Amy - Will you Marry me?

(Hopefully most people reading this know that I did not ask Amy via a blogpost - but - come to think of it ... that woulda been awesome... -- Just kidding

So - Yes. I asked Amy to marry me last Thursday (May 25th) on the stoop where we shared our first kiss. 4th St between 1st and A - which is hands down the most unromantic block in the city - but, it is what Amy dubbed "our block" about 20 seconds before I went down on bended knee...

After asking (and Amy responding positively) we headed to Mo Pitkin's to celebrate with close friends, although Amy still thought we were going to see Andrew Fried do stand-up. The room upstairs was perfect for the event - and thanks to everyone who was able to make it! After Mo Pitkin's, we headed to The Mandarin Oriental in Columbus Circle. The hotel is really nice and was the perfect ending to a great night... We spent the next day at the hotel relaxing, capped off with massages at their spa.

Leading up to the night, anyone who knew was asking if I was nervous. It's a misleading question - because "nervous" is the wrong word. Nowadays, with most people I know, we ask the question being fairly confident in the answer - which means our nerves are now less focused on possible rejection - and more focused on making sure that everything goes as planned (as possible). In my case - I have to say that everything went even BETTER than I expected. Sure, I do enjoy patting myself on the back with a great strategic plan - but to play the part of Oscar winner -- it couldn't have gone off as smoothly without some help. So I'd like to thank the following people for the following things (and if I leave you out - don't think I don't appreciate your help and support -- I'm speaking mostly in terms of enabling the special night to go so smoothly).

Jessica Borstein - My Executive Jewelry consultant
Barb - My Jewelry Researcher
Andrew Fried - The best fake event email writer a guy could ask for
Jamie Brown - Fantastic performance of excitement for a fake event
Dirk and Jessica Borstein - Great performance of playing it cool while hangin out with us for 3 hours before it happened
Jill, Fred, and Dad - Thanks for taking care of the ring (and keeping it out of my possession until it was absolutely necessary)
Arie - For giving me permission and for keeping a secret for a while.

So - there you have it. For those that have been asking me "when I'm getting engaged" - I ask that you wait at least another month before the next round of questioning begins. Amy and I haven't picked a date yet; We are not sure where it's going to be; We have not registered yet; ETC. ;)

Thanks to all again - especially to Amy who said YES! I love you very much and cannot wait to marry you. ;)


“Have you seen ______ yet?”

As many of you already now, I’m a bit un-orthodox when it comes to knowing any details or insight about a TV show or Movie that I am interested in.

Moving forward, this is why I implore all of you to ask a simple question before you send a text or talk to someone about a certain program or movie: “Have you seen ____ yet?” This will work much better than me shouting “I haven’t watched 24 yet!!” as my first words into the phone greeting…

Speaking of 24….. Tonight I am flying to California during the 24 Season Finale. I really do not want to avoid my friends calls and texts altogether, but I fear I must. I don’t feel that all of my friends have grasped the concept of not always watching shows when everyone else does. (and thus possibly ruining the show before I see it). Not everyone falls under this classification, though, as I have seen great progress over the years as the DVR becomes more mainstream. There are a number of friends who fully comply with the rules of TV conversation engagement (Jared Margulies comes to mind).

This being said, I feel compelled to remind you all again that I will be on the plane (and not JetBlue) during the 24 season finale. Please do not talk to me about 24 until at the earliest later this week.

Thank you.


Cell Phone Only Life

I just read a report that said between 7 and 9 percent of Americans use their cell phone in place of the standard "home phone." To no surprise, about half of this group of people is under the age of 30 and over 70% are single.

A few years ago - I got fed up with my $65+ phone bill (in which taxes were about 30% of) and switched to Vonage. I have a few friends who've had a couple of hick-ups with them, but I thought it was great service for almost $50 cheaper per month! Was well worth it (plus i loved getting my voicemail messages emailed to me).

Since moving in with Amy, we haven't made the switch yet, but in thinking about it - we really don't have too many instances in which we NEED to use the "house phone." Yes - there are times when I forget to charge my cell or my Razr is cranky and doesn't want to have great reception.... But I definitely have wondered if I really need the home phone or I'm just used to having one. Do I really need it? I don't think so, but it seems as if only 8% of the population agrees with that statement. It will be interesting to see how quickly this percentage increases over the years...


Sporty Spice’s observations

(Weekend nickname given by Colediggy)

This weekend I had the fortune of attending 2 live pro sports events (thanks to Amy's dad): Heat-Nets Game 3 and the Saturday match-up between the Yankees and A’s. During each 3 to 4 hour experience – I observed a few things that I wanted to share:

- The prices of food and drinks at these events is straight-up robbery. $9 for a beer (more expensive than Manhattan). $5.00 for a hot dog (more than a pack of 8 raw hotdogs from a supermarket), $5 for ice cream to name a few. At least at the Yankee game, they allow people to bring in outside food as long as it’s in a clear bag. (No briefcases, coolers, bottles or containers) And for anyone trying to eat somewhat healthy – B.Y.O.F. is your only option.

- Leaving early. With 5 minutes to play on Friday night, the Heat were up by one….. New Jersey called time-out. Directly after this, the family sitting in front of me walks up together and leaves the game…. Does this make sense to anyone? Um … “I’m going to pay all this money to come to a game, but I don’t really care how it ends...” Who’s more concerned with beating the traffic???? Again - makes no sense to me. Sure –there are instances of severely lopsided games or prior engagements or someone not feeling well …. But how often does this happen? If beating the traffic is number one priority when coming to a game – I say stay home.

- The “production” – the attempt to keep the audience entertained every single minute at a game is something funny to watch. Music, promotions, the jumbo screen all helpful tools...My favorite are the Miami Heat "Golden Oldies" - which are a group of about 7-10 women (and 2 men) over the ago of 70 who put on a dance routine that without fail ends in some kind of "shake yo' ass booty music bounce." On a seperate note – Amy wants to know how the Yankees pick the songs for each player while they go from the on-deck circle to the plate. Does anyone know this? Do the players pick it themselves?

There are several other nuiances at live sports events, but those were some that caught my mind this weekend. I'm hoping to hit up some more baseball games this summer - so those of you with corporate tickets.... Holla when you are looking for people to fill the seats.


Google Trends

Just a quick post to let everyone know that for the first time, Google has provided a directional guide to users search queries. The tool is called Google Trends.

Beyond the seasonality of search queries - I think the coolest part is the ability to compare up to 5 queries to each other (separated by commas) and to see how various cities (and countries) differ. For example check out the trends of The Yankees and Red Sox. Interesting to see that the Red Sox are more popular in Canada, eh? I also thought it was interesting that chicken salad was far more popular than egg salad and tuna salad (I happen to be on a big egg salad kick these days).


What is Pat Riley Thinking?

And more importantly, what is he going to do about it? Watching last nights game 1 was painful… literally causing me pain.

In reading a lot of the press the past few weeks, the headlines seem to focus around Shaq’s foul trouble and Antoine Walker and Jason Williams inability to defend….. Well…. Yes, these are 2 good (and very related) reasons for the Heat struggles, but I believe a good, experienced coach would be able to fix these problems. Pat Riley is under-performing at this task, to say the least.

Shaq foul trouble – Clearly he needs to know how to avoid offensive fouls, learn how refs are going to call it in the post-season and adapt. However, his fouls on the defensive end are all due to the need for him to constantly help when the perimeter defenders get burnt (which seems to be 97% of the time).

Antoine Walker and Jason Williams – Neither is adding much value to the Heat right now and neither is a typical Riley player. Did Riley give up on his “defense wins championships” mentality after he couldn’t get over the hump against the Knicks? I mean - Walker is a complete scrub! (I’ve already written a post about this, so I’ll move on) Jason Williams is clearly struggling on his jumper, which is causing him to force passes which is creating turnovers. Oh – and his defense is a liability…

Some questions I have:

  • Why isn’t James Posey starting and getting the Antoine Walker minutes yet? He isn’t the defensive stopper once advertised, but he can certainly hold his own….
  • When defense is our problem, why isn’t Shandon Anderson getting more run? He isn’t an potent offensive threat, but you rarely see him get beat as badly on the perimeter as Williams.
  • I know his conditioning is in question – but can we please try and play Shaq and Mourning at the same time? I’d like to believe that Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson would think twice about bringing it to the rack if these guys blocked a few of their shots….
  • I never thought I'd say this, but am I the only Heat fan that is suddenly missing Eddie Jones?

I'm hoping Pat Riley wakes up and smells the disgusting stench that is them Miami Heat defense. The Heat clearly have better overall talent than the Nets, and should we lose this series, it will be because Lawrance Frank was a much better coach than Riley.


The Commerce Bank pen

I think it's fair to say that I own the crown in my family for "Company Schwag" owner and giver. Google stuff for everyone! Well, although Google notepads, t-shirts, and umbrellas will be continued to be given out to my friends and family -- The company my brother-in-law works for, Commerce Bank, takes the cake for most distribution ever by a single piece of company schwag.

The Blue Commerce Bank Pen is EVERYWHERE. (except on the web, as I searched for an image of one for the last 20 minutes) It's at the point now where Amy and I are shocked if we receive our completed credit card charges not accompanied by "the Blue Commerce Bank pen."

Any situation that calls for a pen - Commerce Bank is there! Has anyone else noticed this? (And if you haven't yet -- you will now - I just read in Ad Age that 20 million Commerce bank pens, in fact, will be distributed in 2006.)

Commerce Bank used to be known to me as the place open 7 days a week where you can exchange your coins for dollars for free. Now it's the place with the magical re-appearing pen (and the company that my brother-in-law works for).


Why can't I get a witness??

Many who know me have probably heard me say that I am "sponsored by Nike." Amy has often said that my weekend-day attire consist of 3 themes: Nike, Google, and The Miami Heat....

This brings me to the recent Lebron-Witness Nike Commerical. In the commercial, there are a couple of quick shots of people wearing a plain black or navy blue shirt with the word "Witness" and a Nike Swoosh below. Pretty simple. I want the t-shirt.

So, being the savvy web searcher/online shopper, I begin my quest...No luck at all online besides ebay (more on this below). I contact a few New York sports apparel stores...No Luck. I GO TO CLEVELAND (for business, not just for the shirt) and go to 4 stores there, including the actual store in "the Q" where the Cavs play their games...No Luck!!

Apparently, Nike gave out those t-shirts as a Game 1 home play-off promotion. That's it. The store manager told me that I was at least the 1000th person to come in and ask for it!! When I told my buddy Dirk (who grew up in Cleveland) that I was looking for the t-shirt -- he had heard the same story from his friends. Apparently - these things are in high demand! So what is NIKE thinking?? It's not like they don't sell any Lebron gear. It's not like they're not running millions of dollars of ad spots supporting the Lebron-Witness campaign. And most importantly - it's not like the shirt itself isn't a walking commercial (which i'm willing to pay $20 for by the way). The shirts are currently valued at over $60 a piece on eBay. The clerk at the Foot Locker in downtown Cleveland told me he'd sell me his for $70.

Apparently, there are a few street vendors that are selling a replica, but unfortunately the streets of Cleveland are fairly dead at 2 PM on a Wednesday, so none were out while I was there. SO...As of now, the quest is still on. If anyone sees the t-shirt, please let me know!