Main > January 2004 News

"So Joel, yet I can't turn away."
--George Koshy

Saturday, January 31st 2004

Nothing like a restful sleep, and sleeping in on the weekends is a required element. More for some than others.

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Funny Dave Barry article on kid birthday themes. Funny and timely, because there was this kid screaming on the train yesterday morning, and two people nearby were talking about the kid, their own kids, the kids' upcoming birthdays, and what they were doing for party themes.

Meeting went well yesterday. I'm glad. Now I just have to wrap up the paperwork for my past few audits , and then I'll have to ask my boss what's next on my schedule.

In the evening, Num and I went out for sushi at this asian-fusion place (can't rememeber the name) in Montclair. Why is sushi so darn expensive? Ah well, still it was good. Num has had this craving for sushi for a long time. I gave in, so now she'll have to eat pizza or something with me. Afterwards, we hit Blockbuster and rented Identity and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Identity is a John Cusack mystery-murder-thriller, and Guess Who's Coming... is a classic movie starring Sidney Poitier. Watched Identity last night. I thought it was okay, but Num loved it. I just didn't get all of it.

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Amanda Peet
Rebecca DeMornay (remember her?)
The motel guy
Ray Liotta...evil?

We'll watch the Sydney Poitier movie later this week. I also signed up for the Blockbuster Rewards thing for $10, and got the two rentals for free. I don't know if it's a good deal or not, but we get coupons, some free rentals per month, etc. We'll see.

Our friends Ranjith and Priya got married in India this month, and have returned. They're having a reception tonight, and we'll be attending. I just saw some online pictures of the wedding, and I'm excited to see them again. I promise to take pictures tonight.

Thursday, January 29th 2004

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She's pathetic

What a stupid cat I have.

I really should invite my parents over sometime. I'd like to show them the place in all its glory, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for the criticism and open disdain for my living conditions. My buddy Paul is coming to visit us in 2 weeks during Valentine's Day. Maybe we'll have them over afterwards.

Damn trains. I caught the 8:30am train, but we got held up on the tracks near Newark, and we didn't get to Penn Station until 9:35, and I didn't get to the office until just before 10am. 45 minutes late, and totally not my fault. Grrrr.

Quiet day at the office, so I got a good amount of work done. By the time I get home, my lovely wife made arroz con pollo. That's chicken and rice for you cultural ignoramuses. It was sooo good.

In the news:

  • Can't believe the men lost again on The Apprentice. Doh!
  • Pixar has ended its distribution deal with Disney. Wow.
  • Marc Anthony and his wife have separated....again.
  • Dateline NBC did an investigative report on child prostitution in Cambodia. I read it, and I was about ready to puke.
  • A 60-ton decomposing sperm whale exploded on a busy Taiwan street. Check it out to see an actual sperm whale on a flatbed truck. Also, its guts on the street. Pretty gross.
  • More news about the upcoming G.I. Joe live-action movie. Yes, live-action. I hope this won't turn into another Mario Brothers movie, or He-Man. Boy, were those bad.
  • And finally, another example of why we Americans are villified. An American citizen, irritated by a crying toddler on a Brazillian flight, doused the kid with water. Nice. Like the global community doesn't hate us already.

Turns out not many people showed up yesterday, so I don't feel so bad about taking off yesterday. I'm not going to stay up late tonight, because I've got a audit rating meeting tomorrow, and I'll be doing a lot of speaking during the meeting. I just have to remember to be well-versed in the issues we found, speak slowly, and be relaxed. I'll be fine, right?

Wednesday, January 28th 2004

Have you ever had one of those days where you were expecting a lot of snow, planned to take a vacation day, woke up at 9:30am, looked outside, saw the roads clear, realized the weather wasn't so bad, thought about going to work since everyone else probably did, then you realized it was way too late to get ready and show up for work, and called in a vacation day anyway, because you didn't want to walk into the office at 11am?

Anita Mui
Anita Mui

No? I guess it was just me then.

Did some cleaning, finally put away clean laundry that's been sitting in laundry basket (after we did laundry last week.) Oh, I also did sort through a lot of papers that I've had laying around the place. Much sorting and shredding has been done this day.

I mailed a piece of my computer speakers back to Logitech in Fremont, California with Priority Mail. I hope to get a new set of speakers in about 2 weeks. I don't know what I'm going to without sound for two weeks. I just don't know. No computer games, no music, no downloaded movie trailers. Gosh. I almost want to go out and buy new speakers somewhere, if I wasn't afraid of my wife's ire. Yes, she has ire. I should buy some new speakers, and get some ointment for her ire while I'm out.

Did you know that Anita Mui died recently? She passed away around Dec 30th 2003, but I forgot to mention it. You may not be familiar, but she was a big asian star and singer. I knew her from all those crazy Jackie Chan movies.

BTW, here are some new pictures to post that I had lying around. They're from my now-former-coworker Amy's going-away lunch back on January 7th. We went to this Vietnamese restaurant called Ahn on 3rd Ave and 26th St. Not a bad place, wouldn't mind going back. Anyway, it's been a few weeks since she's been gone, but I might as well post them anyway. I promised more pictures, right?

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One side of the table
That's Amy in the middle, trying to look demure or something
My side (better looking because of me? No.)
Junny & Julissa (how cute)

Oh, ordered TurboTax online today, and it should be here in 2 weeks. I'm actually (slightly) looking forward to doing my taxes this year, because I'm expecting to see some money back. As I've heard, the earlier I do the taxes, the earlier I get the refund back. Watch, 2 weeks from now, you'll hear screaming in Glen Ridge: I'll end up owing the government money. That would be typical, wouldn't it?

Seriously, where was all the snow? I'm going to arrive at the office tomorrow, and find out that I was the only one who didn't show up. Nice.

Tuesday, January 27th 2004

Hello snow. How do you do? We're at the beginning of a snowstorm (4-8 inches), and it doesn't look like I'll be making it to the office tomorrow. As a matter of fact, it doesn't look like most of the department will be making it to the office. Num already got the call that she's got a snow day tomorrow. I think I'll wisely use a vacation day to relax tomorrow. If there's one thing to know about me, it's that I like a minimal amount of trudging through snow. Especially when wearing my good clothes (any of suits, for starters.)

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I'll miss you, my sweet, powerful

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Logitech Z-5300

Num was in charge of dinner tonight, and she made marinated pork chops, zucchini, and mashed potatoes. Speaking of dinner, on the way home tonight, I started to reminisce about how I used to settle for quick, no-fuss, no-muss dinners, like Ramen noodles. Yeah, that's right -- Ramen friggin' noodles. I ate those quick packets growing up (my Mom used to make it for Julie and I all the time), and I ate a loads of them in college. One time Num came over (way back when I first moved into my Jersey City apartment), and she caught me making Ramen noodles for dinner. She basically yelled at me for wanting to eat something "so unhealthy." I believe her exact words were, "Adults should eat adult food."

I remember dismissing her, and secretly eating them as guilty pleasures. At some point later, I was eating one bowl of it, and realized that I didn't like them anymore. Just flavored water and some not-so-great noodles. Wow, it's been a long time since I had one of those. I wonder how much trouble I'd be in if I tried to sneak them into the grocery cart?

I think tomorrow I'm going to spend some quality time cleaning up this place. Seriously this time. I mean it.

Spoke to Logitech again this morning with a progress report of my troubleshooting. The prognosis? The amplifier is dead/damaged. I received an RMA number (for you virginal online shoppers out there, that's return merchandise authorization), and I should mail in my speakers' control pod. In two weeks, I should get a new set of speakers. Interestingly enough, they don't carry the Z-560's anymore, so they're sending me the Logitech Z-5300, a 280-watt 5.1 surround system. I don't know if I like them, but since I don't have to pay extra, and I'm getting an additional speaker out of it, I guess it's okay. Still, they aren't as powerful as my old ones.

I suppose 280-watts vs. 400-watts doesn't really matter. Sigh.

John Kerry? Again? New Hampshire?

Monday, January 26th 2004

Who's the chef? That would be me. Last night, I made chicken fajitas. Picture it: chicken and mixed peppers (red, yellow, green) sauted in a pan, with hot chipotle sauce and Corona beer. Wrapped in jalapeno and cilantro tortilla wraps. Not bad, eh? Num suggested the Corona beer, and it was definitely a plus.

Tonight, I made beef with mixed peppers and onions, picante sauce, creole seasoning, over rice. Damn good, I must say.

Been watching a Cops marathon on FX, updating my investment accounts in Quicken, and creating more forms for the NYIIA.

You know, my friend Leena moved into her new house a while back, but she hasn't been updating her site with pictures of how the decorating is going. For those who like to waste time on the Internet while at work, we, ahem, they, would like to see some pictures of the decorating-in-progress. [Hint hint!!]

Sunday, January 25th 2004

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Dave Chappelle selling Samuel L. Jackson bear

I need to get back to basics here. I've really been slacking off on the pictures. I've been to 2 get-togethers since Friday, and I didn't bring the camera once. Even my friend Regina needed to say something to me on Friday: "You've really been slacking off since the wedding."

Thanks, Regina, you ignorant slut. :)

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Law & Order

It's Sunday night, and we're watching Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central at the moment. This show is so wrong. I should watch it more often.

Speaking of shows, I'm adding Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit to my list of favorite shows. Num got me into it, and I'm really digging it. Been watching the reruns on USA, and it's a pretty darn good show. I like the balanced ensemble cast. We watched a whole 4-hour marathon Saturday night. It was crazy.

My computer speakers seem to be dead. I'm not sure what's happened, but I went on the Logitech site and wrote to customer service. I'm only getting very loud static out of the left front speaker, and nothing out of the others. I mean, LOUD static, like the entire signal for the 4 speaker and subwoofer are all going through the one speaker. I've hooked them up to Num's laptop, but it's the same. Have I worn them out already? I bought them June 2003, and I've been taking care of them, so I don't believe I blew them out. I'm going to wait until I hear back from Logitech. I'm not quite ready to buy a whole new set of speakers. They were nice speakers too -- 4 speakers and subwoofer, 400 watts. Dammit, can no set of electronics handle me?

Friday was my coworker Theo's last day. We went to the Tikki Room on 21st & 5th Friday night to celebrate with him. Saturday was my cousin's son's (Andrew's) birthday party, so we did that whole thing (seriously, not one picture.) I'll have to ask my cousin for some copies. We also did some shopping at BJ's price club. Sunday was church, more grocery shopping, and then I took a nap. I'm happy to say that I didn't watch the Golden Globes at all. I'm staying away from all award shows this year.

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Robert Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo)

Did you hear that Captain Kangaroo died? Robert Keeshan died at age 76 this past week. I used to watch his show when I was growing up.

Before I get some sleep, my buddy Gary has started a personal website. Check out his always-interesting (I'm just being nice) views on

How is this cat so tired all day? We've never seen an animal so tired from sleeping.

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Final note: looks like my India trip has been deferred, as per the client's request. Possibly 2005. Dammit. I really wanted to go. I'm even almost all vaccinated. My boss mentioned going to Mexico again, so we'll see. Why is business travel so peculiarly unreliable?

Thursday, January 22nd 2004

I had my annual review yesterday. I got a good review! Bonus? Raise? Please, please, please. I've got 4 kids to feed.

I hate to admit it, but I'm listening to Britney's latest album on Rhapsody. For the most part, it's actually got some good tracks. There are some good dance beats on it. Does that mean I'm turning into a 14-year-old girl? Sigh, my mom always warned me about this exact thing happening.

I hate bills. I just scheduled my next 6 bills through Quicken, and I just watched the funds drain from the checking account. That doesn't even count the rent bill, which I'll have to mail out next week. I recently had some dental work done to replace my old fillings with new ones. My HMO will only pay 80%, so guess who's stuck with it? And just to add salt to the wounds, remember that we dropped the Honda off to get checked out? Well, it was some fuel circulation problem in the engine, and the extended warranty doesn't cover this. Total cost of the parts and labor, plus an oil change? An unexpected $389 bucks.


Today was my father-in-law's birthday, so after picking up the car in Union, we took him out for dinner to Famous Dave's on Route 22, then went to see Big Fish starring Ewan McGregor. An interesting movie, but it really dragged at times.

NASA has lost contact with the Spirit Mars rover? Dammit! You know they're not going to be able to fix it.

Tuesday, January 20th 2004

Back-to-back meetings for most of the day, so I missed lunch. My stomach was very unhappy with me.

Num's been having this popup problem on her laptop: I couldn't find the adware that was installed. I knew it was from using Morpheus P2P file-sharing, but we had uninstalled it months ago, but we didn't get all of it. I tried Lavasoft's Ad-Ware, but it didn't fully work, because she still got popups. We already installed the Google toolbar, which worked most of the time for website popup ads, but she still got these ads. That's when I knew there was some sneaky software installed somewhere, loading up ads. Visiting You'll get a popup ad about savings at Officemax.

I tried ZoneAlarm tonight (personal firewall that you can download a trial version), and I saw all the ad sites being blocked. The ZoneAlarm product has ad-blocking, and you won't see the ads, but you'll still get popup windows, albeit blank windows. Still annoying, if you ask me.

Finally, I went to C|Net's, and they had a listing for Spy Sweeper 2.2 from Webroot Software. I ran the sweep, and lo-and-behold, I found the GAIN software, and a bunch of others. Yes, a bunch. I quarantined them all, and so far, no popup ads. Num's taking a nap for the moment, but I'll ask her to try it out, let me know if we finally got that ad crap off her computer.

Man, all this for popup ads.

I really want Tivo, but it's not going to happen until they start selling models with dual-tuners. What's the big deal with having more than one tv tuner? Well, with only 1 tuner, if you want to record a show, you can't watch a show on another channel. The best you can do is watch content you've already recorded. I suppose it's doable, but I find it limiting, and I don't want to spend $700 (device, lifetime service fee, wireless adapter), and be limited. If they start selling dual-tuner models, then I'd be more comfortable with the purchase. Come on, how many times did you want to watch two different tv programs at the same time? What's the point of spending all that money, and you still can't do that?

Putting Tivo aside, I think I found a new item for my Wishlist: the OmniFi Digital Media Streamer. I was reading PC World, and they mentioned it in an article on Most Innovative Hardware Products. It's basically a digital audio receiver (DAR), and I could stream audio from my PC -> through the DAR -> to the home entertainment system. Have a big MP3 collection?

Ahhh, see the point? Now you want to know what's special about the OmniFi? Well, I stopped collecting MP3s, since searching the P2P sites was annoying (and you had to allow ad software on your computer--see how it comes back to popup ads?) I've been using Real Network's Rhapsody music service, which streams whatever music you want to hear to you. According to the PC World article, the OmniFI will allow you to stream Rhapsody music to it.

Ahhh, see the virtues? Instead of just listening to the radio, or your puny CD music collection, you can use your MP3 collection. But wait! you can listen to the radio, your CD music collection, your collection of MP3s, AND an online music service with a catalog of over 300,000 songs.

I love technology.

Monday, January 19th 2004

Took Num to school this morning @ 6:30am. I spent 15 minutes chipping away at the ice on the car. Argh. After dropping her off, I went back to bed, then went to visit my buddy Gary, and to work on his troublesome computer. Then we had lunch. Yum.

Picked up Num, we took a nap, then went to her parents' place for dinner. After dinner, we dropped off the Honda to the dealer for servicing. The "Check Engine" light has been on all week, and that means something is wrong with the emission system. In the meantime, we're borrowing Num's old Corolla from her parents.

Now I'm waiting for my laundry to finish up in the dryer, and I'm going to bed. Is it me, or am I always doing laundry? I don't even have that many clothes.

Sunday, January 18th 2004

Never left the apartment. How sad. I will say that I did get very far in my book Enchanters' End Game by David Eddings, I beat a new campaign mission in Warcraft 3 (it's been a long time since I even played), and I've learned how to make Adobe PDF forms. Check out my registration form for the NYIIA's Annual Audit Seminar coming up in March. Now people can type their registration information directly into the form, then print it or email it in.

I even made the new-and-improved titles for the sessions. Been a little productive today, eh? Still, it's 3:11am, and I really should get to bed.

Saturday, January 17th 2004

I must say that I felt the past week went awfully fast. Also, I can't believe we're off on Monday. We had the day off last year, but I totally forgot. To me, it's an impromptu 3-day weekend. That's nice. I think I'll sleep in.

Damn cable tv is still having problems. I wish they'd just find this "cracked cable" and fix the sucker. I started watching The Apprentice on NBC Wednesdays. I think it's interesting, because of the business/career slant.

Today was a busy day. First, I packed up my computer, speakers, and other peripherals, and made my way down to the heart of New Jersey. I attended my first-ever LAN party. Those in attendance were my buddies Doug, Adrian, and Doug's big brother Mike (who now lives in NJ, and who was hosting the party.) Don't know what a LAN party is? Basically, a group of people get their computers together in one place, and play a whole slew of multiplayer games. Once we got set up, we played Battlefield 1942 and Medal of Honor: Allied Assault the entire afternoon. Throw in pizza, junk food, soda, and a wee bit o' booze, and you've got yourself a party. We're hoping to make this a monthly endeavor. It's fun to get the guys together and kill Nazis.

In the evening, I rushed back, and Num and I went to visit our friends Tom & Mary, who were having a little get-together. Very nice.

Wednesday, January 14th 2004

Snow? Enough to close the office? No. Enough to make commuting to/from work a hassle? Perfect. I swear that if I didn't have work to do tomorrow, or have two important meetings scheduled in the morning, I'd call in sick. Well, I don't know, but I'd sorely be tempted.

My train was delayed about 30 minutes as we sat on the tracks this morning. I actually felt it odd to be calling my boss at 8:50am, letting him know that I'm running late. Before 9am!

After work, I met up with Mr. Doug for dinner and drinks. We ended up at this midtown Irish bar, and we just sat and BS'd and ate, and generally got caught up. It was nice. I haven't seen him in a long while. I guess marriage and work and that whole settling down thing will do that to you.

I apologize in advance to my friends, who I haven't been hanging out with much. I've just had lot of pressing stuff on the brain. I'll try to get out from the domesticity of life more often. Maybe I'm just turning into my parents?

BTW, Chaney is finally out, but Lenny Wilkens? Lenny Wilkens? He couldn't even take it in Toronto.

Monday, January 12th 2004

I made it to the office today by 8am sharp! Now, only 11 1/2 more months to go.

Watched Alien: Director's Cut with Num. She thought it was alright. I guess she's only into creepy psycho women with supernatural powers....and bad hair styling. Yes, I'm talking about The Ring.

Finally, here's an interesting news story that piqued my interest. When I moved here, I used All American Moving & Storage (based in the Bronx.) A rather sneaky, shady company, I do believe. They did a fair job of trying to rip me off during the process. Anyway, they're in the news again. On Sunday, three employees stabbed their boss to death after work. Classy.

Sunday, January 11th 2004

Must go to bed. Must be in the office by 8am, or earlier. Must be a professional.

Went to my parents today to visit, and set up a new printer that Julie and I got him. He's been bitching about having a printer for a while. Julie (yes, not me, but Julie) picked out an HP 1110 scanner/printer/copier device. It's not bad. I had a few issues with getting it recognized, and I had to reinstall the software. What's weird is that it took 6 minutes to install the HP software, but nearly 30 minutes to uninstall. How is that possible?

My family also gave me some belated Christmas gifts: some cologne, and Julie got me Family Guy Vol 1. (seasons 1 & 2.) Pretty great!

This past Saturday night, we went to a CSI carol service in Staten Island. It was okay. I'm not much into carol songs, especially in January.

This weekend, Num & I rented 3 movies: Old School (Num loved it), The Hulk (eeeeeeeehhhhh), and we still haven't see Alien: Director's Cut. Later this week. Oh, finally, I spent an inordinate amount of time working on my little site. Fixed up the Google search the way I like, plus added search boxes on all the remaining pages, added some new tricks to make my administrative life easier (an INCLUDE thing so I can change just one file, and that change will be shown on multiple pages-- an admin's dream!), and updated the photo galleries.

An admin's work is never done!

Thursday, January 8th 2004

I think tonight's episode of Friends sucked. What was that? They might as well have said, "And now, on a very special episode of Friends...."

I got my tetanus/diptheria and Hepatitus A vaccinations today. Aren't I special?

Anybody out there borrow my Terminator 2: Judgement Day Special Edition DVD recently, or a few months ago? I want to rewatch it, and I can't find it. I have a glimmer of a thought that I lent it to someone, but I don't remember who. If you borrowed it, please return it!

Oh, about that woman in Ohio who lied about winning the big $162 million lottery, but losing the ticket. You know, I feel bad for her. I really think she's gotta be dealing with a lot of personal demons in her life. A never-ending mountain of bills, low income (I had read that she has 3 jobs, including newspaper delivery), 7 kids, etc. Desperate people make stupid decisions sometimes.

You know, a few years ago, I probably would have just said she was a bad person, what nerve she had, how greedy, etc. Now, I just empathize with her situation. Desperate people.

Alright, that's enough sermonizing from me. It's 12:38am, I have big meetings about the India audit tomorrow morning, and I'm still typing up issue sheets from one of my current audits, and I really need to get it done. And get some sleep!

Tuesday, January 6th 2004

It's 2:55am. I'm just going to stay up at this point, get to work early. Like 7am. You know, I'm tired already.

Staying up tonight, I have to say that there are some really bad infomercials out there. I stayed up late Saturday night, and around 3am, all you got are infomercials. How many times can I feign interesting in the Miracle Blade 1000/2000/3000, some trolley/cart thing, Ronco's stupid rotisserie (and now cutlery), and what did I see finally? A commercial about metal detectors? You mean I can make a hobby of walking a metal detector around, looking for old coins? And then the guy shows an antique ring that he "supposedly" found, and later gave to his wife.

What a bunch of crock.

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Reflecting Pool memorial

Looks like there's finally a decision on the World Trade memorial. Two reflecting pools on the footprints of the towers. That's nice.

In entertainment industry news, Courtney Cox is pregnant. Num actually went "Yeah!" upon hearing the news. What's with women and pregnancy? The hip-hop group B2K has split, citing egos, uh, I mean, various disagreements.

I've got a question for the masses. Is it okay to admit that your wife beat you up? I was wrestling with Num, and playing dirty as usual, she grabbed and twisted my nose rather fierce. Shoving her, I was about to get my just revenge when I felt my nose getting all drippy inside. Fearing the worst, I grab a tissue, and sure enough, a bloody nose. I spent 40 minutes pinching my nose, waiting for the bleeding to stop.

My wife gave me a bloody nose. How embarrassing.

Monday, January 5th 2004

Average Joe 2. Bah.

It's official. I'm heading to India next month! I've been waiting and waiting, but I got the go-ahead today. I'll be in charge of the Information Systems piece of the audit we're performing in New Delhi next month. Joel in New Delhi, with a bunch of auditors, for 3 weeks. How exciting, and I'm responsible for developing the IS audit scope, who to interview, etc, etc. I'll have to remember not to screw up.

Speaking of work, I had this Philly Cheese Steak rolleto (basically, a rolled up pizza) from the cafeteria today, and the cafeteria was a buzz of activity. I guess everyone was in the office today, and were avoiding the drizzly rain outside. Anyway, I'm walking past the registers with my Philly Cheese Steak rolleto and a small bowl of marinara sauce. Guy in front of me slows down, I speed up, and his left arm comes down for no apparent reason.

Result? He splashes his hand straight into my marinara sauce, all over his sleeve, etc. Moral of the story? Keep your damn hands out of my marinara sauce. I don't know if that's the best moral of the story, but I had to eat a very dry Philly Cheese Steak rolleto today.

Chirag, I'm still reading your script, dude. Sorry for the long wait, but there's always something coming up. I've been reading it on the train though, so I'll be done by tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4th 2004

Alright, the weekend is over. Let us weep.

I finished the Honeymoon pictures, and they're up. Okay, I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do, but we couldn't take pictures of the shows, and I didn't want to take pictures of the other passengers like a tourist. Also, we just did a lot of sleeping, reading, relaxing, etc. It wasn't that fascinating to deserve a picture.

I will say that it was a most enjoyable and relaxing trip, and I'm glad we went. Check out the Trips section.

I almost missed it, but what's this about Britney Spears getting married in Vegas? And now she's already pursuing an annulment?

Saturday, January 3rd 2004

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It's Mothra!

Wow, 2004.

It's 2:30am, and there's a really bad Godzilla-style monster movie on Sci Fi, called Rebirth of Mothra. In case you don't keep up with this stuff like I do (?), Mothra is a big flying moth-like creature that is a contemporary of Godzilla. Anyway, it's a bad movie. The reason that I bring this up is that, watching this movie, I started checking out Godzilla movies on Barry's Temple of Godzilla (a long-standing expert site on all things Godzilla), and I read the review on King Kong vs. Godzilla [1962.]

Yes, I've seen this movie. Yes, King Kong and Godzilla actually duke it out in Japan. No, it doesn't make any sense, but when you're a 7-year-old boy, you don't care.

What I found humorous was the original title of the movie: Kingu Kongu tai Gojira. In Japanese, King Kong's name is "Kingu Kongu." I just thought it was funny.

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Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Yesterday, we got a buffet lunch at our favorite Indian local restaurant Natraj Palace ("I told you man. The dinner buffet is on Wednesday and Thursday!"), and then we went grocery shopping at Stop & Shop in Clifton. In the evening, Num endured Gladiator. Her verdict? Not bad. For an action movie, I suppose that's the best I'm going to get out of her.

Last night, or really, this morning at 5:30am, I finished Wizard's First Rule, the 1st book in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I started reading it while on the beach in Costa Maya during the honeymoon, and 800 pages later, I finished it this morning. Thank you, Mr. Doug for giving me this book for Christmas 3 years ago. I finally got around to reading it, and it was well worth it. Now I just need to buy this Stone of Tears book, the 2nd in the series.

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Another fabulous dinner

Today was another relaxing day, and we never left the apartment. Here's a picture of the dynamics: In the evening, I was up for an early dinner. I voted for Hamburger Helper, but Num wanted something a bit nicer. I said okay, but you gotta make it. What does she make? Pork chops with caribbean seasoning, her patented onion-flavored potatoes, and peas with pearl onions. Sorry you vegetarians, but that was a damn fine dinner. Here's a picture of my plate.

What else did we do today? Oh, she worked on the school yearbook, I watched Toy Story 2, did some more cleaning up, and I also did some more rearranging. I swear that I'm never going to be done around here.

Is it really almost Sunday? That only means Monday is right around the corner, rearing its ugly head.

Thursday, January 1st 2004

Happy friggin' New Year. Another quiet New Year on the Ipe homefront. 3rd year in a row where Num and I had a quiet New Year's eve, where we had a nice dinner, followed by a big "Movie Night." Actually, our fancy dinner last night turned out to be a lot of her French toast, but it was damn good.

Yeah, we're weird and quirky. Something you didn't know?

Last night, we watched Six Degrees of Separation [1993] and My Fair Lady [1964], but only finished it this afternoon. Tomorrow, we're going to watch Gladiator [2000], and possibly get more from Blockbuster.

Alright, I'm watching Starship Troopers on FX, and there's no time like the present to do my recap of 2003.


  • I proposed to my girl!
  • I guess she likes me, because we got married too!
  • My cousin Shaun got bit by the marriage bug, and he got married in November. Yee-haw!
  • My sister Julie started her last year @ St. John's. Soon, she'll be graduating and (hopefully) be a functioning citizen of society.


  • I'm officially a certified IS Auditor. Does it mean much? We'll see. Looks nice on my business card.
  • I'm still trying for a promotion. Will it happen? I don't know, but I'm gonna keep trying in 2004.
  • I went on my first international trip without my parents watching over me. It was an audit in Mexico, but I survived without getting sick, being mugged, poisoned, or killed.

Just Me

  • I'm finally leaving the Church of South India. Nothing personal, but I just don't feel like I fit in there anymore. I want my church to be more involved in the community, and that's something, IMHO, the denomination as a whole is not ready for. Some of them have formed their own faction that's really Malayalee-centric, and more exclusionary. Sad. We're joining a nice Episcopal church in Nutley, only 15 minutes away, and they're awfully nice.
  • I'm just glad there haven't been terrorist attacks on US soil this year. They probably keep trying, but we keep shutting them down. Let's hope the good Lord keeps them at bay in 2004.
  • I still can't believe that stupid blackout happened way back in August. What a massive inconvenience, yet no rioting or looting happened. Good job, America!
  • My home is really becoming a home, thanks to a little person we call Mrs. Namita David Ipe. If you haven't been here in a while, you should come over and take a look. We have curtains, real furniture (who knew?), a real home theater system, and I'm finally putting up artwork and decorative fixtures.
  • Speaking of decorating, I'm getting handier with doing home improvement, like installing ledges and pictures, curtain rods, etc. I've never done home improvement before (sorry Dad), but I'm learning now. Now I just need a bigger toolbox.
  • Speaking of self-improvement, I'm getting much better (and a bit more confident) in the kitchen. I'm still not much good with the oven, but I'm getting better with the stove. I wonder if I'll ever be a master of the grill?
  • I got some quality cycling time in this year, gear and all. As soon as the weather warms up in March-April, I plan to call up my buddy Gary for some distance riding in the wilds of New Jersey. If possible, I'll start training on my own at least twice a week.
  • I have to say that the Matrix sequels were let-downs (especially Revolutions), and LoTR: RoTK was NOT a let-down. It was fantastic.
  • Check out that "Joel's Wishlist" section the right. I've nearly gotten everything on the list this year. Now I just need to get Tivo. Hmm, maybe in 2004, if I'm lucky. It's a big investment, so we'll see if I can justify it to Num.

What to look forward to in 2004

That's all I can think of at the moment. What do I look forward to in 2004?

  • I going to study for the CIA (certified internal auditor) exam and certification.
  • Maybe a promotion? I wouldn't hold my breath, but I'm really going to work my ass off this year. Maybe I'll have some good news in 2005 for you all. We can all dream.
  • I'm sick of getting into the office late almost every day. I want to get in early, and get out early. I resolve to get into the office by 8am every day, 5x a week, and leave around 4:30pm, so I can have a nice evening at home. That means no more late nights.
  • All the big bills (school loans, etc.) should be paid off in late 2004, and then we're going to start saving up for a downpayment on a house. We'll be living here for the next couple of years, but I hope to have a castle of my very own in a few years. It's all tentative, but you have to dream. I think I've mentioned that already.
  • My ass is getting bigger. Recently doing some jogging during my honeymoon, I realized that I'm getting out of practice. When it gets warmer in March-ish, I'm going to start cycling and jogging at least 3x a week. I've done it before, and I hate being out of shape. I don't need a gym membership to get back in shape. I need to get ready for bikini season!
  • I hope to do more travelling for work in 2004, and maybe some more international too.
  • Speaking of travelling, I'm going to India in August for some weddings on my wife's side. Also, I haven't seen my relatives in India since 1995, so I need to put in some quality family time.
  • Tivo?
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Jennifer Love Hewitt & Garfield

That's it. Hope you enjoyed it, and got some more insight into the mind of Joel.

Did you know they're making a Garfield movie? I didn't know it, until I found out the teaser trailer is already out. Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt star in it, as well as an all-star cast. Comes out in 2004.





Dining Table and chairs
--Christmas gift from Num!

Wine Rack
--Christmas gift from Julie!