Main > Joel's May 2004 News

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

Monday, May 31st 2004

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Chillin' in Philly
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William Hung singing the National Anthem @ the Toronto-Texas baseball game...poorly

Ah, it's good to be home, although I'm not looking forward to going back to the office tomorrow morning. The one consolation? We're business casual tomorrow, and will be until after Labor Day. Which reminds me....I need to pick up some more business casual clothes.

The weekend was lots of fun. Doug and I left around 10am on Saturday, and we wrestled through the NJ Turnpike traffic. Eventually got there around 12:30pm, and we met Paul at the hotel. After dropping off our stuff, we three walked around Philly, got cheesesteaks at Jim's Steaks (the line went outside, and around the building) down on South St & 4th, and did more walking around. Highlights? A short foray into Condom Kingdom, and drinks along the shore on this converted ship. Lots of BS'ing.

After we cleaned up, drinks and dinner, I went cycling on Sunday to Valley Forge, and then dinner and watching Game 5 of the Piston-Pacers series at someone's house. We all left this morning, and here I am. Then I took a nap with the wife. I'll work on pictures tomorrow, and will give the whole recap on the future page for my Philly trip.


  • I added one picture from Sunday, May 23rd. Look below on the May 24th entry.
  • I've never been a fan of William Hung, and I'm sick of him now. Stop....the....madness.
  • I can't believe I actually reached Valley Forge, especially after getting lost twice in Philadelphia. Turns out, Philly is pretty big. Total roundtrip was 51.5 miles, and took me six hours. Yeah, six hours. Again, I was lost, I took my time, and I had lunch out in Valley Forge.

Do I really have to go to work tomorrow?

Friday, May 28th 2004

So tired. Got out early this afternoon (very nice), and caught the 3:53pm train home, which I never take. Watched some tv, picked up $24 worth of dry cleaning, and here we are. We watched Adaptation off of Tivo. It was alright, but a bit wacky. Being a deep movie, Namita liked it a lot, and I watched with a befuddled face. Maybe I'm just not that bright.

Got a call from my Mom tonight. They've been reading my blog, and I got an earful. Have I been disrespectful of them or something? My ear still hurts.

Looking forward to the weekend. Picking up Doug (Greg bailed out, that punk) at 8am, and then we're off. Philadelphia, here I come. See you all on Monday, get off the couch, and get some sun.

Wednesday, May 26th 2004

Religion and politics...aren't those two of the three topics you aren't supposed to discuss? I think there's a third one out there, but I can't remember it. Hmm, it's probably the one I'll bring up at a bar somewhere, and get decked in the mouth. I bring this up, because of the brouhaha over the Catholic clergy taking various positions on hot-button topics and Catholic politicians who disagree with Catholic doctrine. Case in point: Colorado Bishop Michael Sheridan says communion should be denied to people who vote for candidates supporting such issues as abortion rights, gay marriage, euthanasia and stem cell research.

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Deliver Us From Eva

First, some clergy had issues with Catholic politicians who didn't vote according to Catholic doctrine, and say they shouldn't even come for communion. Now a Catholic Bishop comes out and states that communion should be denied to voters who just vote for specific politicians. Personally, I'm not a fan of the Catholic church (sorry, you Catholics out there), because I just find the rules all stuffy. What clinched it for me was when I found out that, as a non-Catholic, I'm not even supposed to get Communion in a Catholic service. Communion is a very important part of the Christian faith. I see it as everyone coming together, regardless of denomination, disagreements, etc. However, I think if you're going to exclude Christians, just because they aren't Catholic, isn't quite in the spirit of brotherly love.

I also don't like the idea of religious authorities getting involved in politics. That's bad. And if I was Catholic, and I like a candidate, but the church doesn't, I can't even participate in Communion? Just because of my voting record? Where does this road lead?


We recorded Deliver Us From Eva on Tivo this week. Romantic comedy, but you could see every plot turn a mile away. Very paint-by-numbers, if you ask me. We still have Adaptation, 28 Days Later, and Laurel Canyon to watch. Maybe next week.

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Shout Wipes work on blood, chocolate, fruit juice, and ketchup!

I'm looking forward to the weekend -- Doug, Greg, and I are driving down to Philly for the weekend, where we're meeting up with Paulie, Sean, and a few others to, as my mother would say, "hawngge out" ["hang out", try saying it. Julie and I have heard it for years]. I'm bring the bike too, as I've got my eye on the Schuylkill River Trail. It's either a 22 or 44 mile roundtrip from Philadelphia to Valley Forge along the Schuylkill river. Weather looks like it's holding up, so looks like it's a go. Apart from cycling, I think we're planning to hit an Indian party (should be funny with Doug and Greg) on Saturday night, a pub to play drinking games on Sunday night, and leaving Monday. Nothing planned for Friday night, as we're only leaving at 11pm.

Finally, a tip for the day. I fully endorse Shout® Wipes to keep in the office or at home. They work like magic, individually-wrapped towelettes, and are handy for quick stain removal. I dropped some cake icing (uh, I was "watching" it for someone, yeah), on my suit pants, and a Shout Wipe got it out. Neat.

This hasn't been a good week for keeping my clothes clean. Just yesterday, Doug and I ate at Taco Bell for lunch, and I got the hot sauce on my shirt sleeve and suit pants on two separate occasions. Idiot!

Monday, May 24th 2004

My body still doing alright, but I'm sick. Sore throat. Since Sunday morning, and I don't know why.

Sunday, after making it to church (unbelievable as that is), we met with my family for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Since we were meeting for lunch, my parents took the time to eat lunch at church. Why? Because they don't understand the concept of "going out for lunch". Since they made us wait at the mall to finally show up, Num and I ordered steaks. For lunch. Yeah, we showed them.

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Andrew and Shaun passing the time with Uno

Afterwards, more mall shopping, and then went to one of my uncles and aunt's place to visit. I would've taken more pictures, but my cousins kept hiding behind their hands, and you know how I get irritated by those kinds of shenanigans.

I've decided that I want to redesign this site in the summer. I don't know, something different. I think I want it in shades of blue, white, and grey. Maybe I'll be too lazy, and won't do it. Oooh, the suspense!

Saturday, May 22nd 2004

The ride went well. Num woke me up at 5am this morning, but I didn't roll out of bed until close to 5:40, and started the drive at 6:50am. I arrived at 7:40am at Sandy Hook, and it's the same place I biked last summer. How funny is that? How stupid that I couldn't remember the name. Dropped off my forms, had some food from the VIP tent, and then started my ride at 9:10. Here are the pics.

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Sandy Hook!
The infamous Jersey Shore
Rest stop --drinks, food, and spandex
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Me in my new MS cycling jersey
Lots of people on bikes today
All these houses for rent, right on the beach
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Gas prices are ridiculous

I rarely had to look at the cue sheet for directions, since I could just follow groups of other riders. I was a bit lethargic during the first 25 miles, but after two hours (and two Powerbars), I was in a groove. I literally smoked just about everyone around me. If I saw them ahead, my goal was to blow right past them. I cruised at 20-22 mph, and it was a blast. For the last 15 miles, I hooked up with two ride marshals, and I challenged myself to keep up with them. Excellent motivation, and I kept it at 20mph, just to keep up with them. Finished my ride at 12:42, so it took about 3 1/2 hours.

What I found nice was the lunch that was provided, and free massages for all cyclists, courtesy of the Somerset School of Massage Therapy. I've never had a professional massage, and it was well worth it.

BTW, gas prices have just gone to over $2 a gallon near me. I couldn't believe it.

Friday, May 21st 2004

Alright, who's ready for tomorrow? That would be me. I'm happy to inform you that, through my many sponsors, we have raised $1200 for Multiple Sclerosis. That is awesome, and $200 over my goal. Thanks to all who helped me out. I do appreciate the generous donations. I was getting kinda panicky last week.

My ice cubes are freezing in the freezer, the Omega resevoir for my Camelback is getting frosty in the fridge, and I picked up 4 Powerbars (I hope at least one is tasty) during some grocery shopping. The bike is lubed, and I've got all my paperwork relatively together. Pledge sheets are printed, checks are clipped together, and I had a nice bowl of speghetti and meatballs for dinner. Hmm, pasta!

I'll take pictures tomorrow, and post them Sunday/Monday. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 20th 2004

Hello, my Superstylin' groupies. I love you. I wish I could sell merchandise, like thongs, sarongs, and all things oblong.

It's 12:14am on this sleepless night, and I'm doing webwork. Finished some IIA updates (more tomorrow night to complete), and now I'm just fixing some small errors that I noticed on the site that are really bugging me. In fundraising news, we're up to $960. That's right, $40 left to reach my goal, and I still have a few pledges trickling in. Not bad, eh? Those MS people should be happy to have me.

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Ali Landry ("The Doritos girl")....
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...married Mario Lopez? ("AC Slater?")

Speaking of them, guess what they've sent me? First, I got nice MS Bike Tour t-shirt last week. [Sorry, forgot to tell you.] Then today, I found a package waiting for me at the door -- my new MS Bike Tour 2004 Miracle Miler cycling jersey. I'd post pictures, but Num left the camera in school. T-shirt is decent, but the jersey is nice. I'm supposed to wear it on Saturday's ride, and they invited us Miracle Milers to go to the VIP tent. VIP tent? I hope they have cookies there.

Two sites that I must share:

1) Way back when, during my trip to Kansas City, Mike and I were discussing that there are domain names covering everything. I asked him to pick something to prove it, and he said, "". Guess what? It's out there. Man, that would be a GREAT website address for me, except no one would dare try to visit from work.

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He cheated on this girl?

2) I'm actually getting irritated by all the Middle-Eastern, Arabian, and South Asian (yes, Indians too) men who I see walking around in the city with unibrows. Two distinct eyebrows! What's so difficult to understand? Sorry to get sidetracked. Anyway, this website has nothing to do with unibrows. I found by accident, but seems to be an interesting collection of random information on people in the news, and then you vote on whether they're annoying. Here's something I didn't know --> Ali Landry: Two weeks after marrying Mario Lopez [Saved by the Bell fame] she filed for an annullment claimed he cheated on her during his bachelor party (May 2004). Here's another newsbite on it.

I'm sorry, but "The Doritos Girl" married "AC Slater" in April, and they're already divorced? This world is just so cruel! Mario Lopez has a roving eye?

To quote my mother, "Yo, dat ain't right."

Wednesday, May 19th 2004

Tired. All I can say is that I'm happy the Timberwolves beat the Kings, and are advancing to the Western Conference Finals. I don't know about standing a chance against the Lakers, but hey, this is the farthest they've ever gone.

I'm proud to say that I've raised $910 so far, and I'm still expecting donations from 5-6 more people in the office and among friends. Woohoo! Now I just hope the weather holds up for Saturday. Scattered thunderstorms? Nooooo! Say it ain't so! Well, rain or shine, we'll all be out there.

Tuesday, May 18th 2004

Good day? I did have a nice argument with a secretary (sorry, "Administrative Assistant") in the Architecture group, trying to explain:

  • who I was
  • that I was working on an audit
  • yes again, I do work at New York Life
  • and why was I bothering her

When an auditor calls, I really thought it's common practice to feign being cordial. Hmph. Also had an interesting conversation with a Corporate Vice-President, who wanted to know how many more times I'm going to ask her to produce documentation for the audit.

"I thought you people would present a "Request for Information", we would give it to you, and that would be it." [and thus leave her alone.] Lady, we're directly auditing you. I can damn well ask you for as much as I want, for as much detail that I want. You might just get a good rating, so why piss off the auditors and screw it up?

In the evening, 5 of us on the IS Audit team walked on up to the still-relatively-new E&Y building in Times Square for a NY ISACA membership meeting. Hmm, a meeting of IT Auditors -- how exciting. We got a presentation on IT Effectiveness by Ekta Singh (E&Y Senior Manager, cute accent), plus a cocktail reception. Nothing like pigs-in-a-blanket to go with my Cabernet!

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Camelback M.U.L.E.

When I got home at 9:15pm, I found that my Camelback M.U.L.E. arrived. Now I just have to figure out how to set it up, water resevoir and all.

I hate spam. I got into the office this morning, and I had 42 emails, of which only one was an actual work-related email. Spam, spam, spam, spam......

Good news on the fundraising front: I'm more than halfway to the $1000 goal. Of course, the Bike Tour is this Saturday, but I'm getting a mess o' checks tomorrow. Looking good? Yes. I'm bringing all pledge sheets and checks to Sandy Hook on Saturday.

After two years, I'm officially declaring Joel's Wishlist complete. I mean, look at it. It's everything. At the end of the month, I'm going to take it down. What will I put there instead? I have no friggin' idea.

  • Hot Girl of the Month? Hmm, wife would castrate me, and make me sleep on couch.....more.
  • Something like those lists on other sites, where they tell you what they're listening to, or the weather? Hmmm, I never liked that stuff.
  • Funny crap? Hmmm, maybe.
  • Low-res pictures of my cat's pink, starfish-shaped anus? Now you're talkin'!!!!

Sunday, May 16th 2004

What a weekend! I'm watching Stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia on Tivo, but I'll give you an update starting on Friday.


It was payday, and that's usually good enough. Another good reason is that I've currently raised $615 for the MS Bike Tour. Only $385 to reach my goal. Let's keep the donations coming!!!

Also, I had two parties to go to. First, my coworker Stacy resigned, and Thursday was her last day. She's going to BoNY. Good for her. Anyway, a number of us met up at Jimmy's Downtown (not bad, but a bit pricey for my cheap butt), and here are a few pics. I couldn't stay all night, because I had to make it over to Nectar on 2nd Ave for my coworker Brian's birthday party. I have no pictures, because I was too busy drinking. Had a great time, and watched the Nets win in triple overtime. Got home around 12:30am, then stayed up surfing the Internet until 2:30am.

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Olivia, Juny, Stacy
Stacy's party
Some guy, Lucinda, Juny
I'll miss Stacy


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Dr. Julie Ipe has graduated! Woohoo!
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"...and Leo is getting LARGER!"

Today was a big day, as it was Commencement Weekend at St. John's and Julie's graduation. Sunday is the graduation ceremony for the whole university, and Saturday for some of schools, such as the School of Pharmacy. Afterwards, we all went to Izumi Sushi for lunch. It didn't look good from outside, but nice inside, good food, and at a good price. Julie, Num, and I liked the food. My Dad dealt with it, and my Mom was not very subtle about lunch. Guess Japanese cuisine isn't her cup of....raw fish. Pictures in the Family gallery

Since the weather was so nice, we rushed home so I could get some cycling time in before next weekend. How'd I do? I rode from Glen Ridge to Ridgewood NJ in 1:45 (23 miles) without breaking too much of a sweat. I took a breather at the Stop & Shop across from Christ Church, Ridgewood, bought a bottle of water, and watched another cyclist get into a fist-fight with some SUV driver who cut him off. Last thing I saw, the cyclist rode off, and the SUV drove off after the cyclist. Yikes. Hot tempers on such a nice day.

The next 20-some miles were a bit more of a struggle. Stopped at numerous spots for rest, including my in-laws place for a water bottle refill and rest. I eventually did make it home, logging a total 48 miles. I could have done another 2 miles, except for all the pain in my lower back, hands, and a bad cramp in my left thigh. Hmm, instead of pain, let's call it "shooting pain", because it all hurt. I also had a throbbing headache that went from my right ear to my left ear, but I attribute that to dehydration. When I get the hydration pack this week, I'll be in better shape. I'm planning to go riding (20 miles) a few times this week, just to keep the body in form.


We're supposed to have met with my family and some of their friends for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory @ the Palisades Center mall in Rockland to celebrate Julie's graduation, but a late-running graduation ceremony screwed up the schedule, so lunch has been postponed. Maybe next Sunday.

My body is still recovering. Except for the pain, I'm pretty happy over yesterday's ride. Instead of taking my time, I generally kept up an average cruising speed of 15-20mph, as well as taking a few unnecessary hills for practice. I'm getting better, and that's good.

Wednesday, May 12th 2004

No, I didn't bring my umbrella. I had to borrow one from a coworker, as it looked like torrential downpour from my office window. Argh.

Hmm, laundry night. I was also responsible for dinner. Guess what gourmet meal I made? Tomato soup! Straight from the can! I tell you, I spoil this wife sometimes. Here are the news briefs:

  • The BJP party lost in parliamentary elections in India? What?!? Is Sonia Gandhi going to be Prime Minister? She's Italian! Wow.
  • What happened to the Timberwolves last night? Oye.
  • Did you know that Mexico has an Air Force? Neither did we. Did you know one of their drug-trafficking surveillance planes caught what they think are UFO's on video?

Yesterday, I informally asked a few NYLifers about sponsorship, and I got at least 4 new sponsors. I also sent out an email to announce my intentions, and that I will bring the sponsor sheet in today and tomorrow. Now I just have to find the sponsor sheet.

After a lot of time checking reviews, specs, and prices, I ordered the Camelback M.U.L.E. from some outdoor camping site. 100 fluid ounce capacity (there are 64 ounces in a 2-liter bottle of soda), plus storage for a thin rain jacket, tools, map, etc. I paid for UPS 3-Day Select shipping, so it should be here before the tour. I went with black. As Wesley Snipes said in Passenger 57, "You always bet on black."

Tuesday, May 11th 2004

The U.S. tortures our prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Gitmo. Islamic terrorists behead civilians in Pakistan and Iraq. Bomb plots in Great Britain, Spain, Saudia Arabia, Jordan. (Don't forget Southeast Asia and Russia.) Running gun battles with terrorists/anarchists in Syria. The whole world has gone mad in the name of religion. I'm inclined to agree with Jimboy that organized religion ain't all it's cracked up to be.

In lighter news, my Bike Tour sponsorship has been going, but slowly. I'll be talking to my coworkers tomorrow through Friday, hoping to pick up more sponsors. With less than 2 weeks, I haven't had much time/opportunity to do 50 miles on my own. The weather is too cold, it's raining, we're busy saving orphans/town/cute puppies from mean old Mr. Potter, etc. However, I've been running at the local high school track to make up for it. It's been once a week, but I'm planning to bump it up to 2x a week, and then cycling on the weekend when I have a few hours available to do that. It's not just for the Bike Tour, but just to get back to my old exercise regimen.

Tivo is really cool. We're enjoying the ease of use to record shows we normally wouldn't bother. The USB wireless adapter arrived on Friday, and after 2 hours of troubleshooting, I got it to work. I've never been so happy to see a MAC address in my life. Num is just glad I took down the phone cord that was draped across the living room all the way to the dining room. BTW, if you're interested, Dell is running a special that ends on May 12th, for a 140-hour Tivo Series2 unit for $321. Take off $50 for the mail-in rebate, and you're talking $271 (that's $128 off the retail price of $399). The sale ends May 12th, so get crackin'! Check the Software & Peripherals section, TV & Home Theater. Also, free shipping at the moment. How can you beat that?

Because of Tivo, I've been keeping up (barely) with the 2004 Giro d'Italia cycling race in Italy. I really like the fast-forwarding option, so now I can skip ahead to interesting parts. Yes, there are interesting parts to a bike race. Like the girls in bikinis. Okay, there are no girls in bikinis. Leave me alone.

Did anyone catch the newsbyte about CDs and DVDs not lasting as long as you thought? I thought it was interesting to learn that it's not the bottom silvery side that's delicate, but the top where the label usually goes. Hey, you just learned something new.

A Toms River NJ elementary school teacher allegedly allowed two 12-year-old boys to touch her buttocks. Ummm, I had a really hot 9th grade Spanish teacher, and that never happened in class. It was hard to concentrate sometimes, but still, nothing like this. What was this teacher thinking? I hope it isn't true, and the kids just made it up. You gotta give her the benefit of the doubt, until the facts come in.

Monday, May 10th 2004

Is it really so difficult to predict the weather? It was supposed to be nice on Saturday, but it was cold. It was supposed to be scattered thunderstorms on Sunday, but it was nice. There were supposed to be severe thunderstorms today, but it was nice.

I can not tell you how many times I have carried a very large umbrella with me to work, be the only one with an umbrella walking around, and then take the umbrella home with me, dry as a whistle. I'm not taking it Tuesday. I'm sick of the umbrella.

Thursday, May 6th 2004

My (uh, "our") Tivo has arrived....early. I was a bit surprised. However, I needed to drop my shirts off at the cleaners, and go running, so I had to fight the compulsion to stay home and play with the new toy. [insert glee]

The Friends series finale is taping at the moment, as the wife wants to sleep, and then watch it sans commercials. I was also ordered not to mess around with Tivo until Friends is over. Otherwise, I might screw up the taping, she'll miss the finale, and I'll be sleeping at my parents' place until she cools off. 15 more minutes, and I'll be all over that Tivo like a frat guy at a wet t-shirt contest. The Tivo is all hooked up, except for switching the VCR and Tivo.

In the meantime, I did go check out the delivery status on the wireless adapter, and while Amazon says it shipped yesterday, and that the delivery estimate is May 11th through May 13th, the USPS site says the package was processed and left their Jersey City NJ facility today. Tomorrow? Ooooooh, that'll be a nice weekend. I don't know how anyone ever lived without package tracking information.

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Evil sleeps.... curled up

I was getting ready today, and I tore my favorite french blue dress shirt while tucking in the back. Damn these thumbs of steel!

This morning, I was thinking. You know, this cat is so loving, cuddly, cute, and happy to be with us.....yet I have the sneaking suspicion that if she was just a little bit bigger, she would hunt us down and kill us for sport with no regrets.

Hmm, I better go hide the growth serum that I've been working on. It's just a bad B-movie waiting to happen.

Wednesday, May 5th 2004

Good episode of Enterprise on tonight. It's a nice change of pace for this show to have good episodes run consecutively. Let's just see if Enterprise is renewed for a 4th season next year.

Spurs beat the Lakers, and are up 2-0. Saaaawww-wweeeeeeettt!

Good lunch today, as we took a coworker Junny out to lunch since she's leaving the company. Hmmm, french fries.

I'm up to $385 for my Multiple Sclerosis fundraising. Still only about a 1/3 of the way there. Thanks to the new contributors! If you haven't yet, please find it in your heart to spare a few bucks!

Tuesday, May 4th 2004

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Tivo Series2
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Linksys 802.11b USB adapter

I know I've had more boring days in the office, but I couldn't think of one, compared to today. I went to the office, I worked, and then came home. The highlight of the entire day was having wings for lunch. That's right. Chicken wings.

I can't believe it. I got an email regarding order details from Huh? Turns out, our friend Anil ordered us a 40-hour Series2 Tivo unit for us, as a belated wedding gift. A Tivo? I couldn't believe it. It'll be here in 4-6 days, and I'm looking forward to evaluating all this Tivo-hub-bub I keep hearing about. I'll need to order the service, and I've already priced out a 802.11b USB wireless adapter for the Tivo unit.

What? You thought I'd want to use dialup? Sorry. This way, the Tivo unit will download all its updates and programming info through the wireless network. Yes, my dream to have an IP address for everything in the home is slowly coming to fruition. In case you were wondering, Missy is An angry IP address.

Nets were humilated yesterday by the Pistons. Pathetic. My friends Paul and Sean actually went to the game at the Palace, and said it was a beatdown. Thanks for gloating, be-yotches.

I've raised $360 so far for the NJ MS Bike Tour. I think I'm going to bring my pledge sheet in tomorrow to work, and see if anyone will sponsor me.

Watched some of The Matrix Reloaded this evening on HBO. I must say that the action scenes are pretty good. On a related topic, I read some news article last night about the Wachowski brothers. I know Larry Wachowski has had this messy divorce going on, and I wish I could remember where I read it, but the news article stated that Larry is going to have a sex-change operation, and is in the process of taking taking female hormones, etc. I know that sounds like a weird article, but that was the news. I don't care what he does with his life, but if the news is true, what happens to the Wachowski "brothers"?

Anybody out there in the NY Metro who wants to see the Broadway show Aida, but has been procrastinating, better get your ass in gear. Aida will be closing in September. Get your fix now.

I had a good time on Saturday with everyone. That was fun. I'm glad we all went out.

Another coworker of mine (woman, thank you very much) wanted to touch my hair (I let her), and another coworker said she likes it actually. Then again, her fiance has the same haircut, so she obviously has a bias. So, that's 2 coworkers so far who like it. Hmm, I'm still not really sure about it.

Monday, May 3rd 2004

Hmph. Pretty much everyone had some sort of comment about my hair, or lack thereof. Can't some people just go to their workplace without comments? Bunch of smart alecks.

You know it's 1:59am right now, and I'm still up? I went to bed close to 4 last night, and you would think I'd be more tired. Paul made an observation that it's probably genetic. We all know Julie stays up all hours, and sleeps all day. That's just her schedule. However, according to Paul, who heard from Julie, my parents stay up late too. My dad stays up late occasionally, and my mom, of course, works nights. Julie told Paul once that she found my Mom walking on the treadmill at 2am.

That's a typical Joel thing to do, so maybe it's genetic? Another curse from my parents!

You all know that I used to want to be a biologist, right? I love human physiology and human genetics. Anyway, I read this fascinating piece on the human heart a few weeks ago in Bicycling Magazine, so I thought I'd share. The animal body is a fascinating machine. We really take the inherent ingenuity for granted.

Aside from the fact that mine is more likely to kill me than most of yours, our hearts are not much different. About the size and weight of a water bottle missing a few sips, at rest our hearts pump about 2.4 ounces of blood with every beat, on average 100,000 times a day. Muscled up entirely with slow-twitch fibers, the heart is the ideal rouleur--not explosive like a sprinter or climber but able to hold its pace seemingly forever. It starts pumping in the seventh week of fetal development (before it is even inside our bodies) and has the endurance to beat about 2.6 billion times before stopping, yet also the power to push about 85 bathtubs worth of blood through 60,000 miles of veins, arteries and capillaries each day. At peak speed (and on the shortest route), a blood cell can be propelled round-trip in about 20 seconds..

Sunday, May 2nd 2004

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"Nice scalp."

May 1st 2004 will forever be remembered as the day Joel lost his hair. Tragedy struck during my recent excursion to Supercuts yesterday. Num went to get her nails done, while I waited for my haircut. My number comes up, and I sit for this woman. I tell her what I remember as what clipper size to use -- 3 on top, and 2 (to make it a little shorter) on the sides. She asks, "3 on top, 2 on the sides?" I say yes. I remember previous times where I've had 2/3 blends too. I swear.

As she's cutting the sides, I'm thinking, "Seems short, but oh well, I guess that's what I get done usually." Then, she switches to 3 1/2 for the top, and starts like she's shaving ice. Large chunks of hair fly off, and I look upon my reflection in the mirror at my newly-shorn head.

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Lance Armstrong

"What are you doing!!!!!!?"

"You said #3 on top", looking at me like I'm an idiot.

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Broadway production of Mamma Mia! (courtesy of the official website)

As there's nothing to do to fix it, all I can do is just have it all shaved off. When I walk into the nail salon, Num is getting her nails dried, looks at my head in total shock. "15 minutes ago, you had hair. What happened!?!"

Ah well. She says it's alright, maybe kinda likes it. When I lose the rest of my hair, I'm going to cut it this short anyway. Might as well get used to the sight of it. You be the judge. I'm just going to tell everyone it's the Lance Armstrong look, and I'm getting streamlined for the Bike Tour.

Before the "Shearing of 2004", we picked up Num's mom, and drove into the city to see Mamma Mia! at the Cadillac Winter Garden Theatre. As we had an hour, and were pretty hungry, we went to eat at Bangkok Cuisine on 8th and 52nd. Not bad, and I spent an inordinate amount of time captivated by the large aquarium next to us. Anyway, seats at the theater weren't the greatest (extreme right edge), but since I got 3 tickets for the price of 2, I shouldn't complain too much. My mother-in-law thoroughly enjoyed the show (I watched her bopping in her seat), and I didn't have a bad time. The plot was kinda blah (would be a perfect fit on Lifetime for the womenfolk), but I did enjoy the ABBA music.

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Hanging out @ Sugar

For your information, yes, I'm listening to the Rhapsody sampler for ABBA right now. In college, one of my college roommates had the ABBA Gold-something album, and played it incessantly (amid his rotation of Mozart, Yanni, and 80's music like Alphaville). As I sat in my crummy seats, watching a musical that's clearly aimed for the distaff, I had to admit ABBA's music was rather catchy, musically speaking.

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Younger days, seen in the My Family gallery

Okay, try to keep up. We had lunch, went to a broadway show, I lost all my hair, and then we got all gussied up, and went to hang out with a few friends at Sugar, a lounge down on Church St, pretty close to Chinatown and what's left of Little Italy. I am proud to say that I got free parking 3 spots from the establishment. It has the be best parking I've ever had on a Saturday night in the city. Seriously, free and close by. 3 parking spots close. Who da man? And bald?

Good time, and I'm glad we got to see some familiar faces. We've been cooped up in this apartment a little too much, so last night was a nice change of pace. I didn't bring the camera, in case we were walking a lot, but we never left. Ranjith took a few photos, and they're online in the Friends gallery. Thank you, Mr. Cherickel.

Finally, I've finally added the first phase of photos to the My Family page. I say "first phase", as I would like to add photos from time-to-time. Also, I still need to add a multitude of photo captions. Although I don't have the captions up yet, try to muddle around.

I was going to go cycling, but it's rainy outside. If it lets up, I'll go running. Enjoy your day, wherever you are!

Dining Table and chairs
--Christmas gift from Num!

Wine Rack
--Christmas gift from Julie!