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Luke Melia

9/28/02, 8:27 pm – Fourth Time’s a Charm

Matt and I managed to win a game today as we dropped the other five games of pool play today. The good part, though, is that we got to play together. It’s our fourth attempt this summer. The other three were foiled by flakiness by one party or the other coupled Matt’s cell-phone-less status. But we managed to put it together the last tournament weekend of the summer, and that gives me all kinds of faith in the universe’s wacky ways.

It was gorgeous today. Rough surf under a blue sky and an unseasonably hot sun beaming down on an eerily flat beach which had been wet down by yesterday’s storm. After the tournament, Matt, Jeanhee, Liz and I played in the surf, getting knocked down by some waves and foiling others by diving underneath them.

Back to the beach tomorrow for the official end of the summer volleyball season.

9/26/02 – National Willie Day

Happy 24th Birthday to my brother, Will!

He always seems to be just a couple years behind me…

9/26/02, 2:20 am – As American As…

Today, apple pie was the first thing I ate and the last thing I ate. The breakfast apple pie was leftovers, and the dessert was at Bubby’s with Mary.

I like apple pie. Makes me feel proud to be American.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Rehnquist, Norton et al. don’t make me proud — they make me scared. I’m scared that they will erase decades of progress in our civil liberties and fast-forward decades toward environmental ruin.

But most of all, I’m scared that they’ll get us into a war that goes out of control. That’s where the unilateral track could take us. If we declare to the world that we’re going to war against Iraq, the world’s opinion be damned, then we’ll see other countries act in the same fashion. We saw it this week, with Israel’s assertion that it will retaliate if attacked by Iraq.

After 9/11, a theory circulated that bin Laden’s goal was to incite a war between the Arab world and the West. If there’s truth to that, it seems like we should be treading more lightly.

See? A couple of pieces of apple pie and I get all political. Be careful of that stuff.

9/23/02, 12:44 am – Jack Straw

After midnight and dad’s back in town. He’s playing the dark red Ovation. “Jack Straw,” by the Grateful Dead. I’m singing along as I unpack from the weekend. It’s been a while since I posted, so let me catch us up-to-date…

I played in a volleyball tournament last weekend. Men’s Division A with Aaron down in Jersey. We came in second place. It was Aaron’s fourth second place of the season. He wasn’t too thrilled about it. I used my winning to get a nifty hooded sweatshirt, though, so it didn’t bother me much. It was a gorgeous day and the water was still warm enough to be refreshing after a tough match.

The following evening, I celebrated my birthday on Long Island. My aunt and uncle were in from California. Jeanhee came out with me, and Dave and Nana were over, too. It was a full house for tofu lasanga (my birthday request) and varied and sundry other delicious vegetarian fare. My present from Mom, an indoor volleyball (Tachikara SW5-Gold) hadn’t yet arrived.

At work, the days moved by fairly quickly. I’m learning ASP.NET stuff, and allowing myself to enjoy the process. It’s always a interesting blend of frustrating and thrilling to learn a new technology framework. I’m glad to have at least a few other people learning alongside me.

I’ve met a great crowd of sand volleyball players at my gym. I’m now part of their regular Tuesday and Thursday night pick-up games. I feel like I’m often the worst guy playing. That can be tough on the ego, but it’s great for improving my game.

This weekend, Jeanhee and I went upstate to spend the weekend at the country home of a college friend of hers. I was a bit concerned going into the weekend that I’d have nothing to do there. Which was true and, of course, wonderful. We went on a hike, ate a lot, I played guitar, drank wine, laughed, and listened to the rain fall on the metal roof and raise a mist over the rolling fields.

Tonight, dad and I caught up a bit, talked politics, relationships, music and more. He and my brother are planning to move to San Diego this fall. Now the guitar playing is over and it’s quiet. We’re contemplating an early morning skate.


Happy Birthday. My mom told me last night, as she does nearly every birthday, how the day I was born was one of the most wonderful days of her life. She always says, “Thank you for being born to me.”

I usually tell her, “Anytime.”


My iPod arrived. Listening to the Beatles now.

It was worth the wait. Really friggin’ cool.

A Year Later

A year ago today.

My office stayed closed this morning until noon. I didn’t want to watch the memorial service, and turned off NPR, which was broadcasting a radio play-by-play. Reflection, yes. Pomp and circumstance, I couldn’t deal with. Talk of war, even less.

Jeanhee and I skated to the greenmarket at Union Square. While we put on our skates, we listened to U2 sing about New York on All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

The greenmarket turned out to be a great place to be for me. It’s always been one of my favorite things in New York — a great example of community and common space.

I feel like marking a year from last September 11th to this one is makes much more sense than thinking of New Year’s Day to New Year’s Day, or even from birthday to birthday. I still remember so clearly how I felt and what I saw and heard that day. It sits in remarkable contrast to today. I’ve learned to celebrate and appreciate life much more than before.

If you want a visual look back, see Choire’s pictures, and Anthony’s from the same week (album 1, album 2).


We lost our playoff match last night, thus ending the indoor team’s best season yet. The first game was pretty lame… it took us a while to get into a rhythm. We played very well the second game, but ended up losing 16-14.

Also ending soon is the summer. There’s a three weekends left in the beach volleyball season, and summer officially comes to close with the autumnal equinox on September 23rd 12:56 am. The Japanese call the time around the equinoxes “higan” — a Buddhist term meaning “the other side of the river of death.”

My 25th year on the planet is ending, too. I turn 26 on Monday. My mom’s getting me a volleyball as a present. I couldn’t be happier!

Serve and Volley

I watched Serena beat her older sister Saturday and Sampras beat Agassi today. Both winners were pretty dominant. The loser showed evidence of the skill it took to make it to the finals but, still, it was striking how large the difference was between Sampras’ game today and Agassi’s.

I’d like to take up tennis sometime. I think it would be a great sport to take seriously and improve steadily. I’m not really willing to devote much energy away from volleyball right now, but perhaps someday…

In professional tennis, I like how the coaches aren’t allowed to interact with the players during the matches. It’s just each player and their own psyche out there on the court.

Jeanhee and I played in a volleyball tournament on this extraordinarily beautiful day. We won a couple of games, but not enough to make it out of pool play. Still, it was fun, and it gave us a clear idea of the skills we want to work on most. And, the ocean felt great.

I’d like to say something exciting about work and how I’m looking forward to some interesting project… but there’s none of that to tell at the moment. At the moment, work is a necessary evil between dining, dates, blogging and volleyball. One tech thing of note is that I’m now running Mac OS X 10.2, Jaguar. It’s an improvement and I enjoy OS X overall. I just really wish it was as fast as OS 9.

Tomorrow night, first round of the playoffs for the no-longer-corporate volleyball team. My first time to the playoffs with an indoor team!


I’ve been thinking recently about openness…. open technology standards, open debate, open lives….

At my job, we’re in the midst of a transition from unix-based technologies to Microsoft-based technologies. Unix platforms are mostly built on open standards. Microsoft’s ain’t.

An open standard happens when some people get together and hash out a proposal and then a bunch of others say, yeah, that’s a good idea. And then everyone can use the idea. That’s how the human race has made it this far. We share ideas about shelter and sustenance and health and love and government and more.

I didn’t realize how much I appreciated an environment of open standards and the spirit of technical cooperation until I’m faced with it going away.

George W. is trying to rush our country into a war on Iraqi soil. Thank goodness we have a congress that wants to investigate and debate the idea, and an international community which wields political pressure. If not, this action would be taken under the veil of secrecy that has unfortunately and unacceptably covered many aspects of this administration.

Openness. “Without obstructions to passage or view.” When you write about your life, you invite people to read, to participate. People keep personal journals in public for many different reasons. Some do it for a creative outlet. Some to help themselves reflect. Some for fun. I do it mostly to reach out and make my friendships more interesting and more multidimensional.

There’s still stuff I keep to myself, I guess. And not all software should be open source. And not all the president’s conversations should be a matter of public record. But, all-in-all, openness is a good thing to have a lot of in the world.

LukeMelia.com created 1999. ··· Luke Melia created 1976. ··· Live With Passion!
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