Joel, yet I can't turn away."
Wednesday, October 29th 2003
It's official: my 10 year high school reunion is next year on Nov 27th 2004. Yikes, 10 years. Where does the time go? Has it really only been 10 years since I was a chubby, goofy kid with glasses?
Wait, I'm still a chubby, goofy guy with glasses. Up yours, cruel fate!
Tuesday, October 28th 2003
Is it really almost November? I guess it is, because it's getting chilly out there. Is the snow far ahead?
Weekend was decent. We celebrated Chirag's brithday on Friday, remember? He finally posted the pictures, so take a look. I remember Num taking a picture of someone's panties, but that seems to be mysteriously missing. Hmm, did Chirag's girlfriend Kanika put in the veto? I know that feeling. Check out pictures on chiragdshah.com.
You know, some Christians really give the rest of us a bad name. Check out the kids who came with their family from Topeka (Kansas) to protest in Long Island. Why? Because of that whole Mephram High School incident recently about the football team hazing you read about a few weeks back. Sounds normal, right? Well, not quite. They had the kids waving "God Hates Fags" placards. Nice. Go back to Topeka. Full story on the NY Daily News.
On Monday, I attended the most boring meeting ever designed. It's for this audit I'm performing next week in the Albany NY area. I had to pay attention for 5 minutes, while they spent 55 minutes talking to the rest of the audit team who'll be out there on their areas of focus. I used all my mental powers to resist staring out the window.
Remember that plan by movie executives to spin off Halle Berry's Jinx character from the last Bond movie, Die Another Day? Well, I didn't see myself having the stomach to watch an entire movie about that character. Simply, I just found her voice to be really annoying and high-pitched. Well, I can sleep now -- the movie plan has been cancelled. Somebody finally came to their senses.
In other entertainment news, Rod Roddy (the announcer for The Price is Right) died. Awww. I grew up on this show. Britney Spears' stalker is suing her for "extreme emotional distress." Finally, what's up with Tom Sizemore? He was found guilty of beating us his (now ex-girlfriend Heidi Fleiss. He's now going to complete his rehab until January, then going to prison (minimum security?) for 6 months, and 3 years of probation. Geez, man. You've got issues. Watch your bunghole in prison.
Finally, I was at an all-day training seminar by the NJ Chapter of ISACA held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Clark NJ. It was titled "The Latest Hacking Attacks - How to Detect and Prevent", and it was pretty informative. Hackers are an intelligent bunch.
Saturday, October 25th 2003
According to Num, today is her favorite day of the entire year -- Daylight Savings. I just watched the computer clock move back from 2am to 1am. Not a bad thing.
Just got back from Brenda's wedding reception up in Rockland. I believe that, barring any unexpected pregnancies (gotta love shotgun weddings), this is the last wedding of the year for me to attend. None too soon, I might add, because I have realized today that I'm pretty sick of weddings. This year, most people I have spoken to about this have remarked that they all seem to be attending someone's wedding each month. Come on:
I know weddings are nice, but I need a break. I probably shouldn't talk, since I contributed to the "wedding malaise", but you forget that I'm never in the wrong.
Friday night, got a haircut and a shoeshine, met up with Num at 33rd St & 6th, then took the subway to meet up with Chirag, Vib, Neil (and like 9 more people) for Chirag's birthday. We started at Mi Nidito on 8th and 50th St (around there) for some excellent (and authentic) Mexican food. Definitely brought back some memories of Mexico City. Anyway, yes, excellent food. They also specialize in margaritas -- 25 different margaritas to be exact. Vib, good job choosing a great restaurant, but you got lucky, punk.
Afterwards, we hiked it to Zanzibar on 45th & 9th, where even more people showed up. Who knew that Chirag was so popular? Anyway, stayed until 11ish, got a ride to Penn Station. Friends Ravi and Reshma missed their train, so they hopped a ride to Glen Ridge, and we drove them home to the Parsippany area. Home around 1:30am, and of course Missy was in an irritable mood. Num immediately falls asleep, and I'm stuck with an irritable cat.
The lesson learned here? Get to the bed first, and leave Num to Missy's evil whims.
Plans for Sunday? Anju is coming over for lunch, so I gotta make a run in the morning to get some peas & pearl onions (itty-bitty onions.) For dear, sweet Anju, we're making marinated pork chops, onion-flavored potatoes, and peas with pearl onions. Hmm, trust me, Num makes a mean pork chop. Hmm, as a matter of fact, she does a pretty good job with the potatoes too.
Basically, I'm in charge of warming up the peas, and cleaning up the apartment. What a team!
Thursday, October 23rd 2003
Must sleep. So tired.
Been working on the NYIIA site tonight. A lot. Officially relaunched their Photo Gallery, but a la Joel. Also, did some site tweaking, which took way longer than it needed. I also spent some "quality" time cleaning out my Outlook calendar and contacts. I still have duplicate entries for some people, and the calendar suffered from it. Nothing like duplicate events in your calendar to piss you off.
For the Star Trek fans, I read a great interview with Leonard Nimoy, and what he's been up to. Did you realize he's over 70? Yowza. In other entertainment industry-related news, David Gest proved that he's a pansy by suing his estranged wife (of 16 months) for $10 million. Why? Because she often beat him up, and now he's suffering from "neurological damage" and "scalp tenderness." Buddy, it's not to late - grow a pair.
Fred "Rerun" Berry died of natural causes today. Aww, I loved "What's Happening?" I grew up on that show. No more crazy dancing by Rerun. He was only 52, so I guess it was weight-related. And Pam Anderson only has 10 years to live, so she's taking homeopathic medicine? Oye ve. Pam, take the drugs!
That Wishlist is gonna change next month. Num (a.k.a. "The Wife") has given the required "OK" on getting a new DVD player and home theater system. My DVD player (purchased in 1999) is on the fritz, and really annoying to use when the DVD player starts skipping around the DVD while you're watching. The AIWA stereo (purchased in 1998) has been acting up for 2 years now, and it doesn't even have a subwoofer. I've been waiting forever to get a real DVD player and home theater package. I'm considering this 650-watt SONY system.
Next month won't get here soon enough!
Tuesday, Oct 20th 2003
I woke up a little early this morning, because I conked out so early last night on the couch. Let's do a quick update to satisfy your urges before I need to get ready for work.
Yes, we made it to Rhinebeck this Saturday, and saw some really picturesque views on I-87 driving up there. Mountains, valleys, creeks, and lots of colorful trees. We left around 2pm from here, realized we forgot to feed Missy, turned around, fed her, then started the trip again. We got up to Rhinebeck by 4:30pm, about 6 hours later than I wanted, but oh well. In any case, nice place, bought some cigars, and we had apple cider as we walked around. We had a nice Mexican dinner at this cantina and grille, where I dropped a greasy green pepper on my jeans. It's smooth to walk around with a big wet stain on your jeans.
Sunday was really lazy. Sunday night was cleaning and doing laundry.
Last night, I went out to see Kill Bill Vol 1 with Doug and Adrian. You know, it was a pretty good movie. Lots of great kung-fu (in homage of the old kung-fu movies I watched on Saturday afternoons on basic tv.) It was also rather artsy in some ways, so that was interesting. Also, Uma Thurman was a lot cuter than I originally thought. I can't forget to mention that there was a LOT of gore.... hacked off limbs, scalpings, blood geysers (from previously mentioned hacked off limbs.) Wow, talk about realistic depictions of slicing arteries.
Finally, remember that I've been rewatching The Matrix: Reloaded? The more I think about it, the more I like the movie. It really is a good movie. I mean, yeah, there's a lot of seemingly pointless blabber in the middle, but it's still a good movie. I think T2: Judgement Day was a great movie, but I never thought that 20 minute Linda Hamilton ranting scene in the psychiatric hospital to be all that appealing. Seriously, 20 minutes. You just gotta take the good and the bad, and there you have, the facts of life.
Yes, 3:33am, and technically Wednesday. I'm up-and-about in typical Joel Ipe fashion. Not sure why I'm up, but I am. I've played with the cat, done the dishes (with some help from the dishwasher), cleaned up my little home office area of papers, and did the bills in Quicken. I'll just do my site updates, and then get some shut-eye. At the moment, I'm listening to Depeche Mode songs on Rhapsody. I love sampling music I've never heard before, without having to buy an album or waiting for it to play on the radio.
Notice any differences on this page? I moved the old "Joel's Wishlist" further down the column. I got a strange feeling in my navel this morning. It asked me, "Hey, do you think people aren't scrolling down, and not seeing your recent purchases or recent movies seen?" Hmm, it was an interesting thought. Since the Recent Movies I Saw and Recent Purchases change often, I shuffled them around.
Speaking of site redesigns (?), I have an itch to redesign this site to an all-white background, but I'm really not looking forward to redoing all the Flash animations, or just making new ones again. They can be such a pain sometimes to time properly. Also, I never got the My Family section ever started, and that should probably take precedence. Another thing I need is a better search tool for this site.
Let's not forget having a social life, studying for certifications, and keeping Missy entertained. I can't wait to go on our honeymoon, wherever we end up.
Thursday, October 17th 2003
I wonder if this is going to be a long night for me. Not quite tired, so I'm doing a lot of web work at the moment. Guess I'm in the groove.
I forgot to mention that I saw the movie Enough starring Jennifer Lopez a few days ago. It was alright. Not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, that's a concession.
Went out for Vietnamese for lunch today, since it was Theo's birthday. I had lemongrass chicken and fried rice. Not bad. I could make better. Naturally.
Meetings galore this afternoon, and then I met up with my buddy Gary for a few drinks. When I got home, I found my DVDs from Buy.com waiting for me. Sweet! I already scanned through The Matrix: Reloaded, watching all the good parts (there ARE good parts.)
I already did some good cleaning last night, and I tossed out 3 trashbags worth of crap. Tomorrow night, I'm going to pick up the new file cabinet from Staples (if they have good ones.) Finally, I got my priorities straight and finally fixed up, uploaded, published, and commented on 2 more days of my Vegas Bachelor Party trip. Now I just have 26+ pictures left from our last night in Vegas (Labor Day.) Take a look.
I also want to add more pictures from Anju's wedding (my sister-in-law), and more wedding photos from Saji and Regina. This weekend, I'll try. Sunday is my best bet. Saturday is our "Fall Foliage" trip, and maybe dinner with friends. Sunday is just church.
Wednesday, October 15th 2003
Talk about a busy day. The entire morning, the phone was ringing every few minutes. You ever just not want to pick up the phone? At 10am today, I had one meeting scheduled between today and Friday. By noon, I had 6 more meetings scheduled by end-of-business on Friday. Nuts, I tell ya.The good news is that by 6:15pm, I finished ALL my work. Yes, seriously. I got a lot done today, so I'm pretty happy.
NBC is yanking the tv show Coupling off the air for two weeks, replacing it temporarily with reruns of Whoopi. Whoopi? Not a good sign.
Another sign that Hollywood has run out of ideas for movies: they're casting for a movie based on the old tv show Bewitched. Yeah, you heard me. Bewitched. Samantha, Dur-wood, and a powerfully twitchy nose. Nicole Kidman has been cast as Samantha. Guess who's playing Darren -- Will Ferrell. Yes, from SNL.
Nothing else much going on here at Casa de Ipe. I spent last night and tonight working on the first large batch of wedding thank-you cards. More of the same tomorrow night. Oh, this is funny though. Last night for dinner, we decided to have.....breakfast! Yup, breakfast. On a lark, we made french toast, eggs (fried hard and scrambled), bacon, and washed it down with good old-fashioned orange juice.
It was pretty darn good.
Monday, October 13th 2003
Uh, yeah, we didn't make it to the city on Saturday. By the time Num got back from SAT proctoring, the museum was going to close in 4 hours. Also, I didn't shower or anything either. So, we walked to the Montclair Art Museum, stopping by the local soda shop for burgers, fries, onion rings.....and milk shakes! Hmm, milk shakes! Anyway, not a bad museum, but it's not exactly sprawling. Still, decent.
Sunday, we arrived at the Hudson Valley church, but the bake sale was cancelled, because no one wanted to make anything. Unfortunately, we never found that out. And my wife stayed up all night making those darn cutlets. Well, she took it pretty well. They came out tasty, and we saved them for dinner that night at Prasad and Mercy's. Speaking of which, dinner there was very nice, good food, and I'm glad we went.
Today at work, nobody was in the office. I mean, I got in at my usual time and I was the 5th person to get there. I guess with everyone travelling, others staying home to be with their kids (Columbus Day), and random alien abductions, most people weren't around. It was so quiet, and I was really bored without anyone to converse with. I actually had to do some work today. How droll.
To keep things interesting, I went on a DVD-buying binge. On Buy.com, I ordered:
You may be asking yourself, "Isn't that a lot of Disney DVDs?" One reason I did is because they're for the wife (she's a chick, after all.) Also, Disney is running a promotion where if you buy 3 Disney DVDs, you get a free DVD from them.
Everything should be here in a few weeks. I can't wait!
Friday, October 10th 2003
I'm really glad the week is finally over. I don't know, but the past week has been pretty draining. I think this year's United Way campaign for my department (first year I ever participated in helping to run one) took a lot of energy out of me, and we had two events this week (Bingo and the department Ethnic Luncheon.) Today was the last day of the pledge drive, and I hope a few more people signed up for payroll deduction. We're still lower than last year. I'll find out on Monday.
I made some good dinners this week. I made a chicken stir-fry with Lemongrass sauce (I think I mentioned it before) and rice a few days ago. Last night, I made steak with peppercorn sauce, garlic mashed potatoes (delegated it to Num), and fresh vegetables with a lemon pepper seasoning. Also pretty good. Tonight, I sliced up some beef, and we had beef stir-fry with peanut satay sauce over rice. Hmmm good! I should start taking pictures of these meals.
This weekend, I plan to go cycling Saturday morning while Num is proctoring the SAT exams, then I was hoping to go to the MoMA in NYC, but I just read that everything has been relocated to Long Island City until the museum proper completes renovations winter 2004-2005. What to do? Well, maybe we'll hit the American Museum of Natural History instead. This is going to be our first "date" after getting married. Do I have to bring her flowers and chocolate?
After some playtime, the cat is now sleeping on the loveseat at the moment. This is a good sign, because I want her and the furniture to be friends. Friends don't let friends pee on each other.
Oh, back to the weekend plans. In the evening, we'll be a beef cutlet assembly line as we make....uh, beef cutlets.....for the Youth Bake Sale on Sunday at church. Yes, we're actually going to show up at Hudson Valley on Sunday. Afterwards, we're going to visit my parents, and then dinner at Prasad and Mercy's home. That's our friend Pradeep's house. Our first dinner at someone's house because we're celebrities. I could get used to free meals.
Num and I bought some travel accessory organizers from L.L. Bean, using this $20 gift certificate they gave me. I got the small one in black, and she chose the medium in sky blue. Ah, now my toiletries won't run amok in my suitcase! Foiled again, you stupid toiletries!
I haven't seen Underworld yet, but I already want to see Kill Bill Vol 1, and Intolerable Cruelty. Kill Bill looks like there's some good action, but Intolerable Cruelty? I know SHE wants to see it, and I'll have to see it (as the husband), so I might as well convince myself that I want to see it. Besides, it's not a big deal to see a movie that your significant other wants to see. I made her see Matrix: Reloaded (not a good choice after all.) Also, Catherine Zeta-Jones is smokin'.
Then it's back to work on Monday. Why am I already depressed?
Tuesday, October 7th 2003
Guess who's getting to bed at a decent hour, and getting to work on time? Yup, that's one day so far. I have to do it again, obviously. I'm doing the laundry at the moment, but while it's all drying, I'm cleaning up. Also, I've added 17 more wedding pictures, courtesy of Mr. Vijay Philip. I'll be adding them as we go.
Time to get my clothes, as it's about 11:48pm. Before I go, I do want to say that our United Way team had our 2nd fundraising event today: Bingo! I may publish 1-2 pictures of the event, but it went well, and we raised some good money. Our 1st event was a "Guess how much candy is in the jar", and that wasn't bad. Tomorrow is our last event, an ethnic luncheon for our department. I'm doing a lot of arranging for this, so let's hope it goes smoothly, and no one gets food poisoning.
Work is also going well, and my manager said I might be heading to the Midwest in November to audit some 3rd-party vendors we have working for us. We'll see if it actually happens, but I wouldn't mind going. You forget that I enjoy travelling!
Monday, October 6th 2003
So, after staying up until 4am again last night, I missed my train this morning, and almost didn't make it to my big 10am meeting today. I was so pissed at myself that I've made a new resolution. NO MORE LATE WEEKNIGHTS.
No more going to bed at 3am, 4am, if I can help it. It's one thing to be a little late, but not when it's going to affect my job performance. Grrrr.
I made dinner tonight for myself and the missus. My famous chicken stir-fry and rice. As usual, it was received with rave reviews.
So I can make it to work tomorrow, I'm going to do the dishes, and get some sleep. It's 12:33am at the moment, certainly an early night by Joel Ipe standards. To keep you busy, I've uploaded pictures from Sunday's reception and the 1st batch of wedding photos. Yes, finally. Enjoy. The first batch are courtesy of Mr. Vijay Philip.
Sunday, October 5th 2003
Only in New York. Some guy in Harlem had a 500-pound tiger and a 280-pound alligator in his apartment. Uh, why? I mean, in the middle of Harlem?
I was watching CNN Presents tonight, and they featured the continent of Antartica. Pretty cool. I can't imagine the people who live and work there for years.
Today, my in-laws had a small reception for us at their church for us. It was nice, and people gave us more gifts! I took some pictures, and so did a few others, but I left the camera in the car, and I'm not motivated enough to go grab it now. I'm still fixing up the pictures from the wedding and the Vegas trip, so don't think I don't love the voyeurs out there.
Afterwards, Num and I did some grocery shopping @ Stop & Shop in Clifton. Grand total? $194.
How do two people eat that much?
Thursday, October 2nd 2003
Yes, I'm back. Missed me? It's been a few weeks now, but the wedding and other evening activities took precedence. In my defense, I have been so exhausted working on the wedding planning, and so has....my wife! Yes, for all you jerks who bet that I wouldn't get married, pay up. I'm married. Here's why I've been so busy.
1. United Way. I'm one of the captains for the Audit department United Way campaign this year. As such, I've been involved in planning our events, and creating some of our advertising. My major project has been the progress board. I called it "Help Build Our Community," and as we hit our progress marks, we'll fill in the community/town with various services.
2. Dance lessons. As we got closer to our "Big Day," we got a little worried that our first dance wasn't going to look good. To get our money's worth, we doubled up our lessons to twice a week. It wasn't until the 2nd-to-last week that we realized, "Hey, we're pretty damn sick of dance lessons already." Come on, we'd been taking lessons since the end of May. We couldn't wait to reclaim our Thursday nights again.'
3. General wedding preparation. Forget the rest of the wedding? Besides our first dance, we had so much work to do. Julie even had to come by one evening to help with wrapping up the favors. There was a lot of help from my best man Doug, the bridesmaids and other friends, so the wedding was a joint effort. Even Paul flew in a day early before the wedding so he could help us out. Man, he drove us everywhere.
Most of all, the future Mrs. Namita David Ipe did most of the coordination, and I was her lackey. Still, if she wasn't on top of the game, the wedding would not have been as nice. Good job, girl!
4. Audit work. Forget that I have a job? Yes, I still had to hold down a job, so in the midst of wedding arranging, I was working on our Corporate Internet Infrastructure audit and Windows NT/W2K audit. Blech. Fun stuff. In the middle of a rating meeting, I'm worrying about whether I had delivered materials to the Marriott hotel or the DJ or a myriad of other people.
At least some of my coworkers cared enough to ask every day how the plans were going. On my last day of work before the wedding (last Thursday), a bunch of them took me out for lunch to this Thai restaurant on 23rd St. I got my usual Pad Ki Mow (spicy flat noodles and chicken), and here's us sitting next to the kitchen.
Well, the wedding went off without too many hiccups or hitches, except the torrential rain in the morning. I've already started receiving pictures from friends, but I'll choose select ones tomorrow or this weekend to share. It's 1am, I'm tired, still need to do the dishes, and I need to meet Doug at 8:30am tomorrow in front of my office.
And I don't want to be late. BTW, I can't say it enough: I LOVE MY NEW iPAQ!!! Check out a picture of it under "Recent Purchases." Also, note that I've finally had a reason to update my "Joel's Wishlist" on the right. I've marked off "Living Room set" and "Coffee/End tables" as recent acquisitions. You should check the September 2003 archived news page for pictures. How sweet it is!
Before I forget, the trailers for Matrix Revolutions and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King are now offiicially out. Revolutions comes out in November, and RoTK comes out in December. I can't wait to see either. If you haven't seen the trailers, check them out today.
Also, some new websites to mention. First of all, my friends Vibhaw and Chirag have started a new business venture: Mesh Dating (Meet Exclusive Singles Here.) It's a place where South Asians (Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans, Bengalis, etc.) can meet and greet that special someone. I wish them the best, and if it starts making money, I want to say *cough*cough* it was my idea. [Yeah, right.]
And finally, my friends Evans and Dana got married a few weeks ago. Evans has started a new website, and he's got wedding pictures to share. Here he is at evanschang.com. Evans, I wish you and Dana the best. Good luck!