Main > Joel's July 2003 News

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

Wednesday, July 30th 2003

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Gigli: Affleck and Lopez (but you knew that already)

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There's hope for all of us guys

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"The Simpsons Already Did It"

August is just around the corner. Soon, the summer will be over, and I'll be back to wearing suits every day. Sigh.

In entertainment news:

  • According to Reuters, Gigli is "one of the biggest turkeys of all time." Wow, what an endorsement. Ouch.
  • Vern Troyer, of Austin Powers fame, is getting married. Who knew?
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov is joining the cast of Sex and the City as a fling for Carrie. He's still around?
  • In a testament to all of us overweight guys, Heavy D lost 135 pounds, because he wanted to.
  • For the Harry Potter fans out there, Newsweek has published exclusive info and photos online about the next Potter film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban.
  • I know you've heard, but Bob Hope died. I just thought I'd mention it. They laid him to rest today. Sigh.
  • I love those Hollywood weddings. David Gest and Liza Minelli (daughter of Judy Garland!) have separated after only 16 months of wedded bliss. Weren't they going to have a VH1 reality show based on their lives a short time ago? Oye.
  • I just saw the latest GAP ad featuring Madonna and Missy Elliott. It sucked. What a sellout.

Num and I went up to my parents' place for dinner and chit-chatting. Wasn't too bad, but my Mom unfortunately shared her opinion on mixed marriages to Num. Folks, I don't make this stuff up.

I can't find the digital camera anywhere. What kind of idiot am I to lose that in a small apartment like this?

Man, I haven't seen South Park in the longest time, but I just saw the Season 6 episode "The Simpsons Already Did It." Even if you aren't a fan, here's the synopsis: Professor Chaos (okay, it’s just Butters) returns with brand new, super evil, schemes to wreak havoc on South Park; unfortunately, the Simpsons have already done them all. Meanwhile, a super secret ingredient helps Cartman’s “Sea People” evolve at an alarming rate. Stan, Kyle, and new friend Tweek, costar. Kenny is still dead.

I could not believe the amount of semen jokes that were used. Also, Butters seems to have a breakdown when all of his plans to destroy the world have already been used in Simpsons episodes. Yeah, Simpsons episodes. What a riot. Ah, good old-fashioned classy semen joke humor too. Gotta love it.

Tuesday, July 29th 2003

I got back from Great Adventure around 9:30pm. It was...pretty okay. We didn't have the "let's hit every ride" mentality going into the park. Instead, we worked on just relaxing. Going on a Tuesday, using a Sprite can, we basically spent about $25 each for our tickets (Buy One, Get One Free deal), and that made me feel pretty good. We did rides like Medusa, Superman, etc. Lots of rides had broken down, so that kinda blew. What really wasn't worth it was the 90 minute wait on line for Superman Ultimate Flight. It was interesting, but really not worth waiting all that time for. Here are pictures of the Superman ride:

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How you start
How you ride
In flight


I did bills when I got back, and now all my info in Quicken is up-to-date, which makes me feel more comfortable. Not comfortable when knowing how my bills seem to add up every month, but at least I know where my money is going (I gotta cut down on eating out. Ouch!)

That's about it. Here are some choice lessons to remember, a la The Simpsons.

10 Great Bits of Wisdom From Bart Simpson's Blackboard Punishments
1. "There are plenty of businesses like show business."
2. "I will not torment the emotionally frail."
3. "Beans are neither fruit nor musical."
4. "Goldfish don't bounce."
5. "Organ transplants are best left to professionals."
6. "They are laughing at me, not with me."
7. "Nobody likes sunburn slappers."
8. "I will not eat things for money."
9. "I did not see Elvis."
10. "I will not trade pants with others."

Sunday, July 27th 2003

It's about 1:09am, and I'm doing laundry. Clothes are in the dryer at the moment, but should be done by now. A few more minutes in there shouldn't hurt while I post my latest news.

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My tux, but different vest and tie (see below)

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The platinum vest and tie

Friday, I was hoping to go riding, but I was so tired that I just crashed at home. Saturday morning, I went riding around Montclair-Bloomfield-Clifton, but it was all a 90 minute rush, because I had to get home by 12:15pm. We had to reschedule our next week's dance lesson to this Saturday (only 2 days since the last one), and I had to get home and shower and stuff. I made it to the practice (a few minutes late), and then we went to pick up Doug at the Hoboken PATH station.

Why? So we could go check out tuxedos in Rockland. Dropped off Num @ her parents', and Doug and I drove up (after a pit-stop at Wendy's on Route 17) to the Nanuet Mall in Rockland to visit After Hours. That's where I'm registering all the groomsmen and myself, including the ringbearer. With Doug's help, we picked out our tuxedos, got measured, etc. Rather painless.

Doug and I went to visit my parents (just my Dad, because my Mom left for work by then), and I gave him the 10-cent tour of the place, and we chatted with my Dad. Around 6:45pm, we left so I could drop off Doug back in Hoboken so he could get home. The rest of the evening was pretty laid-back, since I needed some vegetation time.

Sunday morning, I picked up the fiancee, and we went to St. Paul's & Resurrection for the 9am English service (ooh, too early), but the interesting part was that I brought my bike. See, Num needed some time at the house to do stuff, so I had about 2 hours to kill. So, I dropped her off, suited up, and headed out. I have to tell you that I hit an all new milestone today. With two water bottles, I sailed through the local roads of Wood-Ridge, Lodi, Rochelle Park, and then Paramus.

Yeah, Paramus. Once I saw the Garden State Plaza mall, I also saw signs for Ridgewood. I wondered, "Could I make it all the way to Ridgewood? How cool would it be to call Num, and tell her I was at the church we're getting married at?" Well, as of today, we're getting married in 2 months. With Ridgewood as my goal, I peddled! Pedal, pedal, and some more pedalling.

Hmm, candy.

12 miles out from Wood-Ridge, in about an hour, I was staring at the Christ Church in Ridgewood. I gave her a call, and of course she didn't quite believe me. Not quite. But anyway. I went to Stop & Shop across the street for 2 more bottles of water and a 3 Musketeers (my favorite candy bar) for energy. I snacked in the parking lot, noticed that it was just beginning to drizzle, and I thought about how friggin' far I really am.

Time to head back before I get soaked. Like a cyclist posessed, I put shoe to pedal, and did the 12 miles back to Wood-Ridge in hour, and I beat the rain. 24 miles in 2 hours, with 2 ten-minute breaks, is pretty darn good for me, and a milestone, I think. I also voluntarily choose some steep hills along the route, because if I want to get stronger, I need to push myself. Pretty good day, I must admit.

The upcoming work week is pretty short for me. I'm off Tuesday, because Num and I are going to Six Flags Great Adventure. On Friday, I have a half-day, and as soon as I get back, we're leaving for Maryland and Virginia for some family functions on her side. Family dinner on Friday night, a boat cruise on the Potomac in DC on Saturday, another dinner on Saturday, and maybe some sight-seeing Sunday. I should be back Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, July 24th 2003

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4:16am, my apartment

Yeah, that's right. It's 4:16am, almost Friday morning. I'm not sleeping tonight, because it was already late, and I have a 9am meeting. If I sleep, I'll oversleep, and be late for that meeting. It's okay to be late to work sometimes, but not to a meeting that your boss is attending. There's a difference between quietly being late, and rubbing it in your boss' face.

So why did I stay up late? Well, after work I went to see League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with Doug and Adrian. The verdict? Eh, kinda dumb. I'm not sure where it failed exactly, but the story lacked punch, and sometimes events that happened left you scratching your head.

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Say Anything

Interesting enough, I finally saw Say Anything Wednesday night on HBO, starring John Cusack. It's one of those classic 80's movies, but I had never seen it until now. Well, I didn't think it was all that. Go figure.

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Doctor Octopus

Oh, big news in the Hollywood movie world. The teaser poster for Spiderman 2 (coming out next summer) is finally out. It's on the Sony site, but I'll give it to you anyway. In case you didn't know, it's Doc Ock. Ooooh, nice, but he looks awfully young. They've even got some early info on the movie's plot. Take a look. Here's some additional info on Doc Ock's tentacles.

Any Lord of the Rings movie fans? Annie Lennox will be singing the title song for the upcoming movie. Annie Lennox?

This week has been fairly quiet at work. Just the usual stuff going on. I haven't studied as much for the CIA exam that I wanted to, but I'm really going to try to get some studying done this weekend. I've got 3+ months left, so I better get crackin'. I'm looking forward to the beautiful weather this weekend. Later today, I hope to go cycling around the nearby areas (maybe Clifton.) On Saturday, Doug and I are going to check out tuxedos. I guess this whole wedding thing is for real, huh?

Why, oh why, are they making a spin-off tv show about the Matt LeBlanc character of Joey next year? Why? Why, why, why?

In great news, it turns out that ice cream is incredibly bad for you. Here's a quote: The study showed some of the worst ice cream concoctions are dripping with more fat and calories than a full one-pound rack of ribs, two 12-ounce New York strip steaks, or nearly three McDonald's Quarter Pounders. How awesome is that? Argh, but I like to treat myself to ice cream once in a while. I guess "once in a while" is the important part. Still, every time I have an ice cream sundae at Friendly's, I'll have all this womanly guilt in my head. Case in point, here's the rundown on one of my favorite Friendly's sundaes: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

--> Vanilla ice cream topped with creamy peanut butter sauce, hot fudge, marshmallows, whipped topping, sprinkles, and Reese's Pieces tipped the scales at 1,470 calories and 28 grams of saturated fat. Oh, the pain, the pain!

And here's a little funny "Joel Story" for you. "Joel Stories" demonstrate that I'm an idiot. Okay, today after the movie (LXG) ended at 8:10pm, I walked all the way to Penn Station to catch my train with plenty of time (no running necessary!) I walkin , I (seemingly) see that the Montclair train is boarding on track 2, and I walk onto the train. 25 minutes later, I'm reading, and the conductor announces that this stop is....Brick Church.

I sit up straight. "Brick Church?" "Brick Church?" That's not even on my line. What train am I on? I get off the train, but look at the map before I run off the train. I'm in East Orange. You know how some towns have a "bad part" of town? Well, East Orange is all bad.

I step out into the hot July night, in the middle of East Orange, and my cell phone is dying. Also, I have 50 minutes until my dance lesson at 10pm. I found a police officer, and asked him where I was exactly. I called Num, and luckily she was home. She picked me up in about 15 minutes, and I escaped East Orange NJ. Phew. How did I end up on the wrong train line?

It's 5:43am, I've still got 30 minutes until I need to get ready, and Missy is camped out behind my chair for some reason only known to her. Time to do my bills, then go get ready for work.

Man, I'm tired, and I didn't get to work yet.

Tuesday, July 22nd 2003

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Lance in the middle of the "peloton" (the pack). He's wearing the yelow jersey.

A little clarification on Lance's performance is needed, because I got too excited in my haste. Lance has been the Tour de France leader for a while, but he finally won his first stage this Tour on Sunday. What's pretty amazing is that it happened after he fell once, and almost fell a 2nd time. After winning the stage, he said his adrenaline just kicked in, and he zoomed beyond the entire pack.

Of course, some critics are complaining about the USPS sponsoring the American cycling team in the Tour. It's odd, and the Postal Service is losing a lot of money each year, but I guess it's just plain old advertising.

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Rotting in Hell at this moment: Odai and Qusai Hussein

Alright, big and extremely great news came out of Iraq today. U.S. forces located and killed Odai and Qusai Hussein, Saddam's sons. I can tell you how thrilled I am to know that these two rats finally got what was coming to them. I remember reading a Maxim article a few years ago about Odai and Qusai for the first time. How these two murderers had a free reign in Iraq to kidnap, rape, torture, and murder.

Your time is up, boys. Enjoy rotting in Hell.

In some good news, I'm not sure if everyone was keeping up with the Reading Rainbow news. I know I was, because I used to love that show as a kid. Anyhow, Levar Burton (producer and host) has been imploring for funding, since they're running out of money, and don't have merchandising deals like other kid shows. Well, here's the "good news" part ---> at the recent Television Critics Awards held Saturday, Reading Rainbow won for Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming, and that's not even the best part. During his acceptance speech, Burton mentioned that a corporate sponsor recently came in with $2 million to save the show. He also told critics that PBS funding from Congress came with a stipulation that "Reading Rainbow" needed to be funded. I'm glad some other people realize how important this show, and reading in general, is for young kids growing up. I know reading changed my life growing up.

That's right, I love to read. This love affair started in 4th grade. Here's your peep into Joel's life.

How I Got Into Reading

Interested in some neat scientific facts? MSNBC has a list of 101 Amazing Facts about the Earth. Also, Australian astronomers have concluded that there are 70 sextillian total stars in the known universe. That's a 7 followed by 22 zeros, and it's 10 times as many grains of sand on all of the world's beaches and deserts. Wow.

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Latrell Sprewell, no longer a Knick

Wait a friggin' minute, the Knicks are trading Sprewell to the Minnesota Timberwolves so we can get Keith Van Horn. Van Horn sucks. I'm sorry, but the Nets didn't want him anymore, the 76ers didn't want him anymore, so now we'll take him? Oh, good decision.

Work wasn't very interesting today. In the evening, I found out that the car stinks. Why? I'm not exactly sure, but it must have something to do with spilling nearly an entire gallon of water in the car trunk, and all the cardboard backing for the trunk floor is wet and nasty. I got the water jug from Saturday's youth picnic, and it must have opened up sometime Saturday night or Sunday during the day.

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Car trunk floor, and it stinks.

Like that funky wet cardboard smell? Neither do I. I took out the trunk bottom, and it's currently drying in the apartment building hallway. Not my apartment's hallway, because seriously, it smells.

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Madness in bulk!

Why was I in the car tonight? Ah, I was running out of supplies, so the fiance and I made a run to BJ's in East Rutherford for my household supplies, and even a little detour to Popeye's for a quick dinner. You can see I went to a price club, because no one else in their right mind would be selling 33lbs of cat litter, or that much Cheer laundry detergent. It's madness!

Finally, maybe my cat's problem is that she thinks she's a hermit crab, or a snail, and she's just in the constant search for the right shell.

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Cat on the half shell?


Monday, July 21st 2003

Armstrong's taken the lead! Alright!

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Sunday, July 20th 2003

It's a good weekend when your body is hurting, right? I mean, from going out, not from getting beaten up by a gang of grandmothers.

It's Sunday afternoon, I'm all achy, and I'm watching a recap of Tour de France (beautiful scenery!) This was the 2nd week, and Lance is still in the lead, but he's really struggling this year. I've never watched it until this year, but it's kinda interesting this year (for obvious reasons.) Now that I'm trying to do more than just tool around town, but working on my endurance, I've started to empathize on how buff these guys really are. They're diesel.

Speaking of riding, I did some serious cyling this weekend. But first, let's go chonological here.

Thursday night was our weekly dance lesson. For the first time, our instructor Steve said we're looking better now. That definitely lifted our spirits: last week, we saw this couple who were getting married (married by now), and had been taking lessons twice a week for 3 months, and they looked pretty good. Here we were, 3 months of lessons, and our instructor was still stopping us, wondering what we were doing. Maybe we're finally getting it? It's probably all my fault anyway, with my two left feet.

Friday night, Num and I drove to North Bergen to see Down With Love, a Zellweger-McGregor movie. It came out a few months ago as a 60's-style movie, like the old Doris Day movies. I've never seen a "Doris Day movie", but I'll take the old fiance's word for it. It was...okay. The twist 2/3rds of the way through was absolutely ridiculous, and made the whole movie suspect for me. But whatever. It stars Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, and even Tony Randall (in a small role.)

BTW, I went to the website, and I like that they're playing a Frank Sinatra song ("Fly Me To The Moon"), because we often dance to that (and "Strangers in the Night") at our weekly dance lesson. Just for fun, I did one of their online tests to see if Num is in love with me (how girlish of me.) Shut up. The good news is, "She's one smitten kitten." Guess the wedding is still on. Anyway, in the mood for wings, we drove down to Mountainside NJ to Famous Dave's for their awesome wings, and I got some rib tips and fries too. We didn't finish it all, took them home, and I polished off the ribs and fries just now for lunch today after getting back. I'm getting out of order. Continue reading the update.

On Saturday, I picked up Tom from his house, and we drove up to the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY, to this year's church youth picnic. We brought our bikes so we could do a little riding when picnic activities slowed down. We did the grilling, played some volleyball, and then went riding in the mid-afternoon. Tom got tired out with all the steep park hills, and I continued on my own. The park isn't that big (in terms of paved road), so I quickly made my way out of the park, hung a left, and kept going. I nearly made it to Bedford and Rte 137, turned around, investigated some other roads, and even breezed by a bewildered faun and his/her mom. Bikes aren't as loud as cars, you know? I coasted thisclose to it!

In the evening, Num and I met up for dinner with her parents (the future in-laws) at Delta's in New Brunswick for some good old-fashioned soul food. I had the smothered pork chops. Hmm, pork chops. So good.

Rather sore this morning (from yesterday's riding), I somehow managed to wake up (a little late), packed up, and drove down to Gary's home (with my bike and gear) to go cycling with him. We were supposed to go Friday afternoon, but the weather was kinda crappy with thunderstorms looming. We finally made it (after a nice bagel breakfast), and the weather was absolutely amazing today. We did the Great Swamp Ride around the Chatham area. Check out the link, which is a pdf file, and you can see a picture of the place, and what we did. We did Loop #1, which is about 18 miles of some mighty pretty scenery. No, it didn't smell. We started around marker #1, rode through points 2 and 3, and ended back at the refuge headquarters. When we got back to his town, we got beers, and then I got home now.

It was a lot of fun, and we're planning to do it again, and maybe even the 24-mile version, which is 1-7. I better be prepared next time, and bring my camera too!

I've had some lunch, watched the Tour de France highlights for the week, and I'm enjoying my long-missed mp3s on my 2nd hard drive. Over 6 Gbs of mp3s, and I've missed them.

I saw this link on MSN about how to date your astrological sign (bogus, but always worth a read.) Anyway, it's interesting how the Taurus fits me. Here:

Most natives of Taurus tend to enjoy gardening, and like to walk through national parks and other beautiful landscapes. Therefore, if you want to show someone a few snapshots of your vacation in Yellowstone, you'll find Taurus a willing audience - within reason! Taureans are also interested in the arts, particularly music. If you can find a good rock band that both you and your new Taurus friend like, you can trade anecdotes and song preferences throughout the evening.

Not bad, I must say. Even the bit about gardening. Gardening? Believe it or not, I've started to appreciate plants. When we get our own house some day, I'm going to have my own garden. Speaking of which, I need to water my poor plants.

Wednesday, July 16th 2003

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"...paralegal, air conditioning repair, bookeepking, ...."

I have to apologize to the masses who read this site. I'm sorry for not putting up a million pictures, or updating regularly (in the past few weeks.) My bionic eyes can only stay open for so long.

First off, Theo (from work) finished taking his online courses at the Sally Struthers (or Univ. of Phoenix) and now has an MBA. In honor of Mr. Koranteng, we took him out to Scopa around the corner for lunch. Since most people from work come here to drink, everyone asked, "They have food?" What a bunch of drunks I work with.

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Kristen & Olivia: check out those personal pizzas!
You never saw such an array of beautiful auditors
George demonstrating one of my big pet peeves (thanks to Gary for pointing that out.)
In a little bit of justice, George wet his pants. Here's the last picture that I'll ever take of a man's (any man's) crotch

The news has been rather interesting this week.

  • Remember the movie Anaconda, starring Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, and Ice Cube? Well, they're making a sequel called.....Anacondas! That's right folks, now there's two fake-looking snakes to deal with.
  • I like pizza. I'm Indian. So what? Turns out, I'm not the only Indian who likes pizza ("This is brand new information!") In India, the pizza business is absolutely thriving. Now, I haven't been to India in 8 years now, and it sure is going to be a shocker when I go back next year on vacation. Pizza in India?
  • Alisha is walking! Wow, that's pretty darn cool.

Oh, last night, Num and I went over to the Ingersolls' out in boondoggle western New Jersey. Plex was going to help me get my 2nd hard drive (the original) working in tandem with my new one, and Num wanted to hang out with them. Well, it was a grand old time. We got the hard drive to work, watched too much of Angel Eyes (with J. Lo....again), had dinner, and listened to Lesh's funny stories about one very ridiculous coworker of hers.

Time for bed. I have to be at work for a 9am meeting, and Jack specifically asked me to be there on time (in a nice way.) I'm so glad he's cool, because I certainly wouldn't put up with my shit.

Monday, July 14th 2003

Heard about that NJ Train derailment? Screwed up everything today, including my travel to and from work. Everyone got sent to Hoboken in the morning, and you had to get to Hoboken to get back home too. Sucks. I'm sure it'll be screwing things up for the next few days too.

In the evening, a bunch of us met up for Plexy's birthday at Famous Dave's on Route 22 for some good old-fashioned BBQ. Really good food! No pictures, because we all need a break from cameras right now.

Dropped the bike off at my bike shop for repairs. Hope to pick it up Tues or Wed nite.

Sunday, July 13th 2003

And the wedding plans are shifting into high gear. At least the weather is good (for now.)

This week was the first half-day Friday. Lemme explain: in the summer, NYL has half-day Fridays from July 4th through Labor Day weekend, so we can leave at 12pm on Fridays. Pretty sweet, right? Last year, still feeling the consultant life, said,

"Hey, why is everyone so quick to get out of the office? Where is everyone? What's the big deal with getting out early on Friday? Don't we have to do work?"

This year? "Out of my way, I'm getting out of here!"

Man, life is too important to pass up. I'm making sure this year to get outside, away from computers, and places with 4 walls. It's better to get fresh air, get exercise, see friends, meet new people. Save the world, help orphans, etc, etc.

Also this week, we've started to wear business casual clothes 5 days a week. I've retired the suits and ties until September. So far? I'm lovin' it, naturally. I get to work, and I haven't been broiling in my suit on the morning commute. It's so nice.

To celebrate our first half-day Friday of the summer, a bunch of us went out to Chinatown for a dim sum lunch. Also, it was Olivia's birthday, and she should be taken out for it.

The restaurant's name was "H.S.F. Restaurant Group" @ 46 Bowery St. The name is important for you folks who are interested in going. I had a so-so time there, but not because of the company, but because dim sum isn't my favorite. I thought I'd give it a try, but I really didn't like how most of it tasted. It's always worth a try, right? Well, I got extremely sick that night while driving around to Short Hills Mall (to check out flower girl dresses) and Jersey Gardens (to exchange some pants), and never made it to IKEA, because I was afraid of vomiting all over Namita. We skipped IKEA, and she drove me home, gave me some Tums and some ginger ale. I conked out the rest of the night from the nausea. No more dim sum for me!

Well, you live and learn. Here are photos from lunch.

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Lucinda and Theo
Amy, helping us pick out non-poisonous food
Hmm, yum!
Were Regina and Patty THAT hungry?
me, Susan, Steve
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I couldn't resist: Check out this guy's shirt!
Wayne, Olivia (happy birthday!), and Amy
Regina and Patty, our resident party people
Joel concentrating on how to be the master of his chopsticks
The group

Saturday was mostly spent working on wedding invitations at my parents' house. It was mildly painful, but Num came along to coordinate and make sure we didn't screw up, since so many people were involved. Who am I kidding? It was just her and me doing them all. My dad answered a few questions here and there on the guests, and my mom "supervised" by talking to us. About? Absolutely nothing important, but she kept distracting us, and I kept making screwing up. Thanks Mom.

Afterwards, we drove home, I went biking for an hour, then Namita and I made a little Thai dinner: Coconut-breaded chicken, coconut ginger rice, and some spicy stir-fry vegetables. Damn good stuff, I must say. We watched The Abyss on DVD (in my personal library), which was a triumph, since she doesn't watch action or sci-fi movies. She thought it was okay.

Today, another run up to my parents, plus her parents, and we set off (with my bike in tow) down to Sandy Hook to meet up with Ranjith, Plexy, and the crew, for a day at the beach. Since I've never been to the Jersey Shore, Namita said I was finally going to lose my "shore-ginity." Whatever, babe.

Here's the best story, summarized: We're supposed to meet them at the Choke Cherry lot, but it's full. We drive to the next-door one, and try to walk with the cooler. Nope, it's closed off. We get word that Plexy and friends have just arrived, parked at Choke Cherry? Parking? Namita and I load up the car again, and drive over to Choke Cherry, but it still has the "Lot Full" sign, but people are leaving. After an hour of trying to get to the beach spot, I'd had enough. I blew through the traffic cones into the Choke Cherry parking lot.

And? Plenty of parking. Parked, and found them. I dropped off Num, and headed out to get on my bike for a ride around the area. I don't usually hang out on a beach, doing nothing, so I figured I'd get some exercise. Basically, it went well, but on the return, I got a flat rear tire. I made the call on the trusty cell phone, and Num drove to where I was to pick me up. It's definitely got a hole, so looks like I gotta get some new tires (and maybe a tuneup while I'm at it.) Afterwards, Ranjith, Priya, Pradeesh, some other guy, Num, and myself had dinner at Moby's. They all had seafood, and I had a BBQ burger and fries. Sorry, I don't do seafood.

That's about it, and now it's Monday. The first set of wedding invitations go out tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, July 8th 2003

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The Medallion

Still haven't made it out riding this week, but I'll keep trying. In the meantime, I plan to buy some additional cycling shorts and jerseys from Performance Bicycle, since they seem to have some decent deals and a selection.

Man, it was hot out today. As soon as I got into the office, I booted up my laptop, and then went back out to get a milkshake from a nearby McDonald's on Park Ave. For lunch, I went with some of the womenfolk for chinese food, but the food was only okay. For some reason, the AC went off halfway through lunch, so we all started sweating. Me especially, since I was eating Chicken with Chili Sauce, which by the way wasn't hot at all.

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My new stuff

After work, I got a haircut from a not-so-friendly stylist at the Supercuts on 3rd Ave. Afterwards, I met up with Gary and we saw Terminator 3 at the Kips Bay Loew's. Nice theater. What's funny is that I always thought Kips Bay was in Brooklyn, so I disregarded any movie listings there. Turns out, it's 2nd Avenue and 31st. Not bad. Movie was good, better than I expected, and how the climax works out was not what I expected. Since that rarely happens nowadays, I recommend the movie. Loken was also really hot, and that's professional opinion.

Speaking of movies, here's a weird movie poster I saw. It was a Jackie Chan and Clair Forlani movie called The Medallion. Here's what I found out about it:

"Described by producer Alfred Cheung as a cross between "Lethal Weapon" and "Ghost" set in the world of smuggling, this project will give Jackie Chan a chance to blend his martial arts expertise with special effects. Tagline: "Two cops who've never lost a case...are about to lose their souls."

Wasn't Jackie's last movie The Tuxedo, co-starring Jennifer Love Hewitt? What's up with this brunette thing? It comes out August 22nd 2003, but I don't know.

In other good news, my shredder arrived, and it's pretty cute. Well, cute isn't the best word, but it looks nice and the shredding engine is so quiet and nice. If a personal shredder can be cute, this is it. Here you'll see it next to my new laser printer. I hope they don't start fooling around while I'm sleeping.

Monday, July 7th 2003

It's Duke!Yes, it's been a while, but some folks around here get busy. Uh, I didn't mean that in the Barry White (God rest his soul) "I get busy" kind of way. I mean, I get busy. Anyway, look at what I found -- Duke! I remember him when I just started learning how to code HTML way back in....hmmm, 1996. Aww, I miss him too. We used to go out for drinks, and one night we met these chicks, and.....

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Slaving over a hot stove

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Check out that bread crumb action!

The weekend was pretty decent, but I didn't do anything super exciting. On Thursday before our dance lesson, Num made dinner for us! She cut up chicken breasts, breaded them, fried 'em up, and she put them over pasta with marinara sauce (with those darn hot mini bell peppers.) Wow, it was a really great dinner. She did a fabu job.

Dance practice went well later that night, and we learned the promenade with an underarm turn. I can't wait until we learn how to feed the hungry hungry hippos.

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Is that a water bottle or am I just happy to see you?

Friday, finally wearing all my gear, I went riding for 2 hours. Here's a picture of me, with an extra water bottle in one of my 3 pouches. I feel like a friggin' saddlehorse in a caravan. Apart from the perceived stupidity, it was very handy to have an extra bottle of water on a ride longer than 90 minutes. I usually finish my main bottle in an hour, and then turn back home. I rode through Montclair, Bloomfield, Clifton, Passaic, Nutley, and then back through Glen Ridge. I'd say that was a good 15 miles. The best part was riding through Nutley, and realizing that all the water before riding, and during the ride, finally caught up with me. I found the Nutley Public Safety Office, went inside, and asked the police officer if I could use their bathroom. Another officer had to escort me upstairs to use the facilities. A little embarrassing? Yes, but the relief was worth more than being arrested for public indecency somewhere else in Nutley.

Later that day, Namita joined me at my cousin Shiku and Renju's house for a family BBQ.

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I threw the last picture of Missy in, because Namita couldn't resist a picture of that damn cat. This is what she finds comfortable. Oh, anyway, later that night we decide to go see Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. I'll summarize for those of you who haven't seen it yet. It's a really dumb movie. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

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Rehearsal dinner spot?

To summarize the rest of the weekend (because it's 1:53am Monday night), I did a lot of cleaning (with some help from the future missus), and this place is looking pretty darn good. Julie came over to visit (the cat), but Missy was spooked from the vacuum cleaner, and Julie got no love from her. Saturday night, I went with Num and her parents to check out a prospective venue for the rehearsal dinner, and we went taste-testing Sunday night. The food was pretty good, so I'm hoping we select this one. You would think the bride and groom could give the final word, but you gotta wait for all the families to agree on stuff. Sigh. I hate the whole "wedding process."

Today, Namita and I had kinda planned to see the Concert in the Park this year (NY Philharmonic in Central Park), but I was kinda tired, threat of rain, I wasn't dressed for picnicking, so we skipped. To make it up, we went to see Finding Nemo, which was pretty decent. Ellen Degeneres' Dorri character was rather funny.

Well, I'm going to take a nap, and then try to make it up at 4:30am so I can go riding. After work, I'm hoping Gary and I can go see Terminator 3. Hmmm, action movie. That should make up for CA2 and Nemo, testosterone-wise.

Wednesday, July 2nd 2003

Alright, I've edited and uploaded all my pictures. First of all, here are pictures from last night's dinner at Bennigan's, in honor of Pradeesh's return to the United States, albeit hitched.

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Where's the food?
Some guy and Plex
It's like Calcutta
I hate when people do that
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Smiles all around, even though we're freakin' starving
What could be so funny?
Ah, could it be Mr. Cherickel?
I swear everyone has a digital camera these days

I really have to get that Search page updated. I bought it, but I don't think it's the best implementation for searching web pages out there. Kinda bloated, if you ask me. Especially when you start having a lot of web pages to archive, like I do.

I can't believe that Pradeesh is married now. Mrs. Bastian will be here in August. I can't believe he beat me to getting married. Pradeesh, of all people.

Ah well. I've published and put captions on the Harish/Cynthia wedding in the Friends gallery. That's all the pictures I have at the moment, until Saji can donate some from Saturday's K Lounge party, and Anand can send me the photos from the engagement ceremony itself. Speaking of which, Anand sent us pictures that he took from Anju's wedding, and I'm debating if I should ask him about reposting them here. I didn't take many photos then, and I'm regretting it now.

T3 is getting some good reviews, so I hope to see it with Gary next week. We had lunch today at Cosi on 31st and Park Ave, so that's why I say "next week." I haven't seen any movies since Reloaded. I'm hoping to see Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Finding Nemo this weekend. Speaking of the weekend, I think we're getting out @ 3pm tomorrow. I hope to get home and ride a little, but Namita and I may go to our jeweller in midtown to check out wedding bands. Do you hear that? It's the constant drumbeats of marriage pounding away.

Oh, speaking of CA2, they have animated shorts as a sort of prequel to the movie. Supposedly, after you finish all of the shorts, the last one leads to where Full Throttle starts. I haven't seen them all, but you can check them out at

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HP LaserJet 1300n

Interested in the latest news about my failing electronics? I've lost another inkjet printer. That's right, now the printer died. Although I got it in January 2003, it recently started hiccuping, printing crazy, and constantly needs to be unplugged and started up again. Today, it just completely went bonkers on Namita. Fed up, we needed a new printer. However, I'm currently on my 3rd inkjet now: lost an Epson Stylus 500 a year after purchase, the Lexmark Z53 (a gift from Num) started acting funny after 2+ years, and now the HP 3420 inkjet is gone. Considering that we have a lot of printing to do, and inkjets don't seem to be cutting the mustard, plus the majority of printing either of us do is black and white, we drove to CompUSA in Totowa (Rt 46), and I bought an HP Laserjet 1300n for a pretty decent price. I got the ethernet-ready one, so now it's sitting here, working quickly and efficiently, connected to my router.

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(l-r) Saji, Lesh, RoseAnn, Ashley, Vijay

It's pretty darn cool, and I can't believe I have my own laser printer.

Finally, Saji sent me the link to his pictures from Saturday, and he definitely did a good job getting the people that Chirag and I couldn't get pictures of. Nice job, man, and thanks for sharing your collection. I've added them to the Engagement Party pics.

Tuesday, July 1st 2003

In the interests of time, here's a quickie update:

- Engagement party captions are all done, read them on the Family gallery.

- Engagement party (the sequel) photos and captions are locked and loaded, check 'em out on the Friends gallery.

Enjoy yourselves until I can post pictures from Harish and Cynthia's wedding, and also from tonight's dinner in honor of Pradeesh and his quickie wedding in India. No, no one is pregnant....yet.






Dining Table and chairs
--Christmas gift from Num!

Wine Rack
--Christmas gift from Julie!