few days she had it in her to chase one. Cancer got the best of her, but cancer can never take away my memories of her. And I'll cherish those forever. I love you Nikita. And I love you Jamie for bringing her into my life (amongst other things).  We will definitely get another dog (almost certainly another Husky) but there will never be another Nikita.

That time UConn played Florida in the Final Four, Nikita was
soooooooooo excited that the Huskies won.
Nikita having fun on the bed, a special treat (for us, more so
than for her, usually)

Do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nikita's "professional" photo session, this
picture will hang forever at Chuy's on
Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw.

Nikita's Birthday tradition. A 6 oz birthday cake, errr steak.

Jamie and Nikita, post birthday steak.

I already actually miss this, Nikita loved
leftovers. She was so excited whenever we

Even I've never had my own waterbed.
She did, and she loved it.

Me and Nikita, post birthday festivities

Getting comfy on the human's bed. 
Such a happy dog, even with a cast on.

"Holiday" picture

Add caption


I need DIS!

You're home! You're home! You're home!!!!! I
missed you! (Is what I like to think she was thinking)

Chillaxin on the porch-bed at the beach house!
Enjoying the beach in South Carolina

Chillin by the pier

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame Essay Winner Winner!

Any time Chick-Fil-A opens a new restaurant, they give the first 100 customers free Chick-fil-A for a year (or at least 52 coupons to come back for free food once a week for a year). Typically people camp out outside the restaurant to win. Crazy!

The College Football Hall of Fame is relocating to Atlanta and opens on August 23. Chick-fil-A is one of the main sponsors of the Hall of Fame and is again giving away the same prize to 100 people, with a twist. 

Tell us why you love college football and you could be one of the first 100 fans to visit the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience. In fact, you will not only get to visit the attraction but you will actually get to spend the night in it! You will get to tour the facility, engage in games and giveaways and camp out on the 45 yard field inside the attraction. The contest winners who comply with the Official Rules will win Free Chick-fil-A food for a Year (52 #1 Meals) and be the first guests to enter Chick-fil-A's new college-football themed restaurant located next door to the attraction. The first 100 fans will also have a chance to win prizes from Coca-Cola, AT&T, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Kia and others. Each member of the first 100 will be able to bring a guest to join in the fun!
-Tell us in 250 words or less why you love college football.
-Submissions must also include your first and last name, your favorite college football team, your home address, and a phone number where we can reach you.
-Essay submissions are due by July 27th at 11:59pm ET and the winners will be notified between July 28th and August 1st.
-Essays will be judged on passion for college football and creativity.
-Visit CFBHall.com to learn more about college football’s new home. 
And without further adieu, here is my "award winning" essay! (I may have gone a bit over 250 words, don't tell!)

I was such a spoiled rotten college student. My freshman year at Florida State, in 1994, was smack dab in the middle of one of the most dominant runs in college football history. Unfortunately for me, FSU won a National Title the year before I got to campus and again the year after I graduated in 1998. Luckily for me, after graduating, I continued living in Tallahassee. You can even say I lived with a local celebrity!

In 1998, my roommate Kevin Fulmer, along with another friend, Josh White, had the idea to birth what is now the tradition of the Garnet & Gold Guys. They actually looked pretty terrible that first game. Luckily that was just a pay-per-view game against Duke. They painted themselves in school colors and then covered themselves in glitter. You should’ve seen Kevin’s bathroom after a game, it literally looked like a blood bath.

In January 1999, FSU played in the inaugural BCS Championship game against Tennessee. Along with 2 friends, we made the cross country drive from Tallahassee to Tempe, AZ to watch our Noles play in the National Championship Game. We were so disappointed after the loss, we got right back in the car and drove 30 hours back to Tallahassee without stopping, taking turns driving. We made the best of it, and looking back it was a great experience. The first of 3 straight National Championship Games that both myself and my Seminoles would participate in.

I look forward to seeing Ron Sellers, Ron Simmons, Fred Biletnikoff, Darrell Mudra, Bobby Bowden, Charlie Ward, Deion Sanders and eventually Jameis Winston in the College Football Hall Of Fame!

So there it is!!!! I'll report back after the event! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Proposal

I realize I've basically left this blog for dead for a while now. Facebook and Twitter have kinda replaced the need for blogging I think. If I have a funny story, or something to share, I head there, not here. But, some things still have a place in the blogosphere. This is one.

So, it's been about 3 1/2 years since I've really done the blogging thing. There have been a few posts here and there for significant events - The death of my beloved Thrashers, the birth of my nephew (oh crap I never did post that! Sorry Micah!), and a "Why I'm Dumb" story of how I took someone else's luggage before going on a cruise.

I guess you can tell by the title of this particular blog, a lot has changed in 3 1/2 years. We'll skip the minor stuff and focus on Jamie, who very quickly became my best friend, and now fiancé (which is still weird to say).

We met playing kickball in Smyrna on or around Thursday July 14, 2011 (7:48pm, ish) The legend goes...we were on different teams. My team was an awesome powerhouse (ok, so we were below average) and Jamie's team was terrible (seriously, they were not good, we won 11-2). I was up and kicked a ball over everyone's heads (as I am prone to do). I ran around the bases as the outfielders went to retrieve the ball and just as I was about to finish off my inside the park homerun (there are no outside the park homeruns) guess who is standing in front of home plate, blocking it? I was not expecting that and just about accidentally ran her over. I managed to score without knocking her over, but that was the first time we physically crossed paths. (Although in the past, we have realized we were definitely in the same place at the same time before (going as far back to a concert outside Atlanta in 1999 that I drove up from Tallahassee to go to).

So fast forward to Wednesday April 10, 2013, 6:45pm, ish. We've been "together" for just over a year and a half. We had a late game (8:30pm) against the Hooligans, a different team that Jamie used to play on. Since the game was late, I suggested to the team that we meet at the league bar for pregame drinks. I certainly needed something. As we're walking out, Jamie says "we're just going to play a kickball game, I don't need my phone" (and left the phone behind). She left, I went back to grab the phone, knowing she'd probably want to make a few calls in a few hours (actually Tracy grabbed her phone since I couldn't actually find it). So that calmed me down, I now knew that Jamie had absolutely no idea that I was about to propose.

I had been in cahoots with the owner of the league, Eric, who is also the captain of the Hooligans. I knew I wanted to do this when our teams played each other. Basically everyone on the two teams are friends, which would make the event more memorable. A few weeks before the season began, I met with Eric to discuss my idea of proposing during a kickball game. We even were able to adjust the league schedule to have the game on a night that I thought would work the best. Next, I had to tell a few people from my own team about my plan. I had come up with a specific script for how I wanted this to go down. I wanted Jamie to be able to easily score a run, and I'd come meet her at home plate with the ring (and a "will you marry me?" sign).

The plan:
1st batter - (Terry) just get on base however
2nd batter (Jamie) I knew she was bunting, I had to make sure Eric (pitching) and Ashley (catcher) knew not to get her out.
3rd batter - (Scott) walk (this was tough, because if a guy walks and a girl is up next, the batter goes to 2nd. Brilliant because this gets Jamie to 3rd easily. Tough because it means that a run scores, which means Eric's teammates would probably be pissed!)
4th batter (Tracy) - This is where the first video picks up. She bunts, everyone's safe, bases loaded. Jamie still on 3rd.
5th batter (Kyle) - His job was to just kick it deep into the outfield so Jamie could trot home. Probably should've told him to take a pitch.
Each batter has their own at bat music (which I realized later I skipped Tracy's song, oops!), Kyle's song was ACDC - TNT. My plan was, when he kicked the ball, to change it to Bruno Mars - Marry Me. Well, he kicked the first pitch, so I had to hustle because Jamie was coming home full speed, so I forgot to change the music. So ACDC - TNT is now "our song" =)
I managed to get not 1, not 2, but 3 videos of the proposal...enjoy!!!!

Video #1 - via Meredith's phone. (My favorite noise ever happens at 40 seconds in)

Video #2 - via Christine's video camera

Video #3 - via Eric's Tripod mounted camera

For those wondering, we did have to restart the game, so the 2-0 lead (which would've really been at least 4-0 if I didn't interfere at home plate) didn't count. We wound up losing 6-4, but we'll chalk that up to some pretty serious distractions!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why I'm Dumb (Part 300)

I've had a strange number of people in the last few weeks tell me I need to start blogging again. (Even though blogging is sooooooo 2010-BC) errr not 2010 BC, but as in BC are the initials of the quote, ahhh never mind. What I'm saying is...I'm dusting this thing off and let's see what happens. No commitments but I can at least write about my stupidity one more time.

So, flew into Miami yesterday where I decided to be obnoxious and wear my "Sucks to be U" anti-U of Miami shirt with my really really dirty beaten up FSU hat that I love. I noticed the guy behind me on the plane had an Oregon hat on, we talked college football a bit, he asked how FSU was gonna be this year, then gave me shit for our loss to USF a few years ago during "the lost decade" of FSU football. I just laughed it off, thought better of making any anti-Oregon comments.

But, not why I'm dumb. After a rocky plane ride, and a very slow de-planing process, we made our way to baggage claim. Mine & Tracy's bags came out right about next to each other. I remembered mine was wet from the rain and commented that it looked like it was a dead animal laying on its belly because of the way it looked on the baggage carousel. Anyways, grabbed the bags, headed to find a "welcome to Miami" sign to pose in front of and then off to find my parents who were circling the airport waiting on us.

Traveling in a strange city with my parents is always an event. 100% completely relying on their TomTom these days. Between that and 2 iPhones we still managed to need a few u-turns to find our way to our hotel. Part of the problem is i had a few random number missed calls disrupting my direction-giving. Finally we get on the right path.

I don't know how the majority of people handle missed calls from unknown numbers. I let my voicemail "Blondie" as my dad has named her, answer missed calls for me. The first one was an Atlanta number, "Blondie" sent me an alert that I received a voice mail from a Pamela. I don't know any Pamela's so i disregarded it and focused back on getting to the hotel. About 10 minutes later, another unknown number calls, this time from a Miami area code. Weird. But I didn't think anything of it until "Blondie" pops back up saying I have a missed call from Delta Airlines. Again, I didn't think much of it, I looked around the car to make sure I wasn't missing anything like my phone or my wallet (yes, even though I was clearly USING my phone the thought popped in my head that I may have left it behind). So I decide to give these voicemails a listen. Turns out, I grabbed the wrong suitcase!!!! I was almost afraid to say it after all the u-turns we had already made but I had to tell my dad that we had to go back the airport!

I can't believe I managed this, I've never seen anyone with the same bag as me, and I always check for my bag tag for my name! Except, thinking it over, I didn't this time. So back to the airport I go, called Pamela back and said how stupid, embarrassed and sorry I was and we'd be back with her bag in a few minutes. So back to the airport, I see my bag at the Delta office and saw three people sitting around waiting as if they were completely stranded...including... Oregon guy! He looked at me and said, oh no! You! I knew I shouldn't have took shots at FSU! Haha, "karma" I replied, completely jokingly. I again said how sorry, stupid, I felt. And so glad they weren't mad. Our bags weren't even that similar, I mean, same set, but she had the shorter fatter version, while mine was longer and wider. Whoops.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

RIP Atlanta Thrashers 1999-2011

I never really had pets in my life other than a fish or two. So it's hard for me to compare losing the Thrashers to losing a pet. But I really am feeling heartbroken today. At noon today, a group of assholes from Winnipeg are announcing that they're buying the Atlanta Thrashers from THE BIGGEST group of ASSHOLES (The Atlanta Spirit Group) and moving my team to Canada. This hurts. It hurts a lot. I moved to Atlanta in 2001 and fell in love with the Thrashers around 2003-ish. I've been to probably 85% of the home games since then. I've seen 0 playoff wins from my team. 0. That's not easy. 53% of the league makes the playoffs every season. 53%!!!! The Thrashers have done it once. The stats major in me tells me there is a 0.03% of that happening only once in 11 years (although i'll admit to being rusty). April 2007 was the loan playoff appearance, against my childhood team, the New York Rangers. The Thrashers lost all 4 games, but those two home playoff games were right up there with the 3 FSU National Championship Games I went to from Jan 1999-Jan 2001 as the best sporting events I've EVER been to. Now my team is being taken away from me. And it's not fair.

In 1996 the Winnipeg Jets left town to move to Phoenix and become the Coyotes. The Coyotes have made the playoffs the last two seasons and have had very good teams. Despite that, the Coyotes have had lower attendance numbers each season than the Thrashers. The Thrashers haven't exactly packed the house, but who wants to go watch a terrible team, year after year? The one season the Thrashers made the playoffs, games were sold out, fan interest was peaking. Since then, it's been downhill, thanks to the worst group of owners imaginable. They've been fighting amongst each other for the last few years in court. As soon as that was settled - Dec 2010, they set out to sell off the Thrashers. And they did so in just 5 months. NHL by-laws state that to relocate a franchise, options to sell the team to local buyers must be fully exhausted. Which is pretty impossible in only 5 months.

The NHL has been so against relocation that when the situation in Phoenix got so bad, the NHL itself took over control of the team when the owners went bankrupt. Here's a crazy thought, why don't you move those fuckers back to Winnipeg! It was their team to begin with! But, no such luck. The NHL Commish Douchebag, Gary Bettman hasn't said a peep about our Atlanta situation, after being so incredibly, oddly dedicated to keeping Phoenix put. He's just standing by letting Atlanta lose our team. It just doesn't make sense why the league wouldn't do anything to try and help us like they helped Phoenix. Atlanta was never given a chance to succeed. As soon as it was announced that the Coyotes were staying put for the 2011-12 season, within days, it was announced that the Thrashers were likely bolting for Canada instead. Now, at noon today, it will be done.

Even with all the losing, i have such great memories of my short life as a Thrashers fan. I've done 2 tv-timeout games - which were blogged here and here. Still haven't used my $50 Hard Rock gift card yet now that I think about it. I've had countless huge beers at the CNN Center, I've played dodgeball on the ice, I got my name on the scoreboard for my 30th birthday, I've had probably a hundred games worth of seats in my company's suite which is right next to the injured players' suite. I sat in both the last row and first row for the 2006 NHL All Star Game. About the only thing I never did was ride the zamboni. The Thrashers were by far, my favorite thing about the city of Atlanta. And they're being taken away from me. It's just not fair.

Now what for me? What did Hartford Whalers fans do when their team moved the Raleigh? Do you still root for them? I still love the players on the team, I can't see myself rooting against THEM. But the prospect of what the team can do when they actually have owners who care is something I'm excited about but won't get to enjoy.

And I've now officially switched from the depression phase to the anger phase after writing this, my first blog in about 14 months. Thanks.

The AJC's Jeff Schultz just posted a column that needs to be read: http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2011/05/31/thrashers-atlanta-were-never-given-a-chance/

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ATL Noise: Volume 8, Issue 1

So it's been 6 months since I've put one of these together, it's time! For those not familiar - this is my own personal researching of local concerts that I may might possibly be could maybe interesting in attending - especially the ones in bold.

Sun 03/14/10 Ben Folds and A Piano @ The Tabernacle

Sun 03/14/10 Craig Ferguson @ Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Sun 03/14/10 The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus @ The Masquerade
Sun 03/14/10 Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers @ The Masquerade
Sun 03/14/10 Suckers @ The Masquerade

Sat 03/27/10 Jarrod Gorbel @ Eddie's Attic
Sat 03/27/10 The Honorary Title @ Eddie's Attic

Sun 03/28/10 Chelsea Handler @ Fox Theatre

Fri 04/02/10 Grift @ Red Light Cafe

Wed 04/07/10 Blue October @ Center Stage
Wed 04/07/10 Hurricane Bells @ Center Stage

Thu 04/08/10 Vampire Weekend @ The Tabernacle
Thu 04/08/10 Abe Vigoda @ The Tabernacle

Fri 04/16/10 Dave Attell @ The Punchline

Sat 04/17/10 Dave Attell @ The Punchline

Wed 04/21/10 Nickelback @ Philips Arena
Wed 04/21/10 Breaking Benjamin @ Philips Arena
Wed 04/21/10 Shinedown @ Philips Arena
Wed 04/21/10 Sick Puppies @ Philips Arena
* - Note: I would leave before Nickelback goes on stage

Thu 04/29/10 30 Seconds To Mars @ The Tabernacle
Thu 04/29/10 Mute Math @ The Tabernacle
Thu 04/29/10 Neon Trees @ The Tabernacle

Tue 05/04/10 Bullet For My Valentine @ The Tabernacle
Tue 05/04/10 Airbourne @ The Tabernacle
Tue 05/04/10 Chiodos @ The Tabernacle

Wed 05/05/10 Three Days Grace @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Wed 05/05/10 Seether @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Wed 05/05/10 Chevelle @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

Sun 05/09/10 Saliva @ The Masquerade

Thu 05/13/10 OK Go The Loft At @ Center Stage
Thu 05/13/10 Earl Greyhound The Loft At @ Center Stage
Thu 05/13/10 Robert Francis The Loft At @ Center Stage

Sun 05/16/10 Angels And Airwaves @ The Tabernacle
Sun 05/16/10 Say Anything @ The Tabernacle

Wed 05/26/10 Butch Walker & The Black Widows @ Variety Playhouse

Fri 06/04/10 Reverend Horton Heat @ The Masquerade
Fri 06/04/10 Cracker @ The Masquerade
Fri 06/04/10 The Legendary Shack Shakers @ The Masquerade

Fri 07/09/10 Serj Tankian Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Mon 07/26/10 2010 Vans Warped Tour @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Mon 07/26/10 Reel Big Fish @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Mon 07/26/10 Streetlight Manifesto @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Mon 07/26/10 Sum 41 @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Mon 07/26/10 Pennywise @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Mon 07/26/10 Andrew W.K. @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Mon 07/26/10 and many many more @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood

Tue 07/27/10 Dave Matthews Band @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Tue 07/27/10 Gov't Mule @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood

Sun 08/01/10 "Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival" @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Sun 08/01/10 Atreyu @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Sun 08/01/10 Korn @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Sun 08/01/10 Rob Zombie @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood
Sun 08/01/10 Several Other Scary Sounding Band Names @ %^($'s Amphitheatre At Lakewood

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Second 15 Seconds of Fame

I know, I know, I've been terrible about this blog, so, sorry to everyone who depends on me to entertain you. IE - mainly folks I'm related to.

Almost two years ago to the day (minus about 4 days) I got picked, with my buddy Matt, to do a contest during a Thrashers game, and we did not do so well, we "Lost All" in the Risk it All game. Fast forward two years (minus about 4 days) and I got a chance to redeem myself! This time, we were sitting in the 200-section, just above the concourse walk-way when I noticed J-Bird snooping around below, I've been to enough games to know he was looking for someone for a contest. He turned around and faced our section and asked a girl in the front row if she wanted to sing karaoke...she said no. Then asked Christine, who was next to me, she said no, and then I think she pointed at me. Then J-Bird turns to me and asks me to do it. Sure! I'll make a fool of myself!!!! So I go down there, he tells me the game. It's a karaoke style where they'll play a song and at some point stop it and I'd have to sing the next verse. Ok, that should be embarrassing enough! Awesome! Then he says, since we're playing the Boston Bruins, we're gonna be doing the Boston song - More Than a Feeling. Sure, I know that song. He starts singing it and it doesn't sound familiar AT ALL. Apparently the only part I knew was the chorus somehow. Awesome! I must've had a pretty serious blank look on my face because he was about to find someone else to do the contest. I said no, I wanna do it, even if I screw up it'll be fun! So, I had the brilliant idea, hey, I can look it up on the jphone! And bam! I've got the lyrics. I kept going over them over and over in my head until I thought I had it down.

As I said in my last blog, J-Bird is a weird dude. While the hockey game was still going on, he was doing play by play in an Austin Powers accent. I told him my name was J, he asked me about 4 times, I'm like dude, you've got the same name, how hard is this?

Finally it came time to actually do the contest. A couple of the Thrashers cheerleaders came by to make me look good. So thanks for that! If only we could do something about those logos on their backs!!! They made me take my jersey off and put on a Hard Rock t-shirt on. I had to fight to keep my hat on, I had a serious Jew-fro going on up there. So here we go, they introduce me to the crowd and go over the way the contest works. They play a few lines from the song and then stop it and I have to sing the next line. As soon as they started going I froze up, completely forgot how the song went, completely forgot the line I needed to sing. It was supposed to be - "I closed my eyes and I slipped away". I really have no idea what words I actually sang but I definitely didn't say slipped away. Not only that, but I kinda screamed it out more than sang. In front of about 12,000 of my closest friends too! Afterwards J-Bird said, hey you kinda went Ozzy on us there, nice! Luckily they said, close enough and said I was a winner. I got a $50 gift card to Hard Rock, and everyone in my row got $25 gift cards. Oh, and I won a free Hard Rock t-shirt.

Here are some pics from different friends from throughout the arena...with more to come