March 31, 2003

Happy Times

In all the doom and gloom of war and the economy, I'm on cloud 9. Last Friday I proposed to Amy Cohen, who I've been dating for the last almost 3 years. And she said yes. Right now I'm the happiest man alive.

I met Amy the last weekend of May in 2000. It was a smokey basement bar with low ceilings and happy music where my buddies and I spent most of our Friday and Saturday evenings the first few years out of college. I watched some nights as my friends tried to pick up sloshed attorney's in mini skirts and high heels who made 5 times as much as them and get denied one after the other. Every once in a while an empty phone number would be written down with an empty promise and I would watch my friends sweat it out until their calls would go unanswered. "Swingers?" Me, I just watched and chuckled to myself .... I'm not the type of guy who picks up chicks in a bar.

Until I met Amy.

The night we met, my visits to the Madhatter (the smokey bar) were starting to spread out. My roommate and I met up with one of our new neighbors to head downtown. Everyone's eyes were ablaze to find a catch while I laughed a bit. Our neighbor had spotted a contact from the PR agency he worked with and we started mingling. I remember my roommate hitting on one of the girls doing his dance and making his laugh. A girl and I start talking. We laughed at my roommate. We talked more. We move away from the absurdness. We're really connecting.

At one point she asks where I grew up and I say Damascus. As you can tell by looking at me, this seems a little strange. I was born in a small town about 20 miles north of Washington, DC. It's called Damascus. "So what was it like growing up in Syria?" "Huh?" We laughed.

So the night goes on and we keep on talking. Last call is made. Lights are up. Our friends are leaving. Her friends had left. My friend hands me a napkin. We exchange numbers. No empty promises. "We met through friends."

A month later Amy we feel an overwhelming desire to celebrate. I mean come on, it's our one month anniversary. She takes me out to Merikesh, and we have a blast. I write her a note telling her I think I'm falling in love. A few weeks later we find ourselves at Rehoboth Beach on a bench facing the ocean. She tells me she loves me. I tell her I love her too.

Our next adventure sends us to Boston where she had traveled to from New York with her "friend" from France who was of the opposite sex. I trusted her. We met up (as planned) in Boston where my college friends were meeting up. She was meeting up with one of her college friends. We were all going to hang out and have a party like the best of them. Things turned sour. I didn't include her. She was the only girl. And the guys from college were together again for the first time in a LONG time. My friends felt bad. They apologized. I apologized. Apologies were accepted. It hung around for a while .... and I think we'll be able to make it to Boston again soon.

The days couldn't be more filled. We loved to travel. We went to Los Angeles and San Diego where Amy met my best friend Dave. We hung out at Skybar which was way better than us in a pretentious kind of way. We got omelettes and toured LA as Dave dropped scripts off at the home of big shots on the TV show, "The Street." We drove from LA to San Diego in a golden convertible Mustang. In San Diego we spent hours on a boat in Mission Bay. Scott nearly lost the boat and his finger when he tried to dock it ("i've never done this before"). My dad calls himself Agile Jack. I'm Smooth Movin' Scott.

From there we grew closer and closer and stronger and stronger. We traveled more. We enjoyed doing everything together. There were tough times too. Our relationship was tested by religion. It was tested by time. And doubt. Not to mention an MBA. But we learned to work with differences, remain true to ourselves and true to each other. True love overcame anything. And I'm thankful our patience didn't break and our love persisted.

So Scott, enough of the cheese, get to the details, how did you propose?

I'll start with last Thursday night. I had driven back two and a half hours in a downpour from Delaware where I had bought her ring -- the one she really wanted. The weekend before she was "wondering" if it might be happen soon. I hinted that it might be a while due to some "factors." My plan was to cook her a nice dinner. Stuffed pork chops out of this new recipe book we had just been given by her parents. Candlelights. Champagne. I'm checking over the recipe just to make sure it's all set -- all the ingredients are ready to go. Wait a second! She's .... gonna hate this! She doesn't like barbecue. I need a grill! I don't have a grill! I can't cook the most special dinner of my life for my new fiancee on a GEORGE FOREMAN GRILL!!!!! ............. PANIC..................biggest night of my life .......calming down ..........thinking ..........She likes Blacks Bar and Kitchen. Very nice restaurant down the street. Get reservations. I'll leave a note. A note in her car so she's surprised! And I'll set everything up in the apartment so it's perfect a perfect night.

And it was perfect. I got to Blacks an half hour before she arrived. Thinking about what she was thinking about, about the note I left which said, "Surprise.... Meet me at Blacks. Don't go home. Love, Scott." She walks through the door. I smiled. My cheeks hurt. I was excited and nervous and happy and she knew me well enough to know. She gave me a look that put me right at ease. She had the look that something was up, she thought she knew what it was, but she couldn't be too sure. She asked lots of questions, and I told her her rule tonight was no questions .... every next move will be a surprise. We enjoyed a terrific meal. When we were done, she asked me, "what's the next surprise?" We hopped in the car and headed back to our apartment.

We walked in the door and I had the lights low and two wine glasses on the coffee table in the living room. I told her to sit on the couch. I went into the kitchen, got the champagne ready and the ring out of the cabinet. I walked to her and sat on the couch. Our eyes were intensely connected for 10 seconds. I was speechless and was overcome by the best feeling I've ever felt. I said about half the words I had rehearsed over and over again. I asked her to marry me. And she said yes.

It truly was the most amazing feeling in the world. And I'm still dancing here on cloud nine. I hope that everyone can meet someone as special as Amy Cohen.

March 10, 2003

Does anyone think my blog takes forever to load? Please email me if you do. Thanks!

mmmmmm Doughnuts.....

Scientests think the Universe was made for Homer Simpson.

March 03, 2003

You Make the Call:

Couldn't resist this one .... Porn Star Ron Jeremy = Terror Chief Khalid Shaikh Mohammed?

March 02, 2003

Is Blogging Writing?

Chris Locke just made a post that opened up a can of worms that's been brewing in my head for a while. I consider myself a good writer, although I think I've slipped a bit recently due to the nature of my job .... putting together proposals really isn't writing in the sense that I think of it. Creativity starts lacking when you write slightly varying versions the same proposal over and over for different clients. "Professional" writing is more about the efficiency and clarity of words, not creativity.

Somehow, I feel like blogging might be making my writing worse. A professor told me once in college that there are no good writers, only good re-writers. Which makes sense because usually the first thing that is thrown down on paper sounds like crap --- it's the ideas that matter at first, then you re-write and re-write it again and again and again into Robert Frost-like prose .... or something like that. Blogging is more like a stream of consciousness -- there might be a couple read-thrus -- but I'm not out to make a masterpiece. Blogging tends to be quantity over quality. Which is why when Chris said, "writing is a sacred thing. Each word must be carefully considered, weighed, mulled over, its connotations and juxtapositional conjunction with previous words and (possible) meanings thought about deeply, agonized over," I let out a sigh of relief. This is what writing is to me. I am constantly in awe of the people who can write so well, so frequently.

So I ask the question, is blogging synonymous with writing? In the traditional sense of writing, I say no. Blogging is more like speech -- spontaneous, conversational, rough, imperfect. But like writing, it is closer to being permanently stored in history. Speech is gone once it is spoken.

I'm starting to notice that those who write for a living are the ones that blog with a unique and powerful voice. I don't think blogging can make you a better writer -- rather being a better writer will make you a better blogger. (And then there's Eric Norlin who always seems to be the exception to the rule -- I think Eric just has a clear head -- which helps his rap)

A clear head. That's another thing. There always seems to be ten things I'm trying to do at once. The Wall Street Journal had an article this week on how multi-tasking makes us less effective.

A growing body of scientific research shows one of jugglers' favorite time-saving techniques, multitasking, can actually make you less efficient and, well, stupider. Trying to do two or three things at once or in quick succession can take longer overall than doing them one at a time, and may leave you with reduced brainpower to perform each task.

Even while I'm not actually doing 10 other things, the weight of ten other things seems to be pressuring downward in some fashion. This tends to make my blogging words with meaning, but no impact. When I write well, I need to be focused on the task at hand. My girlfriend always asks why I usually just link and quote other writers and bloggers. It usually means, God I wish I had the time and mind-set to write about that, but this will do. A reference point for myself for a later time, and maybe something my readers will like.

So, you might see fewer words here, but more meaning in the weeks to come. We'll just see how it goes.