Proposing Marriage? Make An Offer She Can’t Refuse

I have a romantic story to tell. Which, I hope, will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling. Waaaay way back in the late summer of 2009, I proposed to my bride to be. Of course, there was always the possibility of a refusal, so I reached deep inside to my Italian heritage. Which means, inspired by Don Corleone from ‘The Godfather,’ I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse😊. In fact, I think I made an offer that no woman could refuse.

I had written a two-page poem for a proposal, but would that be enough? I needed a proper setting and some way to show off my culinary skills. The ring was still hidden in my luggage.

We planned a day trip to Blenheim Palace in Oxford Shire. Unbeknownst to her, but knownst* to me, she had provided me with the perfect setting for the scene. I put together a champagne picnic basket for the trip. Chicken salad sandwiches, Ham and cheese sandwiches, pasta salad, and other assorted goodies. She thought it was lunch, but I had the brimming confidence that within mere hours we would be celebrating our engagement. Her desire for me to experience the natural majesty of Blenheim Palace provided the right setting.


*Ruth and I are rabid fans of anything by Mel Brooks. ‘Knownst’ is from the opening of “Spaceballs” and a major scene from “History of the World” was filmed at Blenheim Place.


After parking, we strolled through the spacious secret gardens. A vast network of dirt paths, replete with statues, fountains, and a stunning variety of trees, flowers, and shrubs. I suggested she sit on a bench for a photo, but instead, I knelt in front of her and recited a lengthy proposal in iambic pentameter. After reciting the last poetic line, I pulled the ring from my pocket and held it in plain view. This was the moment. Would she accept the offer? She extended her hand with spread fingers. Halleluiah! I slipped diamond ring on her finger.


We “met” playing Lord of the Rings Online. Isn’t it fitting that I presented a ring to her in “The Shire?” After all, Oxford Shire was the influence for Tolkien when he created the Shire as a homeland for his Hobbitses.


Later we basked in each other’s glow on the great lawn as we noshed on the contents of the basket and popped open the champagne. After a long walk over bridges and around a small lake we returned to her home and called our moms.

Well Ladies, how did I do?

Tell me about your proposal

Ernesto San Giacomo is the author of “Storm of Divine Light

Rediscovering Star Wars the Old Republic (SWTOR)

I have been a dedicated player of Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) since its beginning, but lately my interest has been waning. I’m not sure if it’s the game content or the need for something different. After all, even filet mignon will get boring after the eighth dinner in a row. There was also a brief sojourn back into World of Warcraft (WoW), but I had no desire to continue there either. I could assume fantasy overload. I write fantasy novels, read and review fantasy novels, play fantasy MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), and have watched several fantasy movies. Perhaps the need for a change signaled the gaming muse to poke and prod me into having a second look at Star Wars the Old Republic (SWTOR).BLOGSWTOR

In the Beginning

I acquired my SWTOR subscription several months after the game went live and immediately loved it as much as LOTRO. Of course, being part of a gaming guild that spanned multiple MMORPGs helped. The same friends who played LOTRO and WoW were also becoming quickly addicted to SWTOR. The initial era of the game before its first expansion was a fair and fun time. Then a great change took place. We all eagerly awaited the first expansion, level cap increase, new weapon and armor modifications, and new content. But alas, the changes left a bad taste in my gamer’s mouth. Also, less than two weeks before, I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My disappointment with the Star Wars franchise was something of a double blow in a relatively short span of time. Therefore, I cancelled my subscription.

A New Hope

Call it a whim, something in the air, fate, destiny, or even kismet. I logged into SWTOR on a high-level toon. My stronghold (house) and everything else, were still in place as if frozen in time when I unsubscribed three years earlier. I had to dig through my mind’s cobwebs to remember the game functions. After some difficulties completing a quest, my fingers remembered what to do, but I still felt somewhat clumsy in game. Therefore, I decided, why not start from the beginning again? I logged into a server where I have no toons and created a Jedi Knight, to relearn the game from the proverbial “ground up.”

Return of My Jedi

Usually, one can tell when an MMORPG is ready to pass away. Simply create a new toon and play in the starting area. If it feels like a ghost town, call the MMORPG undertaker. But this was certainly not the case with SWTOR. Planet Tython, the starting area, was a veritable flurry of activity, with lots of chatter and guilds forming and recruiting. I gleaned from other players that many were just like me, former subscribers with a sudden resurgence of interest. There were four active layers on Tython to handle the number of players. Applause! Most MMORPG players are “Altaholics” and I am no different. I also created a Trooper and a Sith Sorcerer. Yes, Ord Mantell and Korriban were just as freshly populated as Tython.

I must say, I missed SWTOR and had forgotten how visually gorgeous it is, how non-repetitive it is, and how the interesting stories draw you in and hold your attention. Rediscovering SWTOR is akin to going back in time and discovering lost love with a renewed freshness. If you’re a former player or looking for a new MMORPG experience, then get that SWTOR subscription now!

The Drunken Hobbit

What would you do with a drunken hobbit?

I have to say, I love The Lord of The Rings Online. For me, it is the total gaming experience. One of the best things about it is the community – and that’s best illustrated by this music video that my kinship, The Lonely Mountain Band, has made.

I plan to call upon the Mountain Band’s friendship when it comes time to make a trailer for The First Light. This had me in stitches, hope you enjoyed as well!