Monday, August 16th 2004
Okay, I'm still packing, and it's 4:55pm. Say it with me. "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can."
See you in September!!!
Sunday, August 15th 2004
I feel like my whole weekend revolves around getting a new shower curtain liner.
Let me explain. I'm doing alright, but we're in the 4th quarter, with 10 minutes to go in the game, and if I'm going to score, it'll have to start now. There's still a lot to do around here, like cleaning up the bathroom, vacuuming the carpets, etc. I've made a constantly-revised To-Do list. Everything keeps changing, to being completed, to new items being added, but "Buy new shower curtain liner" is still sitting there, waiting to be checked off in my PDA. It's hanging over me like impending doom. My God, I hope I don't get an anxiety attack.
Yes, I get anxiety attacks. Since elementary school, I think. Hmmm, I should add that as a trivia item.
Anyway, it's Sunday, I already missed church, and I still have things to do. It's not all that bad, but I gotta fly around New Jersey today, and make like Cinderella at home. Some additional undershirts, the infamous shower curtain liner, haircut at Supercuts ("Nooo!"), getting some wedding digital pictures reproduced for the families in India, etc. I have the list.
Not to mention cleaning, packing, and final organizing before my sister stays here the 2+ weeks.
Does anyone want to go to India for me?
BTW, my friend Leena survived the hurricane, which is always a good thing. Good job, and glad to know you all are safe and sound.
Watched Mystic River over dinner, and I understood everything until the very end. Then I got confused.
Took an impromptu nap between my folded clothes on the bed from 1:30am to 4:40am, but I'll done packing now. I'll just have some minor things to do when I get back from work. I plan to take a deep sleep when I get on the plane tonight.
Woke up a little late from my NyQuil-induced coma (Comedian John Pinette jokes that it's the "Sniffling, sneezing, how the hell did I end up on the kitchen floor? medicine"), but made it to the bank (last minute money to launder) and the post office (to hold our mail). I then drove up to my parents' place (after forgetting to pick up my shirts -- guess where I'm rushing to after work on Monday!) to visit, and pick up my new disposable suitcase. My Dad went to Macy's on Wednesday for their luggage sale, and made it for the "Doorbuster" part of the sale from 9am - 11am. He picked up a 29" pullman suitcase for $35. Yeah, uh huh, 35 bucks. You like that?
Don't underestimate my Dad. And Indians. Also, somebody buy me some ice cream.
They gave me last-minute advice, some clothes to give away in India, and then I was off with luggage in tow to BJ's at the Palisades Center mall to get Mach 3 razor cartridges, but spent 20+ minutes jostling for position in the parking lot with very rude people to get a parking spot. I hate this mall, because you just can't get parking. Not that you can't get decent parking, but you can't get parking. People were jumping in, even though I was right behind the person, reversing into just-opened spots behind them, etc.
I get them, because I had thought it was cheaper in bulk. Turns out, when I got home later that evening, those 16-count razor cartidges are a whole $0.10 cheaper at BJ's. Yes, $1.80 per cartidge at CVS vs. $1.70 at BJ's. Also, why the hell am I using a razor that costs $1.70 a cartridge? Has anyone stopped to think how much it costs? Anyway, buying a 16-count at BJ's saved me $0.40.
I'm never doing this again. At least I picked up more Bounty paper towels, Powerbars, and Listerine PocketPaks.
Still seething from the pain-in-the-butt parking situation, I drove a BBQ at Tom & Mary's house. We all had a very nice time, and I took some quick pictures. I really should ask people to sit in more portraits.
On the way home, under the threat of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Charley, I drove to Garden State Plaza to get some last-minute clothing. After an hour, and $199, I ended up with a suddenly-expanded wardrobe collection from Old Navy. Went to Gap briefly, but they only had one pair of nice khakis in my size, but I noticed a red stain. They tried to convince me to buy it at discount, but I said, "Hmmm, yeah, but it has a stain." Nice try.
More cleaning in the bedroom and dining room, revised my packing list (I invariably forget to packing something on a trip), played/fed Missy, and conked out sometime after 4:45am.
Friday, August 13th 2004
Friday was a half-day, but I had to stay late to catch up on my work. It's not really an audit, but not only am I helping organize for my department's move to our building across the street later this month (although I won't physically be around for it), but I need to finish packing up my office stuff in boxes before I leave on Monday. I'm taking a half day, but I don't think I'll be leaving at noon. Bah, I gotta make up time anyway.
Anyway, left work around 1:15pm, got home, drove up to Fort Lee, because our wedding photographer needed a negative for our album (Thanks Leena for overnighting your negatives!), then back home to get some cash (Hello, ATM), a late lunch (Hello, Subway), and two last movies before I'm in India (Hello, Blockbuster). I watched LoTR: Return of the King. We all gotta work, but let me relax a little. I put the volume up real high, and ate my sandwich while the subwoofer made my butt vibrate. On some days, you should sympathize for the people downstairs. :)
I also picked up Mystic River also, but I'll have to watch that tonight while packing. I stayed up watching Tivo'd stuff, and washing/folding all my laundry. I hope I don't get anything dirty, because I washed anything that could be worn by somebody, someday, on some trip. I took some NyQuil at 12:20am, and I got super-groggy at 1:15am, so I left all the folded clothes in the living room, and collapsed on the bed.
Thursday, August 12th 2004
Okay, so tell me today has not been an usual day. First, my boss schedules a team meeting for today, and he orders pizza, salad, sodas, etc. I'm not saying he's not a nice guy (he is!), but we don't exactly do this all the time for a meeting! What else today? Oh yeah, I bought two Yankees vs. Tampa Bay tickets from a former coworker. Loge Box seating for the Sept 9th game for Num and me. I thought it would be a nice suprise. I hope she likes baseball, or it's gonna be a long evening out in right field.
On the train ride home, Paul calls to inform me that NJ State Governor McGreevey admitted to having an extramarital affair with another man, and announced his resignation. As this sounds way too fantastical, I call him a liar, and wait until I get home. Sure enough, BAM! It's true. I did NOT see this coming.
In other news that demonstrates that the Catholic church is not where I want to be, the church has decided they want to pick on little girls now. A girl who can not medically consume wheat asked to have a gluten-free wafer for her First Communion. The church says "Nope! Gotta have wheat!" So another Catholic priest offers to secretly perform the First Communion using a rice wafer, but now the bishops are crying foul.
I highly doubt Jesus' purpose to have Christians partake in Communion was to promote carbohydrates. What irritates me more is that this happened to another little girl in 1975, and she left the church because of it. Is having wheat in your wafer really all that important, in the larger scheme of things?
I'm still sick. Bought NyQuil, so I plan to knock myself out tonight.
I'll leave you all with a funny story. Radio station KTU does this weekly War of the Roses prank. Basically, if you think your mate is cheating on you, the DJ's will call up the "suspect" and pretend to be some company, and that he/she has just one a free bouquet of roses, and it can be delivered to the person of your choice. While you're listening, the "suspect" will hopefully send the flowers to you. If he/she rattles off some other guy/girl's name, you got them!
On the way to picking up my shirts this evening, I heard the latest one, and it cracked me up. Isabella calls up, and says she suspects her dogwalker of a boyfriend is seeing someone else, because he's been distant, etc. They call him, inform him of his free bouquet prize, and ask him who to send it to. The dogwalker starts rattling off the name of someone named Dottie, who lives on the Upper East Side.
Isabella, rather pissed, starts screaming at him, and he starts coming up with lame excuses.
"Uh what? What's going on? Isabella? How much did you hear?"
Wait, gets better. "Uh, it's for a Shih Tzu I walk."
"For a dog? You bought it for a dog? How stupid do you think I am?"
"Wait, no, not the dog. I walk her dog. She....was depressed, so I thought I'd cheer her up."
He kept digging himself into a big, fat, hole. Seriously, worst lying ever. Well, check out the WoTR page for 5 great ones in their archive.
Wednesday, August 11th 2004
I'm starting to feel sick. A sore throat is developing, and there's a gentle hint of a stuffy nose about to happen. Right before I'm stuck on a plane all the way to India. How convenient.
I rejiggered the Family and Trip gallerys. When I get back in September, I'm going to add more photos to both galleries by raiding the family albums. That should give you folks something to look forward to.
I just watched Grease. What's the big deal with this movie? I didn't find it all that enthralling, and fast-forwarded through the song-and-dance routines. And why was the car flying in the end? I did like Stockard Channing as Rizzo, as I thought she was the only interesting character.
Tuesday, August 10th 2004
Chirag had some reflections on what's going on regarding Afghanistan. Calling it The New Forgotten War, he writes about how Afghanistan has been put on the backburner, and I'm glad there's someone else who feels the same way I do. I am totally incensed to see this Administration start something in Afghanistan, then turn it's focus to waging war in Iraq, without finishing the 1st job. We have, what, maybe 24,000 troops there? Didn't Richard Clarke state that there are more NYPD than U.S. troups in Afghanistan?
If and when there's another homeland terrorist attack, or fighting breaks out somewhere else in the world, don't you think the U.S. government is going to prematurely pull troops out of Afghanistan? If that happens, who's looking for Al-Qaeda chiefs? Who's stabilizing that country? Poppy growth has already grown dramatically, and Afghanistan is becoming the #1 producer of poppy (and ultimately, heroin). Afghan warlords have their own militias, and are now vying for the presidential elections. Taliban forces still attack in the western & southern regions.
If we don't pay attention to Afghanistan, then it could very well turn into a failed state. Chaos will prevail, the Taliban will roll back in, and we'll eventually have to go back in....again.
Missy urinated on the loveseat again, exactly where I like to sit. I have a feeling she is trying to tell me....that she wants me to kill her. The cushions are being decontaminated, and the cushion covers are air-drying at the moment. She gets me so mad. This is the 3rd mess I've found since Sunday. What the hell is her problem? If she wants to tell me something, she should write me an email.
I got so irritated, I was glad I was going jogging anyway. I came back, and ate an entire box of chicken nuggets. Since Sunday, I've been eating like a pig. I don't know why, but I am hungry. Last night, I sauteed some sliced beef (usual amount I cook for Num and myself), an entire onion, and an entire green bell pepper. I was going to save half for dinner tonight, but I ended up eating the whole thing. And this morning, I had eggs and bacon, and for lunch, I had a Wendy's spicy chicken fillet and a classic 1/4 lb. burger. I didn't think I'd eat dinner tonight, but there went the chicken nuggets.
I'm like a voracious black hole, sucking all the food out of the refrigerator. It's not like I'm snacking or anything. I'm eating large meals. Maybe my body just needs fuel.
BTW, I don't think my sneakers are a big deal. I was hoping that $84 sneakers would add a nice bounce to my stride, but they just feel like sneakers. Thanks, Nike, you friggin' thieves. Next time, I'm just going to wrap burlap sacks around my feet. Hmm, I think that actually happened on an old episode of I Love Lucy.
Monday, August 9th 2004
Some quick highlights.
In the TV/Entertainment world:
In Joel's World:
I received some additional pictures from Saturday's skydiving bonanza. Check the Friends gallery. Also, I've started another Easter Egg page to catalog all the Joel Trivia that has been revealed, and yet to be revealed! You know where to find it.
Sunday, August 8th 2004
Dropped off some minor stuff to my father-in-law, who is heading to India tonight. I also did a quick run of laundry, because some of the stuff that had to go today....well, Missy urinated on. If she wasn't so cute and loving, I'd throw her out the friggin' window....with enthusiasm. Clothing smelling clean and fresh, dropped them off, and then came back to go riding. Did 25 miles, attacking hills with gusto. Made it back here in exactly 2 hours, and now my thighs are rebelling against me.
I gotta go help my friend with her computer again (stupid Microsoft Windows), and then that's my evening. Ooh, let me tell you that last Friday was big for me. No, not the skydiving. I was more excited about something else.
So, I gained a pound by last Monday, right? [See August 2nd entry]. Well, I weighed myself on Friday at the office, and I lost 3 pounds! I couldn't shut up about that the entire day. Screw skydiving -- I lost 3 pounds!
Saturday, August 7th 2004
I'm alive! Disappointed that you can't attend an auction for my stuff? :) Too bad, because my wife and the cat get everything.
Friday [When I Jumped Out of a Plane]
Suprisingly, I drove to the office, and got in at 8:45am. I say "surprisingly", because I don't usually get into the office until 9:30am by train. I should credit the light Friday morning traffic. Anyway, 7 of us made out to Long Island Skydiving, exit 68 on the LIE (way out there) by 2:45pm. After eating 3 chili dogs from a roadside vendor, signing a myriad of forms stating that I won't sue them after I'm dead, and watching a video about the risks of skydiving (hosted by a fellow with a 2-foot long beard), I was ready to jump out of a plane.
We got our quick tutorial about what to expect, and I got harnessed up. Guess what? I went first! Sitting in a cramped (and what looked to be thin aluminum), the pilot, my coworker Jorge and I, and our two instructer/tandem-jumper guys circled up to 10,000 feet. After my guy attaches his harness to me, he asks me if I'm ready. I wasn't nervous at all -- I was actually pretty serene. Gazing out the window of this cramped plane (no seats) onto Eastern Long Island and the ocean occupied me. Then the door opened, and the cold air hit me.
I'd say the only part that could scare you is the reality of what you're embarking to do as you put your right foot onto the outside platform, and wait to step off. Also, I'm hoping that I didn't tune out too much, and I don't forget any important points. And then? I stepped off. Freefall was fast, and my guy spun me around a few times, and some flips. Then about 60 seconds later, he deployed the chute. I got to steer a bit, and do some twists and curls, and then we landed...perfectly, I might add. Afterwards, everyone commented that I came down like a bullet. My guy did that because he saw that I was enjoying the whole experience.
Eventually, the rest of my coworkers jumped (and landed on their butts or face, mind you -- who da man?) and everyone finished by 6:45pm. Now, I was getting late, so no time to BBQ with everyone at one of my coworker's home. I jumped in the car, and drove all the way back to Jersey. Fed Missy, played with her, and then got ready for clubbing with Teena & RoseAnn at Suite 16.
Friday [Clubbing at Suite 16]
I did get parking about 6 cars away from the place on 16th St (and 8th Ave), but I was parked perilously close to a fire hydrant. Still, I dared the NYPD to tow me. After getting the run-around from the idiot, muscle-headed bouncers (with no one waiting to get in at 10:45pm behind me), they let me in like they were doing me a favor. Again, there was no one trying to get in, and I found Teena, RoseAnn, and RoseAnn's posse of people (Upon reflection, I don't really want a posse of my very own. Too much to deal with).
The place was pretty okay, and got crowded around midnight. I just didn't like the BS from the bouncers (checking CitySearch comments, turns out it's a regular feature). We all left around 3, and then Teena & I went to Cafeteria to get something to eat (I didn't eat dinner yet). It's 24 hours, so if you need eats, and are in the area, 7th Ave between 17th & 18th.
A bit more sober, I think I got home around 5am, and just passed out in the bed. I didn't even bother to change, or take out my contacts, so yeah, damn tired.
Saturday [The Recovery]
I spent Saturday recovering, watching tv, running errands to pick up photos, drop off shirts, etc.
Here's a story for you. I stopped at The Mall at Mill Creek in Secaucus to check out sneakers at Modell's. As I'm about to enter the store, some woman is running through the mall, screaming "Stop that man!", and I notice a guy running ahead of her. A bit confused, I hesitate, wondering what the hell is going on. Meanwhile, a voice in my head goes, "He steal her purse? Boyfriend/girlfriend fighting? WAIT! Go stop him!" So, I take off after him. He runs out the mall, through the parking lot, and more guys join the pursuit.
He keeps running through the parking lot of the nearby Olive Garden, and I think "Hey, he's reached Route 3 (3 lane highway, major traffic each direction), and he'll stop. Now we got him." Nope. He runs through traffic, cars slamming on the brakes. He jumps the concrete divider, and goes through another 3 lanes of traffic, hops a fence into someone's backyard.
We all stop, huffing and puffing, and I'm thinking, "Dammit! If I didn't have a cell phone, keys, wallet, etc. all precariously about to fall out in my stupid shorts, I could have turned up the juice and tackled him." Meanwhile, another guy asks me what he did, and I go "Hmm, I....don't know. That girl just said to stop him." She finally arrives, on the phone hysterical, and she has a purse. What gives?
We ask her, and she goes, "I don't know. My grandma just started shouting to stop that guy." I'm going, "Grandma? and this girl doesn't know either?" Walking back, I find "Grandma", and she's talking to mall security. Guess what? She's in a store with her little grandson, turns around, and sees this guy masterbating next to her grandson. An f*$#^& pervert, wandering the mall, looking for kids. I gave a description to the mall security guards, and then went back to Modell's. Seriously, if I was unencumbered, I could have got him. The rest of the guys running after the perv were seriously out of shape, and I was running with my hands keeping my wallet and junk on my person.
I'm still kicking myself over this. Ah well. Anyway, no cool sneakers at Modell's, so I went to The Sports Authority, but nothing really caught my eye there. (BTW, they're running a Buy 1 pair, get the 2nd 50% off). I need nice running shoes. If anyone can recommend some other stores (Foot Locker? Others?), I'd appreciate it.
In the evening, I took a nap, and then visited my parents. I ended up watching Tivo'd shows until 4:30am, then went to bed.
Thursday, August 5th 2004
Any Knight Rider fans? The first season just came out on DVD on August 3rd, so keep your scanners peeled (a little KR humor for you).
What a nice surprise -- Num called me this evening, and she's doing well. Confidentially, I'm a little down that she's not here, but don't tell her. It'll be good to see her in 2 weeks.
This evening, I went to see I, Robot with Doug & Greg. Guess what? It was a lot better than I thought it would be. For a summer blockbuster, it was a lot smarter, and tried to be a bit philosophical too. I may actually buy it on DVD when it comes out.
Okay, this is my final entry before I jump out of a plane tomorrow. I've always wanted to go skydiving for years, and now's my chance to really fly. I almost did it in Hawaii 4 years ago, but it didn't work out. Now, this is my chance. Either everything goes well, or I get splattered on the ground.
See you later -- here or the afterlife. Back tomorrow, I hope!
Wednesday, August 4th 2004
This evening, I channeled my inner geek to help a friend with her computer -- freezing up, slow, the usual annoying computer symptoms. Guessing it was either a trojan worm/virus or spyware (and hopefully not general MS Windows malfeasance), I burned a cd with Norton Antivirus 2004 (for viruses), Lavasoft Ad-Aware 6 (spyware removal), and Norton Internet Security 2004 (firewall, antivirus, etc). 15-day trials available for download, thank you very much. After 2+ hours, I am happy to report the computer seems to be alive and kicking.
Who da' man?
I came home, watched Cold Case (one of Num's favorite shows, and I'm starting to agree), and ate Weaver Honey-Battered chicken nuggets. Hmm, finger-lickin' good. Sorry, but I really like them. Want to see something funny? At this moment, I just goggled for "Weaver honey-battered chicken" to see what came up. Check out the results. Weaver should make me their new spokesperson.
Tuesday, August 3rd 2004
I'm really enjoying The Grid and The 4400. I love watching all the spy/counterspy intrigue on The Grid. What I also like about it is that it isn't just about "the good guys" and the terrorists painted with broad strokes. There are the heroes, the villains, and plenty of people in the grey, especially in the Muslim community. I think it makes the drama a bit more realistic. Too bad it's only a "limited series". I'd watch this on a regular basis, but I guess they couldn't sustain it financially. You've got so many groups working to stop the terrorists -- NSA, CIA, FBI, MI:5, and MI:6. All very cool.
As for The 4400, well, there's nothing like a show by Star Trek alumni. :) Although this miniseries is over next Sunday, the ratings have been so good that there's talk of making it into a regular series. Hell, there are 4400 alien abduction returnees -- you could just do a show about every one of them.
Wow, time flies. Mary Kay Letourneau is being released tomorrow, after serving 7 1/2 years, and she and her former student are "going to take things slow". Ah, young love. [Sorry for the joke.]
Also in the news, the two murderers who stabbed an elderly couple to death, who have been on the run in Georgia since Monday, were caught by police along the Georgia coast. The culprits? Two teenage girls, and one of them was victims' granddaughter. Revolting.
Hmm, before going to bed, I caught Howard Stern interviewing M. Night Shyamalan earlier this week. I didn't see the whole interview, but they kept referring to his 88-acres of land in Pennsylvania. Wow, I would hate mowing all that. Also, his Shyamalan's wife Bhavna was there. I know my wife's out of the country and all, but damn, his wife was super pretty. You should have seen Stern's reaction when she walked in the door, and she's already popped out two daughters. Evidently, Bhavna was the first Indian girl M. Night ever dated, and he ends up marrying her.
I'm just saying....you don't see too many Indians on TV or radio, so let's appreciate the love any way we can get it.
Have I mentioned that I'm going skydiving Friday afternoon? Yup, a bunch of coworkers are leaving at noon (summer half-day Fridays), and driving out to Long Island to do it, then some of us are BBQ'ing at someone's house. As long as I don't break an ankle or anything, I'm going out Friday night with a few friends afterwards. Looks to be an eventful day!
Monday, August 2nd 2004
My wife has departed the building. I dropped her off this evening at Newark. Actually, I left a little earlier than usual today (2:15pm) so I could get home to help with laundry. Anyway, she's gone, and I'm stuck here with the cat for the next two weeks.
Saturday was Sunil's wedding, and pictures are up. Almost everyone in the gang made it there. Afterwards, I went cycling, and I focused on just hills. In case you were worried, my body is feeling great. However, I did weigh myself today, and I'm back up to 177. I could ignorantly wonder how I stepped backward, but I had fries for lunch and pizza for dinner on Friday, rice for lunch at the wedding, chinese food (General Tso's Chicken, pork fried rice, an egg roll) for lunch on Sunday, rice pudding for a snack somewhere in there, and spanish rice with my steak chimichanga Sunday night.
Yeah, I wonder how I gained a pound after falling way off the wagon this weekend. Still, to sin is delicious. :)
Oh yeah, Sunday. We finally made it to church after missing it for two months straight (too hard to wake up 30 mins early for the summer schedule), I put together our new baker's rack (wedding gift cards, yeah!), then we went out for dinner at Mexicali Rose (Hmmm, chimichangas!), and to see The Village.
What else to say? Oh, I spent an inordinate amount of time today fixing up my Friends photo gallery. I reordered all the pages, created a new simple mini-menu, and changed all the links in old archived news pages. Now, any Friends gallery links will take you to the exact page for the event.
Good for me.
What else? Hmm, the U.S. military is still working on directed-energy weapons. I think they're pretty cool, and I can't wait to set my phasers to stun.
BTW, regarding all the Orange alert warnings going on in NYC, Washington, and Newark (Newark?!?!?!). You fundamentalist bastards trying to kill us can kiss my black ass. Our freedoms will endure.