Main > Joel's March 2003 News

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

Monday, March 31st 2003

It's Monday morning, and for once, I'm on time for work. I'm actually still at home, waiting for the next train, eating my bowl of delectable Special K cereal.

Here's the briefest of updates, since I still need to shower and stuff.

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At Neil's apartment

On Saturday, I did go biking after all, and I went over some large distances. I wish I had an odometer or other type of trip meter to know how far I was travelling. Afterwards, Num and I went to dinner at Boston Market (well, it was raining, and we have a standing tradition of eating chicken when it's raining.) Dropping her home, I then drove into the city for Neil's party. First his place on 23rd St on the East Side, then we all went to Chetty Red three blocks away from my office. Go figure.

After that party, I took the subway to the Village to meet up with Teena and Anil, who surprisingly was in town this weekend, at Parle (or Parley...I don't remember) off of Avenue A. We went to a diner afterwards (drinking tradition, right?), and got home at 5:30am. You know it's bad when the sky is getting lighter, and the birds are already chirping away.

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Youth Bake Sale

I slept for about 4 hours, and then I drove to church to help out with the Youth bake sale. What helps is that you actually bring something, so I stopped at Pathmark to buy the paper plates and things I promised to bring. They raised a lot of money, so good job! More pictures on the Hudson Valley 2003 Photo Album (if that really sounds interesting to you.)

This weekend, I saw Kama Sutra (directed by Mira Nair) and Evolution on HBO. I'll add them to the Movie section tomorrow. I still have to post pictures from this weekend, anyway. I'll do it all in one shot. Check the Friends gallery.

And finally, the biggest news of all. Joel's life just took a huge step forward. I mean, all the families have been doing all the planning and stuff for 2-3 months or so, but I didn't think it was official yet. Not until last night, anyway.

I proposed to Num.

She said yes.

We're engaged.


Okay, now I'm running late. Dammit!

Saturday, March 29th 2003

Thank goodness for the weekend. It was so nice to sleep in today. Well, I sleep in every day, but at least I didn't have to wake up, curse, and rush to catch a train. Big difference.

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We love you, Mr. Pita!

So Namita recently bought a new scanner for herself. It's a pretty nice Epson, so now I can send her all those vacation pictures that I've wanted to scan and post in my gallery. BTW, What's up with people and weird license plates? Num and I were driving around, and saw this one on the Garden State Parkway. Who is Mr. Pita? It took a while to take a good picture. Mr. Pita got very angry that I was tailgating him in the right lane with no one else around.

Friday night, Num was able to come and help me exchange my tie. Here they are. I had originally been interested in the new tie, but there were so many choices! Oh well. The picture of the new tie isn't the greatest, but it looks better in person.

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Old tie
New tie

I had no idea that Lisa Marie Presley was a recording artist. She has a new album coming out in April. Anyhow, she did an interview recently, notably discussing her marriage with The Big Freak himself. Her opinion is that her marriage was all a plan by Michael to help his career and image. Nut job.

Yesterday, I had lunch with Tom, Sudeep, and Gary in the city. We went to Lemongrass Grill over on 34th and Lex. Gary and Thai food? Go figure, but he liked it. I first went to one on Michigan. Good food!

It's on-and-off raining right now, and I wish it would stop. I really want to go riding. Argh. Later tonight, I'm heading into the city for Neil's birthday bash, but I'm not sure how much of a bash it's going to be. I'll bring the camera.

Wednesday, March 27th 2003

No trip to exchange the tie yet. Was just busy today. You know, I didn't even realize that it was going to rain this evening, so I didn't bring my overcoat. I ended up running all the way to Penn Station in my suit, but of course I still got drenched. It's drying now, and I hope it's still salvageable.

BTW, ABC News had an interesting article about how the mind seems to work....seems that we all have an older part of the brain, and a younger part of the brain, and sometimes they come into conflict when making decisions. It's not long, and worth a read if you're into this sort of thing.

I was looking through my old news posts, and happened to look at August when I first started out. Totally different look and feel!

Tuesday, March 25th 2003

Ah, it is Tuesday. You should all know that I've been trying to sleep like a regular person every night this week. So far, it has resulted in my arriving to the office on time Monday....AND Tuesday. That's right, I've been on time to work. Let's see if I can keep the trend alive Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Two interesting sights on my way to/from work today. In the evening, I saw a big black stretch BMW 745 limo. That was odd, but cool. In the morning, after many long winter months, I saw my old friend, Mr. Unibrow. I wish I could take a picture of him for you. If you remember, he's this South Asian man with a very pronounced unibrow. It's big and bushy, and unnaturally connects what would have been two independant eyebrows.

Ah, it truly is Spring!

So, apparently Jimboy liked The Hours. I've already sent him an email, asking him to please explain it to me, because frankly...I just didn't get it.

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Notice the excellent craftmanship

After two months, I finally made it to Lenscrafters to see the eye doctor about my contacts. Back in January, I was rushing to get my contacts since the old ones were way old and worn out. I get them, but have problems with one of them (slightly blurry.) He orders a new trial contact, which takes a week. TWO MONTHS LATER, I show up today to pick up the new trial contact. Yes, I've been busy. Anyway, it feels good, and my year's supply will be here in about 5 business days.

Meanwhile, my new eyeglasses are being invented or something in Texas, and will be here in another week or two. Seriously, why does it take THIS long? I miss having eyeglasses. I've taken a picture of my Macgyveresque work to fix my old eyeglasses.

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Ah, cheap futon. We knew ye well.

BTW, take a look at the futon now. Notice anything different? Anything wrong? Something missing? Looks slightly uncomfortable now?

What? What did you say? The mattress is missing? My goodness! You're right! It is missing. What has Joel done with it?

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Damn you, cat. You're evil, I swear!

He threw it away. It was looking horrible, and I just couldn't get the stains out. I just didn't have the energy to clean it up anymore. Now, who did it?

Was it Mr. Bushy Brow? No.

Namita? Not this time.

Was it some evil, fell beast? Hmm, yes. Here she is. Looks pretty evil, doesn't she?

In other "non-bodily function" news, my black suit pants arrived today. Now I have two suits! How exciting, no? Namita and I are going back to Jersey Gardens tomorrow night. Apparently, she doesn't "approve" of one of my tie selections, and we're going to get it exchanged. Apparently, flower-reminiscent ties negate any swarthy/macho qualities I have. I hate when that happens.

Also, I'm looking into joining the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey. They have monthly meetings up in Ridgewood, and they organize rides in interesting places. Without sounding weird, I think it's a great opportunity to learn the best techniques on riding long distances, how to maintain my bike, how to change a tire on the spot, how to develop the right cadence (when pedaling), and it'll get me out there on the road regularly. Sounds like fun.

Saturday, March 22nd 2003

Saturday? Already? Oye, that went fast.

Well, I owe you pictures from my trip to the New York Life Building dome with the auditors visiting from International.

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Ah, the Empire State Building
When the elevator stops, the stairs begin
The dome...up close!
Wayne and Steve, our resident auditors
Raul, KB, Sushant, me
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Walking all around
Again, the walking
Sushant and I
The group, ranging from Mexico, The Philipines, South Korea, India, and generally Asia. Also, John the security guard. Can't forget him!

Let's see what else is going on. Thursday, I went out for dinner with ol' Gary. As soon as I got home, I changed and drove down to his neck of the woods. I had traditional Irish fare -- corned beef and cabbage. Hmm, scrumptious and bland, but interesting. I also got the tour of Gary's house, and his two cats and dog mauled me with love. Aw.

Friday evening, Namita and I went to Lenscrafters so I could get some new glasses. I brought her along, because she has very good taste. Also, I don't want to come home with new glasses, and have her stare at me in shock, asking "What have you done?" It will take a week, because the special lenses are coming from Texas. Maybe end of next week, but probably the week after. Sigh. I hate the phrase "6-8 business days." Funny enough, we (she) decided on a model from Brooks Brothers. How odd. I get my suits and shirts from them.

Saturday (today), I was supposed to go to the city to see the Int'l folks and walk around the city, but I got warned off because there were all these protesters swamping midtown. So, I was told I could stay home if I wanted. And I did! Actually, I was already in the car on the way to the city. I changed course, and headed over to Jersey Gardens, which is the largest outlet mall in the area. Brooks Brothers was running a special unti March 23rd -- 15% off everything, and 25% using their charge card. I signed up, and bought two new suits and two new ties. Saved over $200!

Afterwards, I got an oil change, a car wash, and did some minor grocery shopping (litter, cereal, milk, etc.) When I got home, I cleaned the bathroom, and was going to upload a number of pictures, but I was having trouble with my network card. After some serious troubleshooting, I declared that my NIC was dead, and drove over to Best Buy on Route 46 to get a replacement. On the way back, picked up some Chicken Lo Mein to enjoy at my convenience. The new Linksys NIC is working great. Guess the old one just died.

BTW, in case you didn't realize, I did take more pictures at Sandhya's party. They're in the Friends gallery. I just figured everyone would figure that I had taken more than just one picture!

This whole "blindness/dryness" situation is a real pisser, so I've applied copious amounts of packing tape to jury-rig working eyeglasses. For the moment, this is working. I feel like Macgyver.

Wednesday, March 19th 2003

Guess what surpise I found on the futon when I got home tonight? Yeah, that's right. I was really hoping to buy new furniture for the living room. I'm not even cleaning it at this point. That futon mattress looks like it's been in a war zone. Just don't ask what they've been using for ammunition.

So war has begun. Sigh.

I'm still working on the Search Page. I just want it to look right.

In some good news, I've been trying to get more photos for the Hudson Valley site. My recent email prompted a response finally, and I've gotten some pictures. Guess I'll work on adding those pictures tonight.

Today, I went with the NYL International Auditors (visiting for 2 weeks) to see the NYL building dome. I took some pictures with the department camera, and I'll post them tomorrow night.

Looking at the My Family page, I really haven't done anything with it. It may just have to wait until the summer.

I stayed up later than I planned, but I've fixed the Search Page. You know where all the links are, so go knock yourself out. Look up anything! Woohoo! Now this is good news. I think tomorrow, I'll make a new graphic so the link will be more prominent. Maybe on the front page too?

Monday, March 17th 2003

If I was Irish, I'd be wishing people a Happy St. Paddy's Day. However, I'm not, and don't really care.

I miss my glasses. I'm forced to wear my contacts until I go to bed. Otherwise, I'm as blind as a bat. After two days of this, my eyes are SO dry.

I've been watching Sci-Fi Channel's Children of Dune mini-series. I read most of the books a few years ago, except the last book "Chapterhouse: Dune." It was just too hard to read. The rest of the books were pretty good--a futuristic view of the galaxy in a time of upheaval, full of political intrigue between different factions struggling for power within the Galactic Empire. Sci-Fi Channel did the first book in the series about year or two ago, simply called "Dune." This new mini-series tells the combined story from "Dune Messiah" and "Children of Dune."

So far, it's interesting, and the special effects are pretty sweet.

Wonder if anybody noticed, but look closely at the "News Archive" section on the right. Notice anything? Yes, some mention of a "Search page." I'm still trying to tinker with it (like the results page colors), but it's basically working. Try it out, and see how well it works.

I updated my resume. Uh, yeah, a slow night tonight, but I don't mind.

Sunday, March 16th 2003

Okay, here's a really fast update, because it's 12:30am, I'm tired, and I need to go to bed. Bear with me, as I zoom through my weekend.

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Shireen & Sandhya

Saturday was awesome weather. I tried to go biking, but the tires were flat, and I had no bike pump. I tried running instead, but about half a mile into it, my left foot was in serious pain. One painful walk home, and I figured I'd wait until tomorrow to buy a bike pump. That evening, I went to a birthday party for Ming-Shireen-Sandhya. It was pretty okay. After a couple of whiskeys, and then four quick shots of Jose Cuervo (FOUR SHOTS!), I thought I was fine. Nuh-uh.

Around 2am, I passed out on a couch, and slept on Shireen's couch the entire night. Sandhya was nice enough to take my shoes off for me. Around 6am, Sandhya (and the dawn) woke me up. I went home, fell right back to sleep (after taking out my contacts.) Pictures in the Friends gallery

Sunday was another beautiful day in the neighborhood. I went and bought a bike pump, tried pumping the tires, but they wouldn't stay full. I took the bike to the bike shop (Brookdale Cycle in Bloomfield), and they said that I wasn't tightening "the nipple" properly. I'll tell you right now that's never been a problem before. Anyway, the tire nipple has a thing that you have to tighten also before putting the cap on.

I go home, and I was on the road...FINALLY. It was just great to ride around Glen Ridge. The town is actually bigger than I thought too. Some really nice areas, I must admit.

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My poor glasses

Did I mention I broke my glasses? ARGH!

In the evening, Plexy and Namita both came over. Plexy brought my new Red Hat LINUX sandbox (purchased earlier), and it's sitting here now. As soon as he brings over a power cable (forgot it), and I get a KVM switch so I can switch between the two, I'll be able to brush up on my UNIX skills. I plan to set up an FTP and web server. Nice, right?

Friday, March 14th 2003

I snoozed this morning. Don't ask what time I got into the NYL Datacenter this morning in the boondocks. Luckily, we didn't have any meetings until mid-afternoon. Oh, relax. I stayed late (later than everyone else, it seems) to make up the time. It's the professional thing to do.

You might say that the professional thing to do is to get to work on time, but nobody asked you.

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I'm officially a newly minted CISA!

What do I find in my mailbox, all bent out of shape? A big envelope from ISACA with a rigidity to it. Curious, I rip it open to find my CISA certificate. I took a picture, but can't find the USB cable to upload it. I'll look for it tomorrow. Anyway, whatever, my certificate is here! My first certification. Think about it. Now I get my name on the department plaque with rest of the people up there who have professional certifications and degrees.

More importantly, now I can toss out all my old business cards, and order new ones with "Joel Ipe, CISA" on the top. I may just take Num's suggestion and start dumping the old cards into those restaurant jars that ask for a business card. Might as well stack the deck, eh?

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Meryl Streep in "The Hours"

Plans tonight were the standard dinner and a movie. Num and I went out for Indian food tonight at our dear old Natraj Palace. Chile Chicken, extra spicy. At dinner, I remembered that Gary and a few others from NYL were meeting up for lunch, and were going for Indian food. I couldn't make it, since I wasn't in the office. However, it made me think of how irritating I find it that some people get really antsy over Indian food. It's too spicy, it's hot, blah blah blah.

You know what? Indian food is spicier than some other cuisines, but that's how we like it. You know, there are millions of people living in India in poverty. At least they can come home and eat something interesting. In all seriousness, I don't know why some people are afraid of Indian food. Just ask for it mild.

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Julianne Moore in "The Hours"

I also don't understand why some people (seems to be born-and-bred Americans most of the time) are literally afraid of ethnic food. If it's not a hamburger or a pizza or a salad, they can't eat it. Thai food is great, but some people are afraid to even try it. Escargot isn't for everyone, but it isn't horrible. When I first saw calamari, I was really afraid of it. Now it's one of my favorites.

Closing statement? You only get one life. Except for blowfish, most food is not going to kill you. Just try it, and you might just find out that you really like it.

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Nicole Kidman in "The Hours"

Anyway, after wasting some time driving around, we went to Upper Montclair to see "The Hours" starring a slew of actors, including Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, and Nicole Kidman. Yeah, yeah, a chick flick. It's okay, you gotta do them once in a while. I've done two or three pretty recently actually, but don't worry...the summer is coming. Think of it....Matrix Reloaded, T3, The Hulk, X2, and more. She's going to be crying before May even ends.

Jimboy found an article on the largest Cheeto ever created. He also has a link to the full CNN article. As a matter of fact, are you aware that the Treasury Department is changing the $20 bill again? Among other things, they're going to color it. Once you read the Cheeto article, scroll down to the next entry. The new bills move into circulation in the Fall.

Sorry, Jimboy, but I've got the wacky story of the day. In Kenya, three people died trying to recover a cell phone that fell into a latrine. Three little words: WTF?

Here are some random movie news tidbits:

  • Halle Berry is going to star in her own Catwoman movie
  • Men in Black 3 is in development, based on an idea by Will Smith
  • A sequel to "The Bourne Identity" with Matt Damon is in the works
  • The Borg are coming to Enterprise
  • Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott are still talking Alien 5

Speaking of Will Smith, any fans of the Asimov Robot Series out there? Will Smith is planning to star in movie adaptation of the first book, The Caves of Steel. He'll play a future Earth cop paired with a robot to solve an impossible murder....a robot that killed a human.

Tomorrow is supposed to be some good weather, so I plan to go biking in the afternoon. In the evening is Sandhya's (and Ming's and Shireen's) birthday bash. I'll be going. Hope I'm in the photographic mood.

Thursday, March 13th 2003

I was getting into bed to finally sleep like a decent human being. I stretch my feet out, and feel that part of the comforter and bed sheets are wet. That damn cat urinated on my bed. I tell you, if it weren't for animal cruelty laws, and my own morals, I would have strangled her right then and there.

So now I'm up, washing my sheets and comforter.

Now that I'm up, and I need to restrain myself from beating the cat, I'm updating my website. I'm currently trying to get this javascript search bar installed for my site. This way, people could search all the entire website for a specific word, like "cat poop" or "spleen." Once I figure it out, I'll put the search bar up.

In the news, UC Berkley researchers have homed in on 150 sources of possible signals coming from outside our solar system. Think I'm kidding? They're heading to Puerto Rico (probably Arrecibo) to investigate the signals in detail, based on 3 years of research of tracking these signals. I think that's fascinating.

I spent an inordinate amount of time this afternoon designing a cover for binders to be used in a training class next week, not to mention a nice graphic and title for the binder spine. Thanks to Steve Z. for helping, not to mention letting me commandeer his desktop PC for 3 hours.

It's 1:02am, and the dryers should be done in another 25 minutes or so. Of course, the damn cat is up and about, acting all "I love you." She pissed on my bed, and I'm still going to fall for this. Those kids of mine are going to walk all over me.

Wednesday, March 12th 2003

Welcome home, kid.

In case you hadn't heard, Elizabeth Smart was rescued today in Utah from her abductor. That's amazing news.

Okay, so the cat seems to be out of the bag about upcoming events. For the principle of the matter, I'm not saying anything about upcoming nuptials. Until I've done a certain "something", it's not official in my book.

Y'all can keep your pantyhose on.

I'm learned how to make javascript popup windows. I've successfully got them in use on the NYIIA site. Check out the Member Services page, and look on the right-hand side for the E&Y job opportunities. Click on each, and now we have popup windows.

Now, to end the "Doug Hates Michigan" saga, there is now one final chapter to end the story. After I dropped off Doug at the DTW airport on Sunday, I went home. He went through the security checkpoint, or at least tried. Remember the expired driver's license? Well, the saga continued. The expired license was a red flag, and they ended up completely strip-searching him. They took him away to a private room, and had him remove everything.

I don't think I'll ever get him to travel to Michigan again.

In my final news of the day, I got a bonus and a pay raise. Neat, eh? I'm glad, because I've been working on a lot of things for NYL this past year. I've run two training classes, done practice development work for managing our documents, created a meeting minutes template, I'm the new editor of the department newsletter, redesigned the NYIIA website, and a few other things. It's been a busy year, and that's not even including all the audit work I do.

So, yes, the money is good, but the recognition and pat-on-the-back is even better.

Sunday, March 9th 2003

It's only 12:55AM, and I have returned from Michigan (7PM.) Well, I've returned, but my baggage has not. That's right, it's finally happened: the airline lost my luggage.

That's an exaggeration, actually. For some reason, Northwest sent my duffel bag on a later flight (maybe because I was extremely close to missing my flight this afternoon.) Northwest took my home address down, and they're supposed to drop it off to me sometime tonight, between 2AM and 7AM. Right now, I'm playing with the cat, uploading Gary's Last Day pictures, and washing my laundry downstairs.

I'm awfully tired, but I'll try to give you a decent recap.


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The infamous "Cousin Paul" and we're not even related

I took the AirTrain to Newark Int'l Airport, which was convenient. From that stop, I jumped onto the monorail to take me to my terminal, which was very cool. One uneventful flight later, Paul picked me up from the airport, since I was staying at his home (with his parents) for the weekend.

On the way to his place, with two cell phones acting in awesome coordination, we were ordering pizza, giving Doug directions on where to show up, and getting the rest of the people for the evening's activities on board. Regarding Doug, it turns out that he did go visit that bitchy friend-of-a-friend of his, and they went out to dinner with some of her friends. Afterwards, she lets him crash at her house. The next morning at 6:45AM, his bitchy "friend" wakes him up, tells him that she's going to work, and he needs to be out of the house in 15 minutes.

Now, you may have noticed that I didn't write that she told him this previously. Well, that's accurate. Again, he was mightily pissed off at her. He ended up driving all over the beltway of Michigan, because he had nothing else better to do. He met up with us at Stan's Dugout over in Auburn Hills, shortly after the karaoke festivities started. We weren't participating, but there were plenty o' drunk old people getting into it. Well, it keeps the old people out of trouble, right?

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The mighty Sean

Anyway, Paul and I are still waiting for Sean and Doug. Sean is driving Doug around, trying to find him a hotel room. He ends up staying at the StayBridge Suites in Auburn Hills, which is 2 doors down from the Hilton Suites I always stayed at for 4 months while working in Michigan in 2002. Meanwhile, "Karaoke Hell" continues on until no end.

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BTW, here's a picture of the DaimlerChrysler CTC tower (prominent part of the entire CTC campus.) CTC stands for Chrysler Technology Center. This is where we were all working for most of the project. ["Doug, drive faster! The guards are catching up!"]

Once we were all assembled (there were eight of us and Doug too), we drove to downtown Detroit to the Blue Room Lounge. Now, forgive me, because I have no pictures that night! You see, we were running late, and I left the camera @ Paul's home. What a dolt! The most remarkable part of the evening, I think, was the dancing. It was an R&B club, and the music was pretty good (Ludacris, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, etc.) and our group is just drinking and hanging out in our booths. I look up to check out the dance floor in the beginning, and there is the mandatory "white kid" who's drunk and is doing all sorts of bad dance moves on the floor.

Point, mock, laugh, rinse, repeat. One hour later, I look up, and the club is packed. Wait, I'm not done yet -- everyone is line dancing. That's right, line dancing, straight out of the old Nashville Network tv dancing hour. 30 people in the middle of the dance floor line dancing to rap and hip-hop music. And yes, they were all black. How odd is that?


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Thanks, Paul. Have you no shame!

Around 1AM-ish, we start heading back. I was pretty dead tired, since I had flown in that same day, straight from work. Next day, Paul drops me off at Doug's hotel, and goes on his merry way. Doug and I drive down to Troy Michigan to meet Anil for lunch at over at the nicest mall I've ever been to in my life, The Somerset Collection. How nice is the mall? All the best stores, priciest stores, valet parking, of course. Also, one other interesting item: the mall doesn't have the traditional map of the store layout. Inside each mall entrance, you pick up a nice colorful brochure outlining all the stores.

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Anil, Doug, Joel

Anyway, the PwC crew (includingin moi) used to eat at P.F. Chang's here virtually every Monday night. Unfortunately, as usual, the wait was over 1 1/2 hours for lunch. We instead went to the Portobella restaurant. Food was decent, and I got this Cajun chicken sandwich. I may have to name my first daughter after Anil.

Maybe not.

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Will Ferrell and his date

Afterwards, Doug and I drove all the way back north to go to the Great Lakes Crossing mall to see the movie Old School. Hey, we had until 9PM to keep busy, and it was only 3PM! Okay, I just have to tell you that I haven't laughed that hard during a movie in the longest time. It's an awesome movie, continuously funny, and no gross-out humor. Everyone was pretty good, and Will Ferrell stole the whole show. Any time things were getting odd, he was come on screen, and it went off the wall. If you want a really good laugh, go see it!

Okay, I'll stress this again: my sides were hurting!

After the movie, Doug and I drove back down southward to Royal Oak (township), and we played pool for 2+ hours at Fifth Avenue Billiards. Again, as the PwC crew, we pretty much were here after dinner every Thursday night for hours. How often? Oh, every Thursday from June 2002 throughout the rest of the project. Such a fun place....2 floors of pool tables, and various live bands every night.There's even a bar on each floor.

Around 9PM, Doug and I met up with Paul and Paula for dinner at BD's Mongolian BBQ. Now, Doug doesn't try out new food much, but he loved it. I think that's pretty much a ringing endorsement.


Sunday was more bumming around, a breakfast/brunch/lunch-thing with Doug at the local Bob Evans restaurant near the airport in Romulus, Michigan, and I dropped off Doug for his flight. I drove back to Paul's, packed up my stuff, and I was back at the airport, dropping off Doug's rental car, and barely making my flight.

Barely, I said. Hence, it's 2:58AM, and I'm still waiting for my luggage. I bet my laundry is clean though. A good weekend, but I wish I took more pictures!

Thursday, March 6th 2003

It's Thursday morning, 2:08AM. Yeah yeah, I know. Shut up already.

I've cleaned a little, but I still haven't packed my duffel bag for my trip. I'm going to bed anyway, hoping to wake up early enough to pack. I already checked the times and bought my train ticket to get to Newark Airport from Penn Station around 12 noon.

In "Doug News", he has a car now. He harangued the NYS Dept of Motor Vehicles in Albany this morning over the phone regarding his situation. He was so successful, they faxed his driving history and some other paperwork to satisfy Alamo Rent-A-Car.

Did he drive to see that no-good friend of his anyway? Yes.

Will Joel slap him around for shedding his last ounce of pride when he arrives in Detroit? Yes.

That's enough out of me tonight. I need sleep. See you all Sunday night, and I plan to take some good pictures!

Wednesday, March 5th 2003

It's 2:22AM, and technically Thursday. I was supposed to be in bed 2 hours ago. Well, I gotta get up in...3 hours, so, hmmm, what to do, what to do.

Picked up the computer from Plex last night, after hanging out for 3 hours at his place. Dropped it off at my parents this afternoon, installed Office 2000, Quicken, and their AT&T Worldnet Service. Had a big fight, and stormed out. Talk about ungrateful people.

Two more days until Detroit. Doug got there this morning, but his license expired, and Alamo won't rent a car to him. Yes, he's stranded in Romulus Michigan. His "friend" out there that he's supposed to stay with until Friday won't get out of work to pick him up. Okay, I can kinda understand that, but still.... Anyway, he figured she'd at least pick him up after work.

Nope. She said it was a 1 1/2 hour drive, it's too far, and she wasn't going to pick him up. I think he cursed her out, and if any of my friends pulls that shit and ditches me, I'll curse you out the same.

So that's when he called me at 10AM this morning to tell me all this. I called my friends, but both are pretty busy today. I suggested to Doug to call Motel 6 in Romulus (near the airport), and stay there. Since their airport shuttle would pick him up, I figured he could at least have a bed and a tv. He's still at Motel 6 right now. He said Paul might meet up with him for dinner to console his poor self.

Damn, with friends like that chick, who needs them? I gave him some suggestions on taking a cab to downtown Detroit, and do some sight-seeing.

Hope he manages okay.

Monday, March 3rd 2003 Got to work early, stayed late. I just wish there was somebody at work to notice that I stayed late! Another long day tomorrow, and I'm driving over to Plexy's house to pick up those two computers I bought from him (one for my parents, one for my new Red Hat LINUX sandbox.)

Speaking of Plexy, he came over for dinner tonight. That was a nice change of pace....guests!

Did I mention I bought shoes Sunday? Yeah, my brown shoes died a long time ago, and my nice dressy black shoes looked like they'd been through hell and back. Last week, I looked down, and both soles had cracked completely through. Picked up two new pairs of shoes from G.H. Bass and tossed the old ones out. So far, so good (no scuff marks), but my feet hurt! Breaking in shoes is never fun.

Well, it's 2:26AM, and I've played with the cat so much that she's passed out on the couch behind me. If she acts up at all (you know what that means), I'll smack the crap out of her tomorrow.

Saturday, March 1st 2003

You know what would be nice? If the cat could go one week without urinating on the futon. That would be a good week. Thank you, Oxyclean! The stuff gets the smell out (a big plus in my book), but it's hard to get the stain itself to completely disappear. I'm soaking the futon stain right now.

This has been a very busy week for me. A multitude of meetings this week, visiting hotels (more on that later), another day travelling to the NYL datacenter, and other events. I was so exhausted this morning. Doug is having a get-together tonight in the city for birthday, but I'm way too tired to go back to the city tonight. Doug and I are hanging out in Detroit next weekend for his birthday, so expect some good incriminating pictures.

Friday night, Num and I went to this United Way - NYL Signature Club dinner in the city. Finally, a nice dressed-up, eat dinner with the bosses, check out the view, dinner. We ate @ The Sky Club up on the 56th floor of the Met Life building. The New York Life CEO was there too, and even came by to shake all our hands. Pretty cool. We got stuck in traffic through the Lincoln Tunnel on the way there, but we got parking on the street. I think that made up for it. Oh, not to mention the absolutely spectacular nighttime panoramic views of the city. I didn't take a picture, because they wouldn't do it justice. You just had to be there. NYC can look so beautiful. Sigh. I miss the WTC observation deck.

Saturday morning, I helped dear sweet lovely Anju put together her wedding invitations packets. I was an invitation-making machine. She's always nice to me, and I figure that's worth an early rise on a Saturday morning.

In the afternoon, Num and I went shopping in midtown, and a Thai dinner at Bangkok Garden in Hackensack. After dropping her home, I took a nap in the evening. I told you, I was tired!

One more bastard:
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

In awesome news, the CIA and Pakistani authorities captured Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Pakistan early Saturday. Keep them coming, boys! Mr. Khalid, I don't want to be in your shoes when the Army and CIA start working on you.

In "Joel finally did some work on his website" news, I've set up a 3rd page to my Friend's Photo Gallery. Check out the main page, and you'll see photos from Num's 'Semi-Surprise' birthday party, Ranjith's 'Tweak My Nipples' birthday party, and I'll be posting pictures from Gary's 'Get Out of Here' Party on Monday. Ranjith is sending me some more pictures, and I hope to put them up this week.

I can't believe it's March already. Time really flies. Well, if the weather continues to warm up, I'm hitting the open road on my bike. Woohoo!

My trip to Detroit is only a week away. You might be wondering why Detroit? Well, I was out there for 7 months, so I'm kinda familiar with the area. Also, I haven't seen my bitch (er, I mean, buddy) Paul. We met back in Florida for Leena's wedding (he's Sanjay's cousin), and we hung out while I was still working in Detroit. It'll be good to see the rat bastard again.

Ooh, that means a new entry for my Trips Photo Gallery! Alright!



Dining Table and chairs
--Christmas gift from Num!

Wine Rack
--Christmas gift from Julie!

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