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The Year of Living Dangerously
Cruel Summer

Note: This volume has been edited beyond recognition.

Sunday August 17, 2003

There are some interesting developments as of late. The odd conversation with Shirley last night about my "negative" attitude leads me to believe that Ramona made the analysis and passed it on to Shirley. In essence, I am happy with my life. I am just not satisfied with some of the external aspects, the most predominant being my entry into the geriatric life. "I am not growing old gracefully," I told her. Who the hell wants to grow old?

Odessa called this morning to confirm that the hike to Maunawili Falls was still on. I called Pseudo-professor John and gave him the details. So, we met at the agreed time near the small war memorial by the Pali/Kamehameha Highway junction. When everyone arrived, we drove to a small park and left our cars there. We rode in Odessa's truck to our destination. The hike was fairly easy. It took us about an hour to reach the falls. There were about 12 of us total, most of them being Brad's people. After the hike, Odessa and two of her friends as well as Pseudo-professor John and I went to The Shack in Kailua. Shirley called several times during the hike. I called her back when we were on the way to The Shack. She was still in Pearl City. So, we ordered food and ate. Shirley called when she made it back home. When she finally arrived, Odessa and her friends departed. We sat around and chatted for over an hour. It was actually very pleasant.

Monday August 18

An uneventful day. I was pretty tired from the weekend. We have two days left for the Summer term at the Diploma Mill, so I will have a lot of grading to do. I saw Pseudo-professor John at 3pm in the faculty computer room. We chatted for a while. I didn't get to the gym until 4pm. I did a short workout. Then, I returned to the faculty computer room. Pseudo-professor John was still there. He gave me a ride home.

Tuesday August 19

An uneventful day. At the Diploma Mill, I ended up talking with most of the students from my math class. They turned in their research papers today. However, they stayed to chat. I felt a little sad because I will miss all of them. Former professor Lisa called me on my beloved cell phone this afternoon. She arrived in Hawai'i on Friday. She said that she would stop by the Diploma Mill later in the afternoon. I went to the gym and did my usual workout. When I returned to the faculty computer room, I saw Professor Brian sitting at the table with Lisa. We ended up chatting until it was time for me to catch the express bus. Tentatively, we have agreed to do a few activities within the next week. I saw Mark at the bus top. We ended up chatting for the ride home on the express bus.

Wednesday August 20

An uneventful day at both campuses. Shirley called. We discussed karaoke night. Shirley was not upset that I didn't plan to go, but I don't think she was really happy about it. She even said that she may have to invite some of her other friends.

Thursday August 21

I neglected to mention that I saw Mary Ann sitting at the bus stop yesterday. I chatted with her until the express bus arrived. She's still quite a babe. I also talked with Pseudo-professor John last night. He decided that he won't be going to karaoke night because too many people are going to be there. He even bought a Billy Joel CD to practice a few songs. "I'm not going though that kind of public humiliation," he said. I also chatted with Shirley, but the conversation became somewhat upsetting to me. She is unsympathetic to the undercurrents in the group. She cannot see why Pseudo-professor John have the hots for her. I cannot believe that babes just do not understand what guys have to go through. I tried to explain that it was fairly obvious how none of us really knows any babes. Therefore, when a single babe comes along, it's like a feeding frenzy. I was so perturbed that I could not sleep.

I called Shirley this afternoon. I told her that I would be going to karaoke night. It really is my obligation to go since I am the "activities director." The computer systems, modem pool, and campus servers are all down at the Diploma Mill due to the Blaster worm. I had to go back to the Asylum several times to check e-mail and do some work on-line. Pseudo-professor Robert was in the faculty computer room when I arrived. We ate lunch at Taco Bell. Naturally, we discussed the babe situation. On the way back to the Diploma Mill, we ran into Brad. He had to submit a paper. Later, I disclosed a new idea to Pseudo-professor Robert. I said that we should put a display ad in the paper with the pictures of three of us (including Pseudo-professor John). We would be advertising for babes. I told him that I could probably get some help from the Asylum's marketing department. he thought that I was crazy. I think it's a great idea.

Mary Ann came out and sat a few feet away from me while I was talking on the phone. She must have been on a break. I wanted to chat with her again, but she was on her phone by the time I ended my call. So, I waved good-bye to her. In the faculty computer room, I continued to lay out my new plans to Pseudo-professor Robert. Professor Brian arrived shortly afterward. I ended up talking with him. He gave me numerous tips on how to meet and chat up babes. Chatting up babes is apparently a key strategy. However, most of the time, the babe must do the talking. The idea is to make the conversation fun. I missed my usual express bus because I was talking with Professor Brian. I ended up taking the last express bus out of town. When I returned home, former Professor Lisa called. She wanted to know the plans for Sunday. I left it up to her. We'll finalize the plans when I see her on Saturday.

Friday August 22

Before I continue, let me make one thing clear. I am not trying to be deceitful, nor am I up to no good. I am now only $337 from reaching the goal of my five-year financial plan. I am also contemplating a higher rate plan for my cell phone service. I am now always dangerously close to my allotted minutes.

I bought a new cell phone for $250 today. I'm not sure why. It's probably because I have nothing else in my life. I talked with Shirley this afternoon. She said that she would drive to Hawai'i Kai tonight and then we would drive to town in my beloved six-four. At 7pm, I called Shirley because she was over 30 minutes late. She said that she had a stomach ache, but she would meet us at the karaoke joint. Naturally, only a few did the singing.

Shirley, Pseudo-professor John and I went to Zippy's to eat. It is clear that our time together as a group is limited. Pseudo-professor John has indicated that he plans to "disappear" after this. I can't say that I blame him. He has an immense crush on Shirley. The Summer is not ending up well. I can no longer hold the group together. Heck, I can barely hold myself together.

Saturday August 23 — "Save Yourself"

Last night, when I returned home, I discovered that moms was sleeping in the living room. It turns out that moms has been unable to sleep for weeks now because I have been going out on the weekends. I was ready to explode as moms launched into the usual nonsense. In effect, I was being treated like a kid. The whole thing was utterly stupid. I was even more perturbed because I had other things on my mind.

I was not able to sleep again last night. However, I ended up at the Diploma Mill to work on my syllabus. With the impending bus strike on Tuesday, I have no choice but to get as much work done as I can. Pseudo-professor Robert came by a little later. We had an interesting discussion. I told him about the situation with moms. He said that he is going through the same thing. He believes that his mother is suffering from some kind of neuroses, which is my own diagnosis of moms. I was shocked to discover that his mother rents the house that they live in. In other words, Peudo-professor Robert will eventually have to fend for himself. We ended up discussing the babe situation again. I have observed that he has resigned to accept his lot in life. "Save yourself," he said. I also called and chatted with Pseudo-professor John and Shirley. My conversation with Pseudo-professor John was disturbing as well, as he indicated that he "wanted [his] life back." He also indicated to me that Shirley also "wants her life back." We have been taking up too much of her time. He reasoned that her time would be better spent hanging out with guys with greater potential than us. "Shirley wants to get married by age 27," he said. "She cannot be wasting time with us." My conversation with Shirley was less depressing.

I finished my work and took the bus home. I also called Brad and Odessa about the deck party at Professor Russell's house. Odessa said that she would go. I went for a hike up Koko Head again. I called John (in Modesto) this week. We chatted for an hour. My beloved cell phone is paying for itself. I was too tired to go to the gym. I called Pseudo-professor John to see if he was going. He decided not to go, but he called back later to say that he wanted to go. All in all, the disintegration of our group has finally come about.

At dinner, moms brought up the same crap again. I couldn't take it anymore and exploded in a rage. It's plainly obvious that moms wants me to sit at home and vegetate my life away, just so that she can be comforted that I am safe. It never dawns upon moms that my life will continue on when she is gone. I do not want to live like a monk for the next 30 years or so. This kind of stupidity is getting unbearable. I am now certain that I will need to move out very soon. I was supposed to meet Odessa and Cory at the Daiei at 7pm, but I was running late. Pseudo-professor John drove to Hawai'i Kai and caught a ride with me. We finally arrived at the Daiei store. Shirley was there, but she was not feeling well. So, she said that she would not make the deck party either. No one really wanted to go the deck party, and I can see why. These faculty functions are really boring.

We made the most of the situation. Odessa, Cory, and Pseudo-professor John ended up playing cards outside. I mingled for a bit. Shirley called. I ended up chatting with her for an hour. If it wasn't for her, I'm not sure what I would have done. We finally left at 10:30pm. That's what faculty consider to be late. Pseudo-professor John and I ended up chatting in the former "warehouse" when we returned to Hawai'i Kai. We continued the discussion that I started this morning. I also discussed the evolving situation with moms. Pseudo-professor John is fortunate that he does not have to put up with that crap. It is really apparent to me that he is totally enamored with Shirley. He seems to believe that he disappointed Shirley on Friday at kakaoke night and, therefore, she has become distant. I suspect that he based this presumption on Shirley's behavior at Daiei, not knowing that Shirley was suffering from stomach cramps again. It is clear that the time has come to let the group collapse. "Save yourself," Pseudo-professor Robert said. The phrase keeps playing back in my mind.

Sunday August 24

I went on a hike up Koko Head again this morning. Vanessa called, which really surprised me. I haven't heard from her in a long time. She mentioned that her sister is getting married. She also said that Ellen got married and moved to the mainland. We chatted for about 30 minutes. I walked to the gym at 1pm. I did a quick workout. Former Professor Lisa called while I was walking home. We made arrangements to meet at Ala Moana Center. I took a quick shower. My bro arrived during the interim. He is working on another project for moms. After a few more calls from former Professor Lisa, I was on my way. Using our cell phones, we were able to find each other. We walked to Ala Moana Beach Park from there. We were not sure where the Greek Festival was being held, so we looked around. I told her that I remembered that, a few years ago, the festival was located at the McCoy Pavilion. So we walked there and confirmed the latter. She called her other friends who were looking for parking. They all joined up with us within a few minutes. Everyone else was married with kids. Former Professor Lisa and I were the only two singles. We looked out of place.

The festival was fun. I had a good time. We ate Greek food and danced to the music. Just kidding! There was no dancing. We spent some time looking around at the various booths. Everyone else left at 6pm. Former Professor Lisa and I watched the belly dance show in the auditorium. After all of that, we left the festival. I walked her over to the bus stop at Ala Moana and kept her company until the bus arrived. For me, this was a wonderful day. Obviously, I either chatted with or did something with babes. What other loser could live a life like this? "Save yourself," Pseudo-professor Robert told me. That I am.

Monday August 25

An uneventful day. This was the last day of the term at the Asylum. I ended up at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Pseudo-professor Robert was there. Former Professor Lisa came by at 12:30pm. We ended up chatting for a while. I ended up joining her for a jaunt around Chinatown. We spent an hour shopping for fresh produce. I enjoyed the time with her because she has a very calm, self-actualized demeanor. I know no one else like her. The rest of us are all basket cases. Since the bus strike seems imminent, I made tentative plans with her to do something else this week. I went to the gym and did my usual workout. Glen was there. I returned to the Diploma Mill to do more work after that, but I did not get much done. I am not sure how I will get any work done for the rest of the week.

Tuesday August 26

The bus drivers are on strike, and everything is a big mess. I took a short hike up Koko Head this morning. Then, I called Kevin to see if he could give me tips on where I could park for free near town. I left for downtown in my beloved six-four at 10:30pm. I parked in the Kaka'ako area that Kevin recommended. Then, I walked to town. It took me about 20 minutes. I went straight to the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. I worked on porting my class to the Page-Out site, which essentially converts it to a distance learning course. My department has urged all faculty to convert the classes to Page-out in anticipation of visa problems for the foreign students. The whole thing has been a fiasco, because Page-Out is not intuitive. However, I was able to finally figure it out. Page-Out, by the way, is similar to WebCT.

Pseudo-professor Robert arrived shortly afterward. He walked with me to the gym because he decided that he wanted to join up. The problem, of course, is that he wanted to join as a family member under my membership. I didn't particularly care for idea. So, he changed his mind. After my workout at the gym, I returned to the faculty computer room to do more work. I pretty much finished my Page-Out site, although I later realized that I made a few serious errors. Pseudo-professor Robert gave me a ride to where I was parked. The drive home was horrendous. I sure hope that this bus strike doesn't last too long. Everyone, including myself, has been completely stressed out. The bus strike is just another straw that is ready to break the camel's back. I am also dangerously close to using up my free cell phone minutes. Who would have thought that I would use the phone that much? I am not sure whether I should upgrade the plan since it is uncertain whether our group will be doing much after Summer.

Wednesday August 27

Pseudo-professor John sent me an odd e-mail yesterday. He expressed how happy he was with his life, his job, and the fact that he knows no babes. He is content. I sent him a reply thanking him for joining the group for the Summer. Essentially, it was a good-bye note. I am happy that he and Pseudo-professor Robert have chosen the path of least resistance, which is acceptance. To me, acceptance and resignation are synonymous. The bus strike may last several months. I am not sure how I am going to get to work next week. I have no contingency plan. And, I do not want to drive every day. It seems that life is approaching critical mass.

Shirley called to say that she would be in town today. She had only 12 free minutes left on her cell phone, so we did not chat for long. I decided to try the City shuttle as an alternative to driving to town. I still had to drive to Ala Moana, though. I made it town just fine. However, no one could give me a positive answer concerning the time of the last shuttle run. I finished my Page-Out site. Looks like it's ready for its big debut. I then went for a walk around time. I went to the T-Mobile store to upgrade my cell phone service. I had only 34 free minutes left. The new plan takes effect tonight. I was basically killing time while I waited for Shirley to call. I went to the gym and did my workout. I did not hear the phone ring when Shirley called. She used her friend's cell phone. When I called back, the phone was off. So, I left a message. I was already on my way home when Shirley called back. She called several more times. When I returned home, I called her back and chatted for a few minutes. She had another call, so she cut our call short. I never heard from her after that. The sad part is that all of the confusion would have been eliminated if Shirley was willing to pay 40 cents per minute rate after her free minutes were used up. Alas, it all doesn't matter. I did my yardboy chores and dropped back the last two cans of Guiness brewskis that my bro had left. I was feeling pretty good, so I drove down to Foodland to buy a bottle of Merlot. It's sitting in the freezer as we speak.

This is my pathetic life. I am only waiting for payday on Friday, so I can officially realize the end of my five-year financial plan. Why am I not even the least bit excited? I'll tell you why. Alas, we can never have what we want, can we?

Thursday August 28

Shirley called late last night. I was already well into the wine. We chatted for over two hours. She told me about the ordeal that she and her friend Shorty had to endure yesterday. They spent most of the day giving their depositions for a lawsuit. Of course, the majority of our conversation had to do with the usual babe/guy issues. She chastised me for not actively pursuing Gigi. "You could have called Odessa and got her phone number," she said. This went on for a while. Shirley actually became somewhat passionate about all of this.

Former Professor Lisa called this morning. She said that she wanted to go on a hike. Pseudo-professor Ralph was supposed to come along, but he was detained with other matters. I met former Professor Lisa in the Daiei parking lot in Kailua. We then drove to the entrance of the Olomana hike. The hike itself was much more difficult. The trail was completely uphill, with the last half being quite strenuous. We were actually climbing up the trail at certain points. The view was spectacular. We made it to the top in about 90 minutes. On the way down, I almost went over the ledge at one point. It was pretty hilarious. She asked me if I was dating Shirley. I had to explain the unusual circumstances of our friendship. We were pretty fatigued at the end of the hike. We drove back to Daiei and went into the store to do some shopping. I called Shirley from there at 2pm. She agreed to meet me for lunch, but I would have to pick her up. So, after former Professor Lisa and I were done, I said good-bye to her. There is a chance that I may see her tomorrow, but I want to officially say farewell just in case. Shirley called to find out where I was. I was just a few minutes away at the time. Then, like a putz, I couldn't find her place, so I had to call her again. We went to Big City Diner for a late lunch. We discussed a few things. She also told me that I need to look for thirty-something babes because "they are more willing to settle down and get married." She then asked about former Professor Lisa and whether I would consider hooking up with her. I discovered that former Professor Lisa is single again. She is in her late twenties, I believe. And, she is returning to Atlanta on Saturday. After lunch, I dropped Shirley off and drove back to Hawai'i Kai. I walked down to the gym and did only my weight workout. My favorite Asian babe was there, if you can believe it. Wait until I tell Glen this.

Friday August 29

I can't really say that today was uneventful. Former Professor Lisa called this morning. She said that she wanted to hike up Koko Head. So, I met her in the park at 9:30am. I was somewhat stiff from the hike yesterday, so and easy hike was fine with me. After the hike, I left for town. Former Professor Lisa had to drop off the Jeep that borrowed from an old colleague. Shirley called right before I left. She was heading for town to pay her tuition and buy her books at the Diploma Mill. I drove to Ala Moana Center and was able to board a City shuttle immediately. I made it to town in record time. Shirley met me at the Chinatown Gateway. We walked over to the Asylum so I could pick up my paycheck. While we were up there, Bug saw both of us. Bug gave Shirley the once over. Even Shirley noticed it. We ate lunch at Taco Bell. Then, I showed Shirley where all of her classes were located. We ended up at the campus bookstore.

I had a nice drive home, even though I was stuck in traffic. Shirley called after I returned home. She said that she and her friend Shorty were going to be at the Mai Tai Bar at 7:30pm. She also told me that Pseudo-professor John had called her to ask about what we planning to do tonight. I was quite shocked to hear this. I picked him up at his place. We met Shirley, Shorty, and Michelle at the Mai Tai Bar. They wanted to go to a karaoke joint. I didn't want to go, but I went because I wanted Pseudo-professor John to go. It was an enjoyable evening.

Saturday August 30

I took another hike up Koko Head this morning. This will be my last hike for the week. I'm getting too much of a tan. My beloved cell phone got quite a workout today. I called Caroll and chatted with her for an hour. Then, I went to the gym. On the way there, I called Shirley and left a message. I also went to the gym today. I spent the rest of the time at the park. I just can't sit at home anymore. I also called EL John in San Jose and chatted with him for about an hour. He filled me in with what's been happening in the last five years since I was in Cali.

I washed and waxed my beloved six-four. I wanted to change the oil today, but the lousy NAPA Auto Parts store in Kuapa Kai was closed when I got there at 4pm. Pseudo-professor John wanted to go to the movies tonight, but he had to finish up some stuff for Fantasy Football with his buddy Brent. So, I told him to call me later. I was feeling nervous, so I drove to the Barnes & Noble in Kahala Mall. I received a phone call from Caroll. She was upset because she drove to Salinas to have dinner with her brother. However, she was running an hour late. So, when she arrived, there was a family meltdown. Shirley also called. She said that she went surfing today, and she did not want to go with us tomorrow night. Pseudo-professor John called. We decided to meet at Zippy's instead of going to the movie. I drove back to Hawai'i Kai and met him there.

I should mention that I perused an interesting article in the Utne Reader while I was at Barnes & Noble. It was a short article, but it was long on information. Apparently I have been out of the loop for so long that I forgot the "three date rule." That is, after the third date, it's time for da wild thing. Now everything is coming together. It's all about sex and sexual attraction. What was I thinking? This sheds new light on the dating scene, and why I will always be excluded from the latter. Sheesh!

Sunday August 31

I did my usual Koko Head hike. Then, I went to the gym. Moms cooked all kinds of food in the kamado again. As you can guess, the Ninja Turds stopped by. Pseudo-professor John and his buddy Ricky also stopped by. We chatted for a few minutes. They are also going to Jaron's. I made arrangements to catch a ride to Jaron's. Then, I called Shirley to see if she would reconsider joining us tonight. She still wasn't sure. When we parked at Jaron's, I called Shirley. She said that she on her way with Shorty. I told them to pick up Pseudo-professor John and Ricky at the Daiei parking lot. A few seconds later, I saw them drive by and wave.

When Shirley and everyone else finally joined us, we all introduced ourselves. No one wanted to stay at Jaron's because the bands were not too good, so we walked to another place about a block away. The place was part of a bowling alley. It was a dump. so we walked across the street to another dump called Cher's. We sat a large table. All the babes were on one side. The guys sat across from them. I sat across from Shirley and Shorty. Thank goodness Shorty was there. We started drinking heavily. Shirley wasn't drinking. She also stepped outside several time because of phone calls. We decided to leave and go back to Jaron's. Shorty and I were drunk and having a great time. Shorty put her arm around me and walked me to the admission gate. I paused for a moment to look back and noticed that no one else was coming in. When I walked up to the gate, I discovered that Shorty had paid for me. We had another round of drinks. I ended up dancing with Shorty.

Shirley kept the rest of the guys company as they stood outside the gate waiting for us. This is the kind of true friend that Shirley is. Pseudo-professor John and Ricky went home. When the band finished its last number, we joined the rest of the group. Someone wanted us all to go to the beach to hang out. So, we went to Safeway first to buy a few things. We drove to the beach in two separate cars. I rode with Shirley and Shorty. We listened to rap music along the way. We stayed until 3:30am. Shirley offered to give me a ride home. Shirley dropped me off and I went to bed right away.

To be continued ... Go to D.16

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