Main > Joel's May 2003 News

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


Thursday, May 29th 2003

Ah, Thursday, how I love you.

It's 2:06am, and I'm about ready to go to bed. Well, maybe in 30 minutes, since I have a few more things to do.

I met up with Doug for lunch around his office (53rd and Broadway), and we chatted about life over some Subway sandwiches. I really wanted to try their new Chipotle Steak & Cheese sandwich. Not bad. You know the usual topics: girlfriends, jobs, graduate school, yada yada. It's always a good time with Mr. Doug. I also dropped off a CD of some Animatrix Quicktime movies. I already downloaded them, and it saved him the trouble of duplicating effort.

I was hoping to attend the PRINA happy hour at Shaan tonight, but since I had a dance lesson in the evening, I really didn't have enough time for happy hour AND making it back in time for the lesson. Since I'll have lessons throughout the summer, I'll have to move one of these lessons. Otherwise, it's going to kill my social life. Vib was kind enough to send me some pictures from the evening activities. It looked like a lot of fun, so if you get a chance, try to hit it sometime.

Yes, the dance lesson was good. We relearned the box step, we learned a twirl, and have started to learn "The Promenade" step. The promenade step looks really, but I kept breaking into laughter when we would start. Why? Well, you start out looking at each other, then you both face to the (men's left, woman's right), and you dance sideways. I kept thinking of an exaggerated tango, I'd hear tango music, and it just seemed funny. After the 4th-5th time, Steve our instructor (with the funny moustache, and he's now opening his shirt buttons to expose his chest hair...I mean a good couple of buttons here) didn't find it so amusing.

Neither did Namita, since we're paying a lot per lesson. I think she was on the verge of kicking me in the shins.

Speaking of living a long life, there's an interesting article on ABCNews about how to live to a 100 years old, and how do some people do it. Also today, I read a really disturbing article about how this young woman in Massachusetts discovered that her father was filming her in the nude in her bedroom. Yeah, her actual father. And you know what? It's not illegal in Massachusetts!

Okay, let's track some finances in Quicken, and then I'm going to bed. I've got the NYIIA Carnevale dinner tomorrow night in Little Italy, and a lot of people want to meet Namita. I won't look so pretty with big bags under my eyes. They'll never go away at this point.

Wednesday, May 28th 2003

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If I could be anything, I would be....a chair!

I have my own chair! I was checking out IKEA furniture for a future home office work desk, and they have Joel swivel chair. How odd. However, I must admit that previous girlfriends often state my best feature to be an "adjustable rocking mechanism for seating comfort."

I stayed up ALL Monday night. I really didn't have that much to do, but by 4am, it was a lost cause for me to sleep and then get to work on time. So I stayed up, and got to work at 7:15am. Before anyone else got there. People actually came up to me asking if 7:15 was the real time, because I like to saunter into work anywhere between 9:30 and 11am. I really try not to get there by 11, but that's happened at least twice now. I was dead tired around 3pm, so I went home at 3:30. I got home, fell on the bed, and I was out like a light. I woke up briefly at 2:30am, then went right back to sleep until the morning.

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Which is better? One....
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....or Two?

BTW, it's 2:04am at the moment, and my laundry is in the dryer. No, I'm not staying up all night again.

Mike Tyson says, considering all that's happened to him since his rape conviction, he still says he didn't do it, but would rape her now. Yes, you read that right. What an ass.

Jimboy shaved his head. I can't believe it. Here's the before and after on the left.

I'm kidding. Here he is on the right. Jimboy, kiss my ass, you look like an Islamic fundamentalist. How did you avoid getting your ass whooped by dumb Texan rednecks?

I went riding today after work. After all that rain, it was good to get some exercise. Today, I went through the nice, snobby, rich parts of Montclair, then hung a left, went up Bloomfield, and literally flew through Verona because it was all hills. Going down a steep hill is fun, but the climb back up is no picnic. Still, I did all that in an hour. Yes, it was a lot.

So the San Antonio Spurs - Dallas Mavericks playoff score is 3 games to 2, Spurs up. Man, both teams are great. I really hope the Nets can win it. They probably have a better chance against the Mavs. I remember the Knicks going up against the Spurs in '99, and it wasn't pretty. At least with 10 days until Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Kidd can rest his ankle.

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Hello, Ms. Rai

I got a neat little piece of ASCII art for you Aishwariya Rai stalkers out there. Vib sent me this one of the lovely Indian actress.

So far, this has been an awfully quiet week at work. My boss decided late late LATE Friday evening to take this whole week off. So, I'm just doing little tasks here and there, hoping that I won't try to hang myself from the boredom. I'm planning to see Doug briefly tomorrow evening, then go to a PRINA happy hour at Shaan on 48th between 5th & 6th. If you're in the area, please stop by 6pm-9pm, and they have drink specials until 7pm, free appetizers until 9pm.

Friday night is the NYIIA awards dinner buffet thing, and Saturday is all about checking out this 2 bdrm apartment in Wayne NJ, then having lunch with my parents. Namita is coming too, because we're trying out food for the engagement at the restaurant we're having it at.

I really hope my parents act like civillized people for once. It's 2:45am, the cat is climbing all over my desk, her tail is in my face, and the laundry should be done. I won't fold, because that takes forever. Let's leave it in the closet for now. Good night, you freaks. Stop staring at Aishwariya!

Monday, May 26th 2003

Memorial Day weekend. A 3 day weekend. Why is it raining? Why?

Friday, I got out early at 3pm, and went across the street to Dos Caminos to meet with Gary and few others. I was waiting for Num to take the train, meet me, and then go to dinner and a show. After a small snafu involving not getting my voicemail (about getting out early) and missing the train, we cancelled plans. By the time I was ready to go home at 6:30, I had approximately (let's count) three or four "7 & 7" [whiskey], two Jack & Cokes [more whiskey], two Grey Goose and vodkas [vodka], and a Bombay Sapphire and tonic [gin].

Now, I swear I felt fine while in the bar those 3 hours. As soon as I left the bar, oooh, the world felt a little funny. Somehow, Gary and I stumbled to Penn Station, but I think I was doing more of the stumbling. I got home around 8pm, I think.

How was I? I was trashed. Trashed, trashed, and more trashed. I like strong drinks, especially whiskey, and I think I hit a new record for that many in such a short stretch of time.

Surprisingly, Namita wasn't pissed. Boy, is she forgiving.

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Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke
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Denzel, one twisted guy
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Ethan Hawke, Mr. Idealistic

In the morning, we went to check out two luxury apartment communities, one in Watchung and the other in Florham Park. Avalon at Florham Park was nice, with garages and 3-level apartments and dens and such, but way too expensive. Too rich for my blood, you could say. I had seen somewhat reasonable prices online, but I think I mistakenly looked at one of their other properties in way out New Jersey. Scratch that.

The other place, Crystal Ridge Club in Watchung NJ, is a definite possibility. It's just....more expensive than we were planning. I mean, it's doable, but we were hoping to spend a little less. I think it's possible, but we're still going to keep looking. If you're interested in seeing what we're interested in, check out, Apartments -> Floor Plans -> The Diamond [B4]. If we do it, this is the best one that fits what we need. A separate room for my office and our multitude of books. Come on, you know an English teacher and a bookworm like me would have an avalanche of books.

Anyway, because of timetables, and not wanting to pay rent at 3 different places, we're currently planning to move our stuff (into whatever apartment we get) 2 days after the wedding. Crazy, right? Well, I don't think we have a choice. Guess I'll be packing my books and clothes right before the rehearsal dinner!

Because of Friday night snafus, we moved the dinner and a show to Saturday night. We went to dinner at Bella Napoli, a restaurant I regularly ride by when I go out cycling. On every ride, I promise myself that Num and I would go there one day and eat. We finally did, and the food was pretty good. I told the waitress that we had to get out of there in an hour, and she got our wine, calamari, entrees, dessert, and the check within 45 minutes. We were impressed, and showed her on the tip.

Hey, I hate waiters and waitresses who expect a good tip just for breathing. If you do a good job, you deserve to be rewarded.

After dinner, we went to AMC Clifton with our pre-purchased tickets (smart move), and we saw The Matrix: Reloaded. I liked it (again), but she didn't quite like it. She's not a fan of action movies, so I guess the kung-fu and car chase scenes didn't work for her.

Sunday was church where Anju and Sunny got married, and I drove up to my parents to visit. Today was some cleaning. Mostly, all the cool plans have been washed out this weekend, not that I had cool plans. I did finally watch Training Day on HBO. All I really knew about the movie is that Denzel's character is a seemingly corrupt cop. Yeah, that's an understatement. Also, my friend Evans had seen it a year ago, and said he was so depressed, he wanted to blow his own brains out. What a ringing endorsement!

An interesting movie, but I'm not sure about the end and the "coincidence." A little too coincidental, if you ask me.

Thursday, May 22nd 2003

Yet another dreary day, thanks to the overcast clouds and rainy weather. I'm still hoping the weather will clear up for at least part of this weekend. I heard it might, so let's hope for the best. I want to see about getting some sun, and going cycling would be nice. I've gone about 4 times this week, and it's a nice feeling. I love getting out of the apartment, and just clearing my head. It's also nice to know I'm getting some exercise.

Som interesting findings from on ongoing research project on babies....some researchers believe that a fetus in the womb can recognize the voice of their mother, as opposed to strangers.

For lunch, I met up with my friend Nehal. He might be my DJ for the wedding. He's got a sweet operation, so it's probably be a done deal. Nehal, thanks for coming out to the city just for lunch and stuff.

Anyone see Matrix: Reloaded? Notice that Marcus Chong (aka Tank) wasn't in it? Turns out, it was because of salary issues between the actor and the Wachowski brothers. Negotiations turned south, and now he's filed a lawsuit. Dude, what's the point?

The Nets are up 3-0 over Detroit. Paul, my dear friend in Michigan, is probably all pissed off right now. I had to resist the urge to call and gloat tonight. I might wait until tomorrow to send a stinging email.

At least Friday is here with an upcoming 3-day weekend right behind it. Even if it rains, I don't have to go to work. Num and I meeting up after work, and are going "standby" for this stand-up comedy performance tomorrow night, and she's an Indian woman! We hope to get in. If not, we'll go see a movie while in the city. Saturday morning, we're going to check out some really nice (and possibly too expensive) 2-bedroom apartments. Once we (finally!) move in together, we'll need the extra space. I just don't want to pay an arm and a leg in rent and fees.

Tuesday, May 20th 2003

Because of some "suspicious" passenger aboard an Amtrak train this afternoon, service was interrupted for most of the afternoon, and there was a sea of people flooding Penn Station when I got there at 5:30pm. I didn't get on a train until close to 6:30, and didn't get home until 7:30. I just stood for an hour at Penn, watching a lot of pissed off people.

What is boggling my mind right now is this news story about a guy who got a ticket because he was sitting on a milk crate in the Bronx. On the 10pm Fox news, I heard tonight that some woman took up two seats on a subway car, and she was ticketed by a transit cop. Yo, the city needs money, but this is turning into a comedy.

Speaking of comedy, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan have officially left Saturday Night Life. Kattan is probably doing movies, and Morgan will get his own show on NBC.

Training today went okay, but it took the entire day, which I didn't anticipate. Tomorrow morning, I'm attending a breakfast seminar on "The Impact of the Dissappearing Perimeter" by TruSecure over on the Hilton on 6th Ave. It's a free lunch, and should be interesting too. I just hope I can get my butt out of bed in time to get to the hotel by 8:30am. Yeesh.

Monday, May 19th 2003

It's 1:47am Tuesday, and here's the 10-cent tour of the weekend.

Saturday was the 2nd reception for Anju and Sunny. On Sunday, I went to a brunch at the David residence (Thai food -- yum.) Since the day was so nice, I went cycling in late afternoon after I got back. I'm absolutely loving the weather. Today after work, the sun was still going strong at 6:30pm, so I went for a ride. My new plan is to go riding every day, as long as my legs aren't killing me. I started thinking about the sedentary American lifestyle we have, where everyone just sits around, doing nothing. I don't want to be one more person.

In the late evening, I drove up to visit my parents. Yes, my mom packed food for me. Shut up.

Tomorrow, I'm attending a class on Microsoft Publisher. I do the department newsletter, and I have a few questions on the new Publisher 2002 software.

Yup, the whole weekend.

Friday, May 16th 2003

Friday? Today? Oh yeah!

Before I forget, two days ago, I was walking to Penn Station, and all these people were watching a Lincoln Navigator about to get towed. What's the big deal? I ask someone, and they point out something I didn't notice: two cops were arresting the driver. He apparently had gotten a ticket, were planning to tow him, and he didn't agree. So they arrested him, handcuffs and all.

The big and only news is that I went with Gary and Regina to the East Village to see The Matrix: Reloaded. I was a little concerned about some bad reviews, but I had to see it anyway. It's a different movie since the mystery of "The Matrix" is gone, but it's a different movie. The status of Zion, what's happening now, what the machines are doing, etc., is all there. You also learn that there are more beings in the system besides the agents and the humans. If you don't like action or kung-fu, it's not for you, because it's just chock-full of kung-fu. Very entertaining, and so is the action. Here are some scenes. I can't wait to see it again next week.

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Neo and the Oracle
Monica Belluci as Persephone, beautiful and treacherous
Morpheus fighting the twins
Nona Gaye (Marvin's daughter) as Zee
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Double the fun with Agent Smith
Awesome fight sequence, I must say
Trinity rocks
Your main characters and Persephone

Now here's the funny part. BTW, since most places were sold out, we had to catch the 6pm show at this little theater on 12th St and 2nd Ave. Had to be the crappiest little theater I've ever been to. Small, and no incline. No incline? Yes, inclines are good, because it keeps people with big heads in front of you from blocking your view of the screen. Feel my pain, please.

Halfway through the movie, I had to take a piss, but we were in the smack-dab middle of the row. And there was big stuff going on. An hour later, my bladder is screaming for mercy, and I'm about to sneak out. I try to get up, and I recognize that this is near the end of the movie. I sit back down, and Gary is laughing his butt off. Was it the end? Almost. 20 minutes later (20 MINUTES LATER!), I'm enjoying the movie, yet mentally screaming, "Will this goddamn movie end already!?!"

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T3: Rise of the Machines

We finally got out, and I ran to the little boy's room. I must have pissed for 3 minutes straight. It felt soooooo good.

Most previews sucked, but I saw a new trailer for T3: Rise of the Machines. They showed more of the story, and it looked pretty damn nice. Apparently, the it's Judgement Day, and the machines have gained sentience. It looked better than I thought. It's on the website now, so take a look. Speaking of trailers, I heard that they have a trailer for The Matrix: Revolutions after the Reloaded credits. Unfortunately, I was happy to just make it through the movie. I'll wait for it next time.

July 2nd, baby!

Wednesday, May 14th 2003

Doing laundry at the moment. Everything is in the dryer at the moment, and it is my intention to NOT shrink my clothes again.

Here's an interesting fact: Oreos were first sold in 1912. That's a long time, isn't it? Here's another food-related fact regarding The Cheesecake Factory. It's a very successful restaurant franchise, and each restaurant usually generates about $11 million dollars per year, while the typical casual dining chain volume is only $2 - 3.5 million. Also, all the foods are prepared fresh at each location except for the cheesecakes and other baked desserts. They are made daily at its Cheesecake Factory Bakery Inc. subsidiary in Calabasas Hills, Calif., where the corporation is based, and are then delivered overnight to each restaurant. They also sell and deliver desserts to other restaurants, like Olive Garden. Who knew?

After I got home, Namita picked me up, and we went to our 3rd and final dance lesson. We have 3 more practice sessions to attend, but we decided that learning to dance is pretty cool, so we signed up for a 40 lesson package. That should take us through the rest of the summer up to the wedding, and our first lesson is next week. We're really excited, because now we can be dancing experts. We're going to learn more ballroom dance steps, plus maybe salsa and other cool things. Personally, I think this is great and worth the money.

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I love you, Miss Vickie!

Plus, I get to stare at the instructor's mustache some more.

Afterwards, we went to Quizno's in Montclair for a little dinner. I like Blimpie and Subway, but Quiznos is by far the best sandwich place on Earth. The price is a little higher, but the quality is light-years ahead of the competition. I'll take quality over quantity any day. I love their Spicy Monterey Club, so check out the rest of their subs. In addition, they also sell Miss Vickie's potato chips. I KNOW I've written about them before: kettle chips. They are all sorts of flavors, from mesquite BBQ, jalapeno, sea salt & vinegar, and even roasted garlic & herb. Needless to say, they're my new favorite brand of potato chips.

The biggest news and surprise today is that, while eating dinner at Quiznos, we heard "our song" over the speakers. We'd been debating over a jazz song and a waltz, but as soon as we heard this song, we knew IT was the perfect song. It'll be the same song we do our first dance together too. What is it? Oh, I'm not telling you, but it definitely is not Bryan Adams or Celine Dion. We're classier than that.

I rewatched The Matrix on DVD tonight. It's such a good movie. I've read some reviews on the Matrix Reloaded, and most reviewers are saying that while it has double the effects and action, the drama and character development are lacking. Also, the original mystery and magic is gone. Well, it's just a movie, after all. Whether it's good or bad, it'll be worth it to see.

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Exterior in black
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Interior, but mine is all black, not blue

Namita's birthday present for me arrived yesterday. She bought me a new briefcase! I used her laptop bag while I was in Mexico, and before that, I was using an leather briefcase that an ex-girlfriend had bought me 1 month before we broke up. I only told Namita recently that this bag was a gift from an ex, and she got a weird look in her eyes.

Guys, you know that weird look that women get sometimes. Now, I get a new bag. I assume the old briefcase may become a tragic victim in a horrible accident in the near future, and suffer an untimely death. I say that, because I know Namita. Here's the bag on the outside and inside. She got me one in all black, but I couldn't find an black bag interior picture, so I'm going to use the blue one. I just want to show you how it looks all opened up. I'm pretty happy.

In TV news, NBC is planning to replace Friends with another show about six friends who hang out together, but a raunchier version. Hmm, yeah, I don't know. CBS also cancelled My Big Fat Greek Life. I'm sorry, but I'm not shedding any tears over that. The jokes just weren't funny, and Nia Vardalos spent the entire episode mugging for the camera.

Final, final item, I swear. My friend Jenny found this Kabalarian Philosophy site, and you can receive an "analysis" of your name [whatever that means.] And for fun, here's mine. In the meantime, it's 3:58am Thurs morning, I'm signing off, and going to get my laundry from the dryer!

Your name of Joel gives you the desire to understand and help others with their problems but, at the same time, you can become too involved in their problems and, as a result, worry too much. This name creates a pleasant, easy-going, yet responsible nature. It gives you a natural ability to express affection to those close to you, without feelings of embarrassment. You tend to avoid issues, however, and put off until tomorrow the things which should be done today. Accordingly, you would find difficulty in achieving success in positions requiring aggressiveness and drive. Also, you prefer to avoid strenuous work of a manual nature. Your natural inclination is to pursue a line of work where you have contact with people, where you carry some responsibility, and where you are engaged in mental rather than physical activity. You are diplomatic in your handling of people and always give others the benefit of the doubt. You appreciate good music and art. The health weaknesses created by this name affect the fluid functions.

Monday, May 12th 2003

I'll make this brief, because it's 12:30am, and I walked into the office at 10am...again. I need to go to bed pronto.

I picked up my car on Friday afternoon. I got the 75K mile service, and two new tires (I had two new Michelins on the front, but the rear tires came originally on my car...time for a change after 76,000 miles) at $150 each.

And the squealing? That sound comes from "warning tabs" on the brake pads, indicating that it's time to change the brake pads. I had them replace all the brake pads and resurface the rotors in the front. Final cost for everything?

$984 US dollars. I needed to get the work done, but geez.

Speaking of money, I've gotten some word from my auto insurer regarding that car accident in September 2002, the people who wouldn't pay back my deductible, and, well, my deductible. I'm still trying to get details, but they gave my insurer a hell of a time trying to collect their (and my) money. They had insurance, then changed insurance providers, then had no insurance, etc. My insurer had to bring in the lawyers, and they've finally cut a deal to cut me a check for half my deductible back. I guess that's the best they could get from these people, but argh! the accident wasn't my fault, and I still have to lose a significant chunk of money because of it.

Sunday, May 11th 2003

So, I guess it's official: a lot of typing monkeys don't write Shakespeare.

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Kelly Hu as Lady Deathstrike

What a weekend! I'm watching the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks game right now, and the Kings are up 81-61 at the beginning of the 4th quarter. I'd like to see the Kings win the Finals, but with Chris Webber out, I don't think they can do it. Who can stop the Lakers? I thought it would be an opportune time to update my website.

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Outstanding Contributor!

On Thursday, I worked pretty late, and then met up with Doug to see X2: X-Men United. Just before seeing the movie, I read another review of the movie, but this time on Ain't It Cool News, a website with excellent scoops. A reviewer gave such a glowing review, you would have thought the movie was HIS idea. After all the great reviews, I saw it, and I thought it was a decent movie. I mean, it's good and all, but it was just like the original movie for me: decent. To put this in perspective, I thought the original movie, and Spider Man, were also "decent." I think to reach the upper echelons of pleasing Joel, it has to really impress me. So far, examples would be Terminator 2, Saving Private Ryan, The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and so on. I think after watching these movies, you walk out a little awestruck. Then there are the decent movies like X2. I'll probably watch it again.

Speaking of rating movies, a guy I know was asked what the greatest movie of all time was. In his opinion, it's Die Hard. I couldn't believe it. It's an entertaining movie, but the greatest movie of all time? No.

On Friday, I went to the Awards Luncheon for NY Chapter of the IIA. Guess what? I got recognized! I got a nice American Express gift cheque AND this paperweight/award. I guess I did alright on the Advanced Technology Committee, working on their website. I have a big list of future improvements in how we communicate to our members and such in mind, so let's see how more useful I can be.

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Anju and Sunny

In the evening, I was invited to the rehearsal dinner for Anju and Sunny's wedding. I didn't take many pictures, because I was hungry and wanted to feed my face. Also, there were a lot of people from the groom's side, and I didn't know them.

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Anju and Sunny get married

Saturday was D-Day - Anju's wedding! I was running around Saturday morning with dear Anju, my future sister-in-law. (How weird is it to call her that?) We did a lot of running around in the morning together, and then I was free the rest of the afternoon. I didn't get to pick up my shirts from the cleaners, but I did go cycling around. I travelled through Glen Ridge, Montclair, Verona, Cedar Grove, and Little Falls. I eventually made my way back. And lucky me, I think I found every steep hill in this area. My legs were killing me. At one point, I completed one super steep hill, and then collapsed on the grass nearby to rest.

Sunday was recovery day. Having brunch with the Davids (and the newly minted Chacko couple), and then visiting my parents.

Well, that's it. It's late, and I need to get to work tomorrow at a decent hour. This week, it's back to working on my own wedding. That means getting a DJ, working on a guest list, and cleaning up this messy apartment.

Wednesday, May 7th 2003

I miss my car.

Checking the wnbc channel news, they have a news article called Investigation Continues Into Teen Sex At Dance Club, and naturally I need to check it out. Turns out, I'm familiar with the club -- I drove by it a few months ago on opening night, and they had those spotlight trucks in the parking lot. It's called Club Cherri in West Orange, and draws a teen crowd. Who knew that some of those teen girls were having sex with a DJ and an assistant manager?

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Continental Dance Club

We had our first two dance lessons today at Continental Dance Club in Bloomfield. It went pretty well, but I still need to practice my "heel-ball-toe" moves. I'll secretly practice Friday night, so I won't look so lame on the dance floor on Saturday. Still, it was pretty good, and I feel that I definitely learned something. I think it's terribly useful to learn how to properly dance with a lady.

DS9 Crew

BTW, the guy in the middle with the mustache, Steve, was our instructor. Up close, I found his mustache most distracting. It's probably why I had problems in the beginning. I started focusing on the mustache while he spoke. Has that ever happened to you?

Tomorrow night, I'm going to see X2 with Doug. Woohoo! We actually saw the 1st movie together at the Ziegfield Theater, courtesy of his company. How fitting that we see the sequel.

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Lieutenant Reed and the Borg
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Cybernetic organisms make the best party guests

My DS9 Season 2 DVD set finally came it. I've already watched two episodes so far, and a number of the documentaries. Ah, I miss my show. I really miss waiting for Saturday night to roll around, and watching the newest episodes of TNG and DS9. That was always fun. Now Star Trek is on Wednesdays, and there's nothing interesting about Wednesdays.

Unless you count the unusual phenomenon we have at work: on Wednesdays a large proportion of the men wear a blue dress shirt. I'm making a strong effort to avoid wearing a blue dress shirt (french blue, checkered, striped, whatever) on Wednesdays.

Speaking of Star Trek, tonight's episode of Enterprise was very good, for a change. Usually, I've been pretty disappointed. Called "Regeneration", it's about the return of the Borg. Very good, I thought.

And finally, considering that May is here, you tv buffs know that the big season (or series) finales of our favorite shows will be on. Looks like all the good finales start next Tuesday, so don't miss it. For a brief preview, TV Guide has put together a showguide of the upcoming season finales for 2003. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 6th 2003

So I dropped off my car tonight at Planet Honda in Union NJ. I need to get the 75K mile servicing done, and now that the rear disc brakes are squealing horrendously whenever I reverse the car, I couldn't waste any time to get it fixed. This should cost me a pretty penny. I gotta pick it up tomorrow night.

Life for me is pretty dull at the moment. Okay, not dull, but not super-crazy-exciting. Tomorrow night, before I can pick up my car, Namita and I will start taking ballroom dancing lessons. That's right, we don't want to use the same old "waddle and turn" dance technique that everyone seems to use for slow-dancin'. We'll only get one lesson before Anju dear's wedding, but the dance instructor said we can get something useful out of it. We shall see.

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Neo doing his Superman-thing

Thursday night, Doug and I are hoping to to see X2, but you never know. I'm still dying to see The Matrix Reloaded, but I think I slightly ruined the movie for myself. How? I'm checking out this week's issue of Time magazine, and they have a few articles on The Matrix. One of them, Unlocking the Matrix by Richard Corliss, starts as a normal article, then BLAMMO! he gives away the entire (yes, ENTIRE) plot. From beginning to end. How is this possible? I thought Andy and Larry Wachowski were nuts about security, and they let this movie columnist spill the beans a week before the movie comes out? WTF? I hope this guy is wrong, or that there's more going on in the story that he doesn't cover. Four years waiting for this movie, and Richard Corliss screws me over.

Yes, I'm blaming the columnist. Who writes the entire movie plot in a magazine before the movie comes out?

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The Hulk

What other big movie news is out? Oh yeah, a new Hulk trailer is out, and it shows a LOT. Definitely worth a look, especially if you can watch the "Hulk Size" version for those smart enough to use broadband. Not a fan of The Matrix or The Hulk? Wish there was a Grease 3? Guess what? There is! I never saw Grease or Grease 2 (stop whining), but some people really liked it. Evidently, Paramount Pictures is confirming that it wants to make Grease 3, and the first film's stars will reprise their roles.

Nope, I still don't care.

I just ordered some new DVDs. I ordered the second season of Star Trek Deep Space Nine - The Complete Second Season (1994) from (my favorite retailer), and I'm extremely excited for these 7 DVDs to make their way to Glen Ridge. DS9 was my favorite Star Trek series, once the writers got their act together. It was dark, funny, great drama, and chock full of interesting characters. It should be here between May 10th-14th, but the USPS website said they've already left the Jersey City facility. Maybe tomorrow? If so, I'll be plopped down in front of my tv tomorrow night. I haven't see these episodes in years (since the original broadcasts in 1994), so can you blame me?


Monday, May 5th 2003

It's rather late on Sunday night, around 1:36am. I thought I'd do a quick recap of life so far after my return to the good ol' U.S. of A.

Got home, no fuss, no muss on Thursday evening, except for some traffic on the Garden State Parkway. Namita picked me up, in MY car. She has to be the worst taxi driver I've ever had, but the best lookin'. The cat was happy to see me when I returned. Who am I kidding? She couldn't have cared less. I did see the shaved band around her front left foreleg. It looks like she's wearing a furry boot. Remind me to take a picture. Afterwards, we went to this restaurant, The Office Bar & Grill, for some big juicy hamburgers and fries. Delicious.

Friday was "Clean Up Joel's Messy Office" Day, and I made some progress. More time will be spent Monday morning. BTW, I just found out that my department is moving to a new floor. I hope I still get a window view. Otherwise, Joel will not be happy. In the evening, Namita and I rented X-Men and got her up to speed. Except for the action parts (snoozefest for her), she liked the movie.

Saturday was spent cleaning up my apartment, but it wasn't so productive. Sunday, I went cycling in the afternoon, and did about 18+ miles, which is the farthest I've ever travelled by pedalling. I was rather pleased with myself. I would have stayed out longer, but had run out of water. I made it all the way to the Clifton-Patterson area.

In the evening, Namita and I went to Boston Market (non-Mexican cuisine!) for dinner, then her school for a production of "South Pacific" (oh, the singing. I was bored to tears), and then Friendly's for a sundae.



Dining Table and chairs
--Christmas gift from Num!

Wine Rack
--Christmas gift from Julie!