Main > Joel's November 2003 News

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

Sunday, November 30th 2003

Is this glorious 4-day weekend over already? Back to the daily grind.

Thanksgiving went well, albeit a little boring, at my parents'. I say it's a success when there's no screaming, crying, or active guilting. I think the highlight of the entire weekend was all the cleaning and rearranging we're finally doing. We never did get to completing our wedding "Thank You" cards. Suppose we'll keep trying. :)

Much has been cleaned, trashed, rearranged, donated, and what-not, during these past few weeks. While my clothes spin in the dryer downstairs, let me recap.

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The shelving in the bathroom
Our new girly shower curtain (and liner)
My recent construction work for Missy's litterbox
Shoe racks to tame my wife's collection of shoes (but there are more!)
A rack to hang her bags and belts
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A new A/V rack for my components
The rack, close up.
Finally, after all these years, speaker stands
A look at the developing side of the room

See? We're on a tear. Tomorrow, after my equipment gets here, we're buying some new hampers from Bed Bath & Beyond. Saturday is when I picked up the A/V rack. Interestingly enough, the brand is "Maxim Magazine" with "Z-Line Designs." Well, it's the best that Num and I could agree with. First a magazine, then hair-coloring for men, now furniture? I'm also really happy about getting speaker stands. I never liked just leaving the speakers on the floor, but now I'll have some cool stands for them.

I didn't get a new CD/DVD tower, since everything we saw was kinda lame. Instead, I kept my original IKEA CD tower, and I put all the DVDs under the tv (since I don't have A/V components under there anymore.) You can see them in the big living room picture above. You'll also see some grey/black equipment piled on the floor next to the couch on the left. That's all going to my sister later this week. See? Donations too.

Speaking of which, I checked the UPS site, and my system has been sitting in Parsippany since Wednesday. If I had only ordered it one day earlier!

I also got a new replacement wok from Crate & Barrel on Saturday. My original wok (wedding gift) from them kinda caught fire (never a good thing), and I asked them for a replacement. The story is, it comes with this protective plastic coating for protection during transportation. You're supposed to cover it with vegetable oil, heat it for 3-5 minutes, then rub off the coating with a sponge. All of a sudden, it starts smoking and turns brown. Yikes!

I took it over to Short Hills Mall, and as I mention it to the salesperson, she turns to the manager and says, "This is the 2nd one this week." So, she tells me that they have a cast-iron wok, and has no coating. I pay the extra 15 bucks, and now I have a real wok. I'll take a picture later; it's already 12:55am.

We postponed dinner with the in-laws from today until next Sunday. By then, the apartment should be in tip-top shape, new furniture should be in place, garbage should be out of here, and they'll think we're naturally this hip.

Tuesday, November 25th 2003


You read correctly. It's that late. No worries, because I'm going to bed in 5 minutes. I couldn't sleep without guilty thoughts about how I got relatively no cleaning done this weekend. Here's what I got done tonight:

  • I trashed a collection of every magazine/catalog ever produced that were sitting in the living room, and took out 2 loads of trash.
  • I cleaned the kitchen by wiping off a few months of grime and grease in the microwave, and the stove.
  • Did all the dishes sitting in the sink since yesterday.
  • Missy urinated slightly outside her litter box again (3rd time this week.) I've had a feeling that the pastic bags lining the litter (and walls) were a bit too dirty for her tastes, so I finally got around to replacing it with a better system. I set up a cardboard wall, so now she has a two-wall enclosure. It's high, so when she's aiming high, she still won't get very far. Damn cat, I'll beat you yet in our little game of wills.

I also updated the NYIIA site with some additional info and fixed a picture. I have some job listings to add, and some pictures to add to the gallery, but it can wait.

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Matrix Revolutions

My books and DVDs didn't get here yet. Barnes & Noble say they'll deliver same day in Manhattan, but they didn't get to my building until after 5:30pm. Doesn't sound late to you? Well, considering that the mail room closes by 3pm, it doesn't do me any good. The order status page says they were delivered, but I bet it's sitting in the Building Security office. I'll get them tomorrow.

Oh, speaking of recent purchases, I finally ordered a filing cabinet from Staples. I used a $40 Discover Card Cashback certificate for Staples that I redeemed, so the cabinet only cost me 52 bucks. That's half off! [The cheap Indian in me is pleased.] It's back-ordered, but will arrive around December 14th.

Teena dropped by the apartment to visit, since she was in the area. She's nice. On another note, my friend Chirag (a film afficionado) outlined to me why he thought Matrix Revolutions was a really great movie. I still don't quite see it, but I'll hold off final judgement until I watch it again on DVD. Yes, I am going to buy it on DVD, if only to complete the set. He can pick up on subtle themes that I usually miss.

Found a place in the city on 30th and 6th that will sharpen your cutlery for you. I dropped off 3 knives today, should get them ultrasharp tomorrow afternoon. Hmmm, sharp knives. If you hear that some dark fellow got arrested on a NJ Transit train Tuesday evening for carrying knives, it was me. Please tell them that I'm not a terrorist. I only want to go through that once in my life, and I'm already at my quota.

Sunday, November 23rd 2003

I was really hoping to get some major cleaning done this weekend, but alas, another unproductive weekend. I shouldn't say that it was completely unproductive. I got a lot of rest, if that matters. Also, I did a lot of bills, some minor cleaning up, and we did grocery shopping at Stop & Shop in Clifton after church today. I think we got a little bit of everything in the store. Yeesh.

It's a really nice feeling that this is only a 3-day workweek. My calendar is pretty packed this week, but at least it's over in another day.

My cat probably loves me a little bit more this weekend, since we got plenty of quality play time together. I've concluded that I have no idea how any cat can't catch anything it wants. They have such quick reflexes. I'll drag that yarn around the couch or under some shopping bags as she stares intently. Without warning, before I can even think of moving the yarn out of the way, she's caught it in a millisecond. Feline speed & agility are pretty amazing.

Here are some pictures from the party we went to that Sona & Pradeesh threw in Metuchen.

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Pradeesh & Sona
Lesh, this guy Tony we just met, me, Num
If you don't know by now....
Uh, how did we get in the middle of this mess?

I'm not especially looking forward to Thanksgiving this weekend. I mean, not the weekend part. Hells ya, I need a 4 day weekend. I mean going to my parents' house for Thanksgiving lunch. Most of my relatives are in India for my cousin Shaun's wedding, so they aren't around. It's going to be a quiet Thanksgiving Day. That just means my parents are just going to have more opportunities to ask us uncomfortable questions about our lives. Ah, parents. What are you going to do, right?

For dinner tonight, we went Mexican. We started off with Tostitos ("Hint of Lime" variety) and homemade guacamole (part of Num's book of tricks), and I made beef fajitas (I sliced up the sirloin without cutting myself once) with onions and bell peppers (green, red, yellow.) It was all pretty damn good. If anyone is ever interested in coming over for dinner sometime, please let us know. We do take requests. Speaking of which, Num's parents are tentatively coming over next Sunday evening for a homemade dinner. You can imagine that much cleaning will be performed this week, in anticipation of making a good impression.

Oh, taking advantage of some really nice sales on Barnes & Noble (30% on some items), we ordered some movies, books, and I got the Star Trek: DS9 seasons 3 AND 4. I couldn't resist the DS9 episode sets, since they were each discounted $25 off. That was too tough for me to pass up. Should all be here later this week. Moohoohahha.

Friday, November 21st 2003

Hola. It's Friday. Yeah, baby.

So, Friendster, huh? I'm starting to get into this. I finally filled out my profile, and started to add more friends today. I was pretty amazed to see how one set of friends could be connected to seemingly complete strangers. Crazy. One of my friends is connected to one of my coworkers! I think I could use the Friendster service. Then again, Chirag heard that while Friendster is in beta right now, they'll start charging for contacting people. Argh. Interesting model (hook people into it for free, then start charging them to keep.) Still, argh.

After work today, a bunch of us went over to Nectar on 2nd Ave to celebrate my friend Regina's birthday. Happy...uh..."29th" birthday!

Anyone heard of the ladder theory? It's kinda interesting, but in a funny way.

I must tell you, I went out for lunch with friends Tom, Sudeep, and Sam. We did Chinese on 40th & Lex, at some place called Wang Li-something. Good food, but rude (and quick) wait service. Anyway, I got the greatest fortune that any man can receive. Previously, my favorite was one Num modified. It originally said, "You have a magnetic personality." Being herself, she crossed out "personality," and replaced it with "ass."

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Num better be in agreement, or the marriage is off.

"You have a magnetic ass." I'm sorry, but I think it's hilarious. Well, we have a new champion, and it's funny without modification. I think the fortune speaks for itself.

Sigh, so I had told Num that I would space out my purchase of a home theater system, like January. However, the caveat was that if my currently flaky DVD player started acting up while trying to watch The Two Towers, I'd get "irritated" and go buy one immediately. What happens? My DVD player won't play the 2nd disc of my Two Towers Extended DVD edition. I just got irritated.

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My new Onkyo 600-watt home theater system

Have you ever just gotten irrationally irritated? I wouldn't say that I'm an impulsive buyer. I usually research everything I'm interested in, to death, and then I'll make a decision. Problem is, once I've made that decision, I'm pretty much set, and I really don't want to wait anymore. I've been researching HTIB (home theater in a box) systems (where you get speakers, a receiver, AND a DVD player) for over 2 months now. Yes, two months. Once I got irritated on Tuesday night, I ended up making a command decision, and ordered a new system. I was hoping to get it before Thanksgiving weekend, but as it's so heavy, it's shipping by UPS freight, and arrives December 1st.

I've decided on it, I've ordered it, and it's on its way. Think about how much I'm dying for it to get here now. Here's the quick description of the 600-watt Onkyo HT-s767c: 6-disc DVD player, 6.1 surround sound (DTS, Dolby, etc.), and 7 speakers overall (1 subwoofer and 6 other speakers.)

BTW, I finished watching the rest of the Two Towers on my computer. The verdict? Friggin' awesome. Even Cinescape gave the Extended Edition an A+ review. I mean, an A+? It's like we're in school again.

Looking at my wish list (down on the right), I have one item left! I just want to get a TiVo to replace my VCR, and I'm done!. Hmmm, Teeee-Voooooo......

Wednesday, November 19th 2003

It's 6:13am, and I'm doing my laundry. While my clothes, and a certain new bathmat recently soiled by the S.A.C. (Some Angry Cat), are in the dryer, I'm just doing some busy work. I'm teaching a mini Powerpoint class at lunch today for some attendees from my department. I taught a "Basic" class in the summer, and now I'm going to have the "Advanced" class. You know, I really never did Powerpoint that much, and now I'm teaching it. Go figure.

Got another Friendster invitation. I really should work on that homepage, like adding my photo and some bio info. I should just reference this site.

Funny story. A few weeks ago, I was sending an email to my sister, and I wasn't sure there was an underscore in her address. I send it with underscore, and it goes to a Julia who lives in India, wondering who I am, and why did I send her someone's wedding photos (not mine.) I've been email chatting with her for a few weeks now. See, funny.

I've got the Comcast cable guy [in Jim Carey's voice: "Cable guy!"] coming over at 5 today to check out our signal. Channel 2 through Channel 9 are really crappy, and it's been getting progressively worse. The picture totally ruins my tv watching experience. I would like to get the picture fixed by tonight, because the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is on CBS tonight at 10pm. That is the one show where you want a clear picture. :)

Oh, I don't care what you say. Victoria's Secret has to have the best advertising. What other brand is out there that can command the absolute rapt attention of most guys when their commercials are on?

Tuesday, November 18th 2003

Good morning! It's 6:07am, and Missy (aka Some Angry Cat) and Num are sleeping soundly. Only I am awake at the moment, but don't fret. I napped from 11pm - 4am, so at least I got some sleep for once. Been since 4am, doing some accounting, editing pictures, and listening to the Chemical Brothers. Rhapsody is the shit.

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Britney get s star

So, let me get this straight. Britney has been around how long? And she already received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? That's a whole lotta BS. Now I know for sure that the Walk of Fame is for sale.

Alright, some much awaited pictures that are due. The first set are from Nov 7th, when Num and I went to the DePaul Catholic Gala Ball, a fundraising event for the school. Since I'm still in the "Argh, okay, I'll take some pictures" mood, I took enough to give you an idea of the event. Not to be a girl, but I really liked the centerpieces -- they were different on each table. So, my first black tie event. If I go to another one any time soon, I'm just going to buy a tuxedo, instead of renting again.

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Next are six pictures from Sunday's wedding reception at the CSI Congregration of Staten Island in.....Staten Island. I'm not sure why everything is a little yellow. I guess the flash wasn't turned on. Stupid Joel.

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Julie, me, Num, Leslie
Let me say that maturity is not commensurate with age
I like my girl. Shut up.
Through experimentation, I learned that I can intimidate little girls with a glaring stare.
Num and Tina
These two kids did a movie song scene. Hilarious.

I'm still on the hunt for a new home theater system. I just can't seem to find one in my price range that's actually got a strong positive review. It's good, but the remote is lousy. Great connectivity and style, but the sound is so-so for medium-large rooms. Blah blah. How frustrating. Upon advice from the department IT guy (Mr. Steve Z), I picked a copy of Home Theater magazine from the newstand @ Penn Station. They actually reviewed a Kenwood system I'm intrigued by, but the review? It's a decent product. Why can't I find a product that everyone agrees is good? Damn you, you foreign manufacturers!

Krista Allen, Stuff Magazine

BTW, I'm @ the Penn Station newstand, and I'm looking at Stuff Magazine. They've got Krista Allen on the cover, but for the life of me, I can't figure out who she is. I looked her up later, and she was that busty girl in the elevator with Jim Carey in Liar Liar. You remember her -- the one who slaps Jim Carey. Anyway, Stuff has the pictorial online. Boys (and you 1/10 girls), enjoy yourselves, but don't do it from work. I don't want to hear that you fired for looking at soft-core.

I got home, and guess what was waiting for me? Ah, my Extended edition of LoTR: The Two Towers. I already started watching, and the extra 43 minutes of footage makes it almost a completely different movie. I only finished the 1st half, but it's spectacular. BTW, when I saw the UPS package waiting for me in the mailroom, I knew it was the DVD set. I ran like a giddy schoolgirl back to the apartment. I think Num was actually embarassed.

ARGH! I stopped watching the LoTR DVD to watch the end of Average Joe. First of all, the Indian guy is gone. Sure, in the end, the brother is the one who gets booted. I guess I should just be happy to see him last this long. Second, I knew this plot twist was going to happen. In case you missed it, now that she whittled the "average joe" contestants to just 3 guys, they added 3 new guys. Good-looking guys. Models.

You should've seen the look of happiness on the woman, and the utter look of despair on the average joe's. Next week's scenes show her playing tonsil hockey with one of the new pretty boys. Life is so unfair.


Sunday, November 16th 2003

I think it's wrong that people are chewing me out for not updating this site. Can't a fellow have a life, and jealously NOT share it with the world? Just because everything so far has been illegal?

Friday was fun: Had an evening out with Teena and Anil (who flew out here for the weekend. First, dinner at Thai Chef in Montclair, and then down to the city for the nightlife. I was hoping to make it to La Linea for my friend Waisum's party, but the stars were NOT in alignment for that. We all ended up at Lu Auhn or something (Teena, please email me the correct spelling.) I kept calling it "LuAnn" like the comicstrip character. Good place overall, and nice reggae.

I was irritated by this short, extremely trashed, Irish guy who kept sitting and rubbing his stupid Timberland all over my back. Not intentionally, mind you, but because he was drunk. He then proceeded to stumble around with an entire bottle of Grey Goose vodka, and then drop the entire bottle on the ground. Then he was jumping up and down behind me on the loungy couch until the waitresses told him to get down, and finally drop his fruity girly drink. Luckily, he didn't break the glass as his drink landed on my back.


Got back at 4am, slept, and we eventually made it to my parents' place by 1pm for lunch with some of my mom's friends. They were nice. He (the doctor) was a passenger on the Andrea Doria, a cruise liner that collided with the Stockholm (another cruiseliner.) Yeah, he was an actual disaster survivor. Anyway, after a big fight with my parents, we left, ran some errands, and I took a nap.

In the evening, went to Sona & Pradeesh's party in Metuchen. Good time, and excellent food. It was Sri Lankan food, extremely spicy, and rather tasty. The word for the day was, "Mutton Rolls!" I'll put up pictures tomorrow. Promise.

Sunday was church in Staten Island, with our last wedding reception (ever.) Very nice time, since everyone was so nice to us.

Watched the CSI 2-hour movie (pretty good) tonight on CBS, did some Quicken, updated this site, and now I'm going to bed.

Monday, November 11th 2003

"Mom, I swear I had a good reason to disappear and not do my website. No, don't hit me!"

Yeah, it's been a busy few weeks for Mr. Ipe here. A national CSI Youth Leadership Conference in Maryland, an audit in good old Albany NY, and plain old adjusting to married life. First off, the wedding photos are rolling in. We got our proofs, and we have 6 months to figure out which ones we want, and the layout we want them in the wedding album. Uh, this could take a while. Maybe we'll just deal with this in January.

Anyway, added about 20 more wedding photos, courtesy of Mr. Saji Abraham. Check the Family gallery. I didn't bother putting up quotes yet. My friend Regina has more pictures, but it's 1:26am, and I don't have time to work on them.

Good news, we've finally settled on a honeymoon (yeah, over a month after the wedding.) Here's the abbreviated version of our travails. Originally, we told everyone we were going to Greece, but then found out it was too damn cold there in December. Next, we settled on a Sandals vacation on the island of St. Lucia. That looked golden for a while, but then the airfares started skyrocketing, and the trip's cost was becoming prohibitive. Finally, Num and I decided (and booked) a cruise on Princess Cruise Lines. We'll be heading out before Christmas for 7 nights, and will be cruising around the Caribbean. The Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and two other stops. We've got a minisuite on the Dolphin deck, and we even have a balcony.

We got an excellent deal on the cruise + airfare, so if you need to hookup with a travel agent, I'll get you Tom Varghese's contact info (excellent all-around guy.) I think I have my first travel agent. How very cool. Now I just want my own accountant and lawyer. Also, a butler.

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Mr. Tareq "I got a Ph.D" Q.

One of my new favorite shows is Las Vegas on NBC. Maybe it was the bachelor party trip, but I think Vegas is a fascinating locale for a show like this. I'll also admit that this season's guilty pleasure for me is Average Joe. Every elimination hurts, man. Especially the really geeky ones. Ouch. I will say that I'm pretty happy to get an Indian on the show. Tareq, 21 years old, and doing his dissertation already. What's interesting is that he's even a university professor in Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe? They have schools there?) What's also interesting that he covets Nancy O'Dell like me.

Dude, you better get the girl, but leave me Nancy O'Dell (in case this whole marriage thing doesn't work.)

Sunday, November 10th 2003

Not a lot of time to chat, but I'm alive and well. It's been a busy week, and I just got back from a business trip to the Albany area Thurs night. I'll give a full update tomorrow night. Last night, did see Matrix Revolutions with Num. Hmm, I think it's safe to say that I was underwhelmed.

Tonight, I need to get some sleep.



Dining Table and chairs
--Christmas gift from Num!

Wine Rack
--Christmas gift from Julie!