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The Year of Living Dangerously
The Exodus Files

The Exodus Begins

An interesting post by Anonder on Speak IV. I'll include it here for posterity and then I will respond to a few points and go off on some tangents as well.

Since the advisors are now saying I make sense, that implies I must have said something wrong in my last post. At first I thought it was the comment that the US economy will be okay in the future--fools always like to hear rosy forecasts and hate predictions of doom, even when the rosy forecasts (such as that real-estate is a good investment right now) will cause them to lose their shirt whereas heeding the predictions of gloom (such as that real-estate is about to take a dive) might allow them to save said shirt. Anyway, I stand by all of the economic predictions I made. I am not sure of them, of course. A great battle is being fought now between the forces of inflation and deflation. I believe deflation will win, but this prediction would change if the government decided to run even bigger budget deficits than it is currently running, and that is possible, though I think the wind is blowing the opposite way. This is no time to take risks. Stay fairly liquid until there is blood on the streets, as the saying goes, and then look around for something to buy. In other words, sell the townhouse and put the money in certifcates of deposit at federally insured banks (BofI.com or ingdirect.com pay the highest rates). My own money is in an intermediate term treasury bond fund only because it would be too inconvenient for me to use certificates of deposit.

How did I get off on that rant again, anyway? Ah, yes, compliments from the advisor. After further consideration, I decided it was the prospect of traveling that elicited those compliments. Travel as everyone's dream of how to pass the time. The reality is that the only voyage that really matters is the voyage inside ourselves. The purpose of outward journeys is to put ourselves into positions of stress, so that we can move past blockages that are preventing us from moving forwards on the inner journey.

I chose Europe for my traveling because I only partially fit in here. After depositing my backpack at the hotel, I can pass for a native, until I open my mouth. I speak both French and Spanish passably, but I can't use slang or make subtle insults or interpret other people's insults in those languages the way I can in English. I am thus forced into a situation of isolation, but at the same time, I can obtain privacy and inconspicuous, for which I have always had a great need, by simply sitting alone and not saying anything. In a place like Guatemala, on the other hand, it was only too obvious that I wasn't a native and so I could never obtain privacy and inconspicuousness and I nearly went crazy.

The babe situation. I have made great progress in this area since starting my journal. I haven't completed my inner journey in this regard, however, which is why I continue to read your journal and why I am anxious to see you move forward on your inner journey in this regard, so that I can learn from you, instead of you perpertually going in circles on this issue. Or worse, falling into a financial blackhole with that damned townhouse, in the event the real estate market tanks. (And yes, Scott, like most blockheads, is only half-wrong. The market might not tank. It might go up. Will you regret this? Have you regretted the run-up in copper and soybean futures over the past two years? Lots of idiots do well with their investments by dumb luck. What takes real wit is to avoid losing one's money.)

As I see it, you are too far along on the same path I am following to ever be content with a normal relationship, where you and a nice woman settle down and live together and bond emotionally, blah, blah, blah. That leaves you with 4 choices: the Pollywig way, the Anonder way, the way of my monk cousin, and the way of the yogis.

Pollywig is a man in his late 40's, early 50's who used to keep an online journal, wherein he described his many simultaneous sex partners. It made for fascinating reading. He seemed to think he was happy, but somehow reading him always made me think of Quentin Crisp's line about "sex is the last refuge of the truly unhappy--desperate middle aged men chasing after mirages". Anyway, Pollywig had to delete his journal due to complaints from women who objected to being written about (sound familiar?). He has a blog over at livejournal. If you are interested, send him an email, point him to your own journal and say Anonder recommended him (I helped him restore his site after tripod wiped it out--my own network administrator instincts told me to backup his site since he probably was't backing it up himself, so he owes me a favor) and would he mind sending you his archives, if he still has them. I don't think the Pollywig way is the answer for you, but then maybe I am wrong. The way you jumped on my comment about not making strong vows makes me think you perhaps need to at least try this way. If so, then remember this. The next time you are presented with an opportunity but are reluctant to pursue it, avoid the idiot advisor notion that what you are feeling is "fear of rejection". What you are really feeling is "what is the point--it's so much easier just to jerk off than bother making convesation and spending money just so this babe will let me fuck her". Repeat to yourself over and over "distasteful as it may be, I must make conversation, etc in order to resolved these doubts about myself and quiet these internalized advisor voices and move forward with my life." Let my emphasize that I do NOT myself think that having a bunch of adventures is necessary for you to move forward with your life. However, if you really think that is the case, then this is the way to do so.

The anonder way, of course, is the way of masturbation, using the sexual kung fu. I have given up calling myself an "urban monk", incidentally. Rather, I call myself Frater Revelo of the Order of Spiritual Hermaphrodites and Adorers of the Virgen (OSHAV). I am currently the only memeber of this religious group. I haven't yet written the rules of this order, but our focus will be on the twin rituals of the sacred bone fire for men and the sacred overflowing cup for women. There may also be a ritual of quenching the sacred flaming wand in the sacred waters of bliss, which will only be performed on special occasions between the brothers and sisters. Someday I'll publish more about all this on my web site. This is the path I recommend for you.

The way of my monk cousin is the way of the so-called Master. Sweep the whole issue under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist. I think you'll go crazy if you follow this path.

The path of the yogis involves somehow manipulating the sexual energy on a purely internal basis, without ever manipulating the pudenda themselves. I've tried this and never could get it to work. Personally, I think it is nothing more than the way of my monk cousin and the Master in disguise.

So, here we go! By the way, I still have not finished editing the remaining six chapters. The situation with the townhouse is now dependent on my precarious job situation. I will either be terminated from the Asylum before Summer is over, or I will resign. I am trying to plan a transition back to faculty, if that's a possible alternative. In the meantime, I have to begin job hunting. I have been monitoring several units that have been up for sale in the same complex. Three of them were available last week. None of them are listed this week. Another unit was listed for the first time. The asking prices are between $225,000 and $239,000 for two-bedroom units. These are leasehold. The leases are long, seemingly expiring in 2042. The current rate is $83 per month and that stands until 2017. The fee for the units are about $67,000 or so. Obviously, with long leases, it really doesn't make sense to purchase the fee. My unit was sold fee simple, so I have the fee. It sold for the price that the leasehold units are going for now. So, you can do the math. Since house prices are really high and inventories are low, it seems that the townhouses and condos are now the hot ticket. Prices for both can only go so high. I believe that they are beginning to top out, which means that I have maybe six months to sell. I need that six months because I have not paid enough interest to itemize my deductions. If I realize any capital gains this year, I will be taxed heavily. I am hoping that I can initiate the sale in December so it closes the following year. By that time, I may be unemployed. So, it will be to my advantage. This plan could change at anytime. I am ready to vacate the place almost immediately as there is little in the way of furniture there now.

Journal, blogs, and other Web oddities. Yes, Anonder made quite an astute observation, one that I made before as well. Every journal or diary on the Net focuses on the babe situation, the guy situation, and da wild thing. If I am correct, Anonder discovered only one journal called "Armchair Peregrinations," which was completely devoid of those subjects. As a matter of fact, that's the way all journals have been since the inception of the Internet. Therefore, as I mentioned a few days ago, I patterned LoserNet in a similar manner. The difference between LoserNet and other sites is that the reader gets a true loser's perspective. So, what is really the babe situation for the ol' lavahead? Well, he's been single and celibate for six years now. What does that tell you? Either I am a true loser, or I am actually ambivalent about the babe situation, or both. Otherwise, something has got to be wrong. Can you even name one person aside from the oversized cranium who has accomplished this same feat? I didn't think so. That does not preclude the fact that I do have doubts. That's what I write about. However, it is curious why I continue to debate the babe situation. I surmise that it has to do with biology.

I underlined the most interesting point in his treatise about the babe situation. And, Anonder is right when he said that I am too far along his same chosen path to have a so-called "normal" relationship with a babe. Why do you think I am not married? I was engaged twice but I have never been married. I regularly read Anonder's journal while he was still actively penning it. His interactions with babes were so concise, right down to the conversational banter. I often got the cringing feeling while I read the passages. That's because I experienced the same thing. And, I was cringing then. I don't think I could ever be married or have a close romantic relationship with a babe. I always remember feeling trapped and wanting to flee. Yet, you know what keeps a guy in a relationship, right? So sad. More comments in the days to come!

Memorial Day 2004

The bus routes to Kane'ohe and also to Waikiki pass by various memorial parks. That's a fancy name for cemetery. Along the side of the road were a bunch of vendors selling flowers. This is the weekend people pay tribute to those who have passed on. I have been asked many times if I have gone to pay my respects to pops in Punchbowl National Cemetery. I say no. I hardly saw him when he was alive. The point being, of course, that the best time to pay tribute to anyone is when that person is still alive. Bring the flowers to them now.

By the way, Anonder made an interesting comment about mid-life:

Mid-life, schmid-life. The turmoil you are facing has nothing to do with age. Look at all those blogs and journals by teenagers and by people in their early 20´s, and then consider Sarah's ex-husband. Sex is always the big issue, unless trumped by health or money issues. Traveling won't make the issue go away. If anything, it will aggravate your inner turmoil. Maybe you'll never resolve the issue. But don't think age has anything to do with it.

While it is true that the babe situation, guy situation, and da wild thing are universal amongst all the age groups, there is still a malady called "mid-life crisis." It is true, however, that these issues do not go away. Moving to Costa Rica is certainly not going to alleviate the problem. The bottom line is really simple — almost all decisions are still dependent on externalities. Whether to keep my six-four and my other worldly possessions, whether to sell the townhouse, and so forth, are all a function of whether I want to participate in a society gone awry or not. This is what brings social acceptability. To go the other way is to insure complete alienation. I tried the latter before, but I was too weak. I gave in, and you know why. The Big Five-O is the ultimate reality check.

I believe that, for most guys, the only way to continue on a socially acceptable path is to settle down with a family. Single guys have no reason to purchase homes and furniture. They don't need any of it. Basic survival is all that is necessary. That's my case as well. I wanted a nice place for myself, but there was a major conflict within. Why did I need anything more than a hovel? It also ties me to wage slavery, something that I completely detest. At this point in time, I am certain that I will sell the townhouse. I will most likely get around to renting a hovel. I will have few material possessions, possibly only my computer. I will remain single for the rest of my life, and I will live alone. I'll continue to work, but only on a part-time basis. I'll have spurts where I will work a lot and times when I don't work at all. The majority of people do want to live like this. I don't want or need much. That's the difference. I should have seen this all along.

I went to the gym in Koko Marina this morning. The place was packed. There were a lot of babes there, mostly trophy wives of the Hawai'i Kai elite. It's odd that their husbands are never there. Of course, it makes sense. The guys are either at work or they are at home watching the tube. I also realized that I can never go the gym during rush hour. I no longer can tolerate the crowds.

I did the usual benign crap. I spent most of the day on the bus. Due to the holiday, the buses were all behind schedule. The minute I set foot in Kane'ohe, I began my drinking day. I was hammered in no time. Fortunately, I did not pass out on the floor. I contemplated my situation again, but I was even more confused. I am not certain what to do. Yet, as I meandered around by myself, I made an astute observation — I am a loser and nothing is going to change that. I will never lead a "normal" life, and I have to face this fact now. I do not have a choice. To prop myself up with the trappings of a "normal" life will not change anything except to cause me to file for bankruptcy within a year. Throughout the day, I tried to rationalize one stance over the other. I became even more frustrated as I vacillated to and fro. Every piece of shit material possession of mine is sitting in the former "warehouse" at moms' place. It's now time to make the decision.

As I have stated before, materialism must be nipped in the bud. Otherwise, there is no way to control it. As an example, if I buy one music CD, I will end up with a collection. This rule applies to anything we purchase. Materialism is a disease. I do not know where people are getting the money to buy things. My cash flow is now negative, and I anticipate that I will be in big trouble before the end of June. Gas prices in Hawai'i are up to $2.30 per gallon for the cheap grade. Yet, everyone except me is out driving around. The sheer number of new cars is amazing as well. I have got to be the poorest person on the island. I can't even afford to buy a new shirt. I am wearing clothes that are over six years old. My pants are completely frayed but I must continue to wear them. I think that it's fairly obvious what I must do. I am only bringing myself closer to self-destruction by continuing on the insane path that I am on.

Tuesday June 1

Summer is here already, although it is of no consequence to me. There will be no activities this Summer. I am going to emulate The Master sans the tube. I had to lie down for a few minutes last night. I was not feeling too well after consuming large quantities of the "Hammer." This is what a mortgage will do for you. Human beings were not meant to live like this. The whole purpose of our lives is to shop. We buy useless crap to keep ourselves entertained. Everything is mass produced or synthesized. There is no artistry anymore. No wonder we cannot derive meaning from our existence. Most of us create nothing either. We may have talents, but they will remain dormant forever. My mediocre writing talent is showcased only by this journal. All it has resulted in is a major public relations fiasco with the former friend. Otherwise, it serves no purpose.

An uneventful day, although this is the first day of the second Summer session at the Diploma Mill. I only have one class left after the Algebra class was canceled. One of my former students, Layne, was registered for the class. I ran into him along Fort Street Mall. He was disappointed. I contacted Debbie, my realtor, by e-mail. I asked a few questions about selling the townhouse or renting it. She sent me the complete listings for the complex. As I suspected, the fee simple unit is not selling. It's been on the market for three months. The leasehold units are selling, although there are currently six units for sale. I made several mistakes when I purchased my place. For one thing, I am not a typical buyer. I look for the best possible value. Everyone else looks for the cheapest price possible. Because the leases are fairly long, no one cares about the fee. Hardly anyone holds on to a place longer than five years anyway. I did get a good deal, but it's not a selling point. So, Anonder may be right. I am already trapped in this purchase. I can list my place, but it may not sell for a long time or not at the price I want. My other option is to rent the place. Debbie gave me a referral. So, I now have all of the facts.

Pseudo-professor Kai was in the faculty computer room when I arrived. He was compiling application materials to send to South America. First, I told him how much I envied him. Then, I bluntly asked him why he was on the run. He made a comment about how he would have liked to live the "normal" life-style if only he had a babe he could depend on. I suspect now that his divorce was a major turning point and continues to bother him to this day, I lamented about my own stupidity in buying the townhouse just so I could live up to some kind of arbitrary standard. I asked him about retirement and saving money. He had a very similar opinion as me. We both seem to feel that money saved will only end up lining the coffers of the owners of those pathetic convalescent homes. He always came back to the babe situation. Pseudo-professor Kellie was there. I don't think she really appreciated some of his comments. He definitely does not care for American women. I can't say that I blame him. I am really beginning to wonder if his world travels are simply a circuitous method to find a babe. It's highly plausible since he constantly brings up babes. Sheesh!

In some respects, I may end up fulfilling "The Year of Living Dangerously." I already am off to a good start by pissing off my former friend. Now, I am seriously contemplating my resignation from the Asylum. The writing is on the wall. I will lose my health benefits, and I will need to rollover my 401(k) somewhere else. Yet, does it matter? I am being offered a lead position at Chaminade. It's still part-time, but it gets me out of the Asylum. I'll make less aggregate income, which means I must invoke one of my financial contingencies in order to keep the townhouse. Perhaps this will be the extent of how I will "live dangerously." I will teeter so close to financial collapse to see whether a miracle will save me. So, if the housing bubble collapses, will I lose my shirt? I don't think so. I believe that I bought in at a good time. If anything, I will break even. After all, this is the American way! Spend! Spend! Spend!

I thought about going the other way. I would sell the townhouse and make a small profit after taxes. I would then remain in the "cocoon" and work extremely part-time. I would probably also try to get a job at Barnes & Noble. I would continue this indefinitely, or until some event causes my whole world to collapse. Somehow I just can't bring myself to do that yet. If my world is going to collapse, then I want an active hand in it. So, there you have it. The lesson for today is simple. I discovered that babes have to do with everything a guy does, even guys who are hopping from country to country. It's all about babes and the babe situation. I am done with the babe situation. I am embarking on a new journey of self-destruction. It's an exodus of sorts. It's an exodus to hell.

Wednesday June 2

I chatted with Lori on the express bus this morning. I have to admit, she's the only one who brightens my day with humor. The nightmare at the Asylum is now unfolding. Joe, a student/employee filed a formal complaint against me. The trumped-up accusation were being defended by the Executive Director and Kim, the Director of Education. Vivian, the human resources person, had told me about the complaint. Kim briefed me before the big meeting. I revealed to her my intention to resign at the end of Summer. I am going to see if I can negotiate a part-time position. The complaint was obviously orchestrated by someone else. I am being targeted again, and somehow I feel that Ernie is involved. I was in a meeting for two hours over this crap. It's little wonder why nothing is getting done.

I have an appointment with the Dean at Chaminade this coming Friday. I have decided to accept the part-time faculty position, if it meets my needs. I did not have time to look into any personal matters. In fact, I didn't even get a chance to send out some applications. I will do that tomorrow. Pseudo-professors Kai, Bill, and Glenn were in the faculty computer when I arrived. The former Dean of the Asylum was there. He's also a Pseudo-professor at the Diploma Mill. The Art Walk is on for Friday with Pseudo-professor Glenn. I discussed the townhouse situation with both Pseudo-professors Glenn and Bill. What I am probably going to do is put the townhouse up for sale at a price I won't budge from. I will keep it listed for a month. If it doesn't sell, I'll pull the listing and rent the unit. I have the comprehensive listings for the complex covering the last six months. I know exactly what the asking and selling prices were for the listed units. So far, mine was the cheapest of the fee simple units. So, I know that I didn't buy in at the high end.

The real problem, of course, is that I will need a place to live. The Ninja Turds may move back as early as next month. I am certain that they will be living at moms' place before the end of the year. The renting situation is outrageous here. The average rent for a studio is about $600 or so. Pseudo-professor Glenn is paying $750 for a studio. Pseudo-professor Bill is paying $1,200 for his place. There's also a rental shortage. Frankly, I am about ready to go insane because of this nonsense. I am already at wit's end because of the Asylum. I am actually at the point where I don't care what happens.

For those who do not live here, it is difficult to understand Hawai'i. It's not at all like the mainland. As you can see, the cost of living is extremely high. People do what they have to do to exist. Most people have two or three jobs to survive. On the West side, things are really strange. There are huge nine-bedroom houses in Waipahu. Sometimes there are 30 or more people living in those houses. Lori used to tell me about the sheer number of people on the loan applications for those homes. That's the only way they could afford the payments. It is not uncommon to see this, especially in the local 'hood. The House of Lolo is a prime example. There are three generations living there. Soon, that will be the case in moms' house. If I lose my shirt, I can always come back and crash in the former "warehouse." Well, that leaves me with one last topic. The fortune cookie in my Panda Express dinner read, "Good fortune is coming to you." Let it please come true!

Thursday June 3

I neglected to mention that my former student, Layne, said that he now wants to go to law school so he can become a divorce lawyer. "After they (the babes) sign the paperwork, they can come over to my place," he told me. Didn't I tell you that it is always about babes? Shirley called the other night and left a message. I haven't gotten around to calling her. My cell phone plan is now downgraded, so I do not have many free minutes. Sheesh! My world is disintegrating rapidly. I wonder if this is what happened to Robert when he was living on Mau'i. I can see why he just gave up. I feel the same way. This is also what has happened to Caroll. It's called "crash and burn."

The Asylum is ready to crash and burn. I made peace with Joe, the guy who is responsible for the three-page disciplinary write-up on me. The punchline? He's a part-time employee! The enrollment continues to plummet. A good percentage of the classes will be canceled as a result. One of the computer faculty, Bill, may be removed from the roster because of the accreditation fiasco. I believe that a lot of faculty will be resigning. I have told many people what the real problem is. The reputation of the place is really bad. The campus is made up primarily of Filipino students. Obviously, the Filipino community is very tight. Then, daily operations are bogged down with stupid nonsense like the complaint filed by Joe. The problems have always been internal. Until the new ownership realizes this, the Asylum will continue to spiral downward.

There was an article in today's Honolulu Advertiser about the recent surge in home purchases on O'ahu. Prices for houses are rising and sales have been quick, averaging 20 days. Condo sales are slightly up. What's interesting to note is that home prices have inflated much more than condo prices. I bought in before the small surge in April. The price trend was fairly stable over the last year, as opposed to home prices. Condo sales were not as brisk because there was a sudden increase in home inventories. Everyone is trying to take advantage of the last days of low interest rates. Rents are supposedly going up next month, which exacerbates the situation even more. I contacted Debbie, my realtor, by e-mail. I have not received a reply. She must be busy with all of these new homes for sale.

I sent Caroll an e-mail and one to Shirley, too. Mr. Ray sent e-mail. I was happy to hear from him. We've been having quite an interesting discussion. Former professor Lisa called this morning and left a message. She's in Hawai'i. I have not been able to call her back because I accidentally deleted the number. She's going to another island for a few days, but she wants to get together when she returns. Sounds like fun!

Friday June 4

Sometimes I wonder if the former friend reads the journal, perhaps just to check and see if I did a no-no. Or, maybe to see if I got my just reward. It's true that, whatever goes around, comes around. I am sure that it would be quite entertaining to see me suffer. After all, I deserve it. Right? Well, I believe that my present tribulations have to do with my other larger transgressions over time. It's all about karma. Anyway, back to the topic. Do I think the former friend checks the journal? Nah, I doubt it. There's no reason to.

Yesterday, I actually felt rather calm and composed. I have resigned to the fact that my time at the Asylum is up, and I feel real good about it. The debate about the townhouse is moot. Whether I end up a fool and lose my shirt is also moot. Money is a joke anyway. Sure, I will need some dough to retire. However, I know that I will never have enough to even survive. Caroll and Robert both lost everything when they bought townhouses. It's just another lesson in life. I've always noted that my decisions were always wrong. Yet, I manage to survive. What will happen now? I don't know. I may just become reckless and do something stupid.

A stupid day at the Asylum. Too stupid for me to even discuss. I went to Chaminade to see what's what. The story keeps changing. I may be able to facilitate a couple of classes, but that's it. I have to revise my plans at the Asylum. I will have to stay on as long as I can. I requested my student evaluations from the Academics Office at the Diploma Mill. I need to submit them as part of the process for the Visiting Instructor position. Later, I ended up at the Indigo Happy Hour with Pseudo-professor Glenn and his wife. We also went on the Art Walk. Wine was flowing like water, so I was quite hammered. I took the street bus home. I received my Spring term student evaluations in the mail. I normally don't even look at them, but I checked them out because I was hammered. I actually was evaluated fairly high. This is quite an honor to me.

I received e-mail from Debbie, my realtor. She believes that I can list the townhouse for 10 percent over the purchase price right now. She believes that the price may go up even further within the next two years. Debbie is one of the top realtors for CB Pacific Properties, so I put a lot of faith in what she says. She did everything possible to insure that I got the property to begin with. She is also willing to help out as a property manager for me, in case I want to rent the place. Lori, of course, does not agree with any of my plans, except renting the place. She thinks I am crazy to even think about selling the townhouse now. She also thinks I am stupid to consider selling the six-four. Overall, my crazy life has become a topic of heated debate. Even Pseudo-professor Glenn offered his own opinions. That's the fun part about this whole crazy life.

Saturday June 5

I will end up making my life decisions, whether they end up being bad ones or not. I would have to sell the townhouse at a much higher price in order to recover any selling costs. Even with what Debbie stated yesterday, I may end up with a loss. When I first began saving during the old five-year plan, my goals were either to save for some kind of retirement or to buy my own place. Like everyone else, I was only considering a house, not a condo. When I eventually realized that I could never afford a house, I focused more on retirement issues. Then, my living situation became somewhat precarious. So, I compromised and decided to bid on the townhouse. I assumed that I would not keep it any longer than ten years maximum. Renting it out was always an option. However, there's something about the place that makes me not want to rent it. It will go through significant wear-and-tear. Yet, all repairs and improvements made while it's a rental is deductible as expenses. In addition, the rental income will pay off most of the mortgage and continue to build the equity for me. If I rent it for two years, then I can cover the maximum possible loss if the so-called "real estate bubble" bursts.

So, what are my other immediate plans? If I rent the townhouse, then I will most likely end up living in the former "warehouse" like I did seven years ago. The Ninja Turds will have to be tolerated. I will have to get rid of most of my possession because there will be no place to store them. My employment situation will probably always be volatile. None of this really matters because I will end up in the same situation (read: dereliction) no matter what I do. Does it matter?

I left for town early so I could beat the crowds at Pier 1. The Wicker Sale started on Wednesday. I bought the Lucky Day settee cushion and three matching pillows. I carried all of these items on the bus to Kane'ohe. I had thought of driving, but I wanted to get a real taste of what it's like to be without a car. It wasn't so bad. In retrospect, I realize that only the babes have been telling me not to sell my six-four. Even Caroll mentioned that in her last e-mail. She said that there was something strange about not owning a car. Yet, look at how many middle-aged guys I know who do not own cars. Heck, Pseudo-professor Kai doesn't even have a phone. The other day, he told me that the only reason to have a phone was if he knew a lot of babes. I gave him my number anyway in case he wants to go out for a few drinks sometime.

I arrived in Kane'ohe before noon. I put the cushion and pillows on my settee. Somehow it just doesn't look as good as it did at Pier 1. My place is so empty. All of my Pier 1 furniture still have the price tags on them. I even left the "40% Off Sale" tag on the cushion. That's the last of my furniture shopping. I won't be buying anything else. I am just keeping the minimal amount of furniture in case I put the place up for sale. That way, it will show better. I had a few glasses of wine and passed out. That's all there is to do. I can't even pass out on the bed because it is set up for display purposes only. There's nothing else but the bed in the master bedroom. The second bedroom is completely empty. There's nothing in the bathroom except for toilet paper. The kitchen is completely empty. The microwave oven is still in the box, but I put it on the counter. Nothing else is on the counter. All of the cupboards are empty except for the two plates moms gave me and the Pier 1 wine glasses that I bought. The dining area is devoid of anything except the wood wine rack that Lori gave me. The living room looks really pathetic. All it has is the Pier 1 papasan chair, the Pier 1 rattan settee, and the non-matching K-Mart rug.

That was my day. I was planning to go to Kahala Mall. Then, I asked myself why. I had already stopped off at Ala Moana in the afternoon. I walked through the Macy's home section. I am not sure why I do this. In fact, I almost went back to Pier 1. An empty place drives one to seek to fill it full of junk. This is the materialistic disease that I have fighting all of my life. Even if I rented a hovel, I would probably do the same thing. What I own now could not even fully furnish a small shoebox.

Sunday June 6

I ended up at Kahala Mall for an hour last night, specifically Barnes & Noble. I am seriously thinking of applying for a job there. It's fairly obvious that I am letting the last grains of sand slip down the hourglass. I just don't seem to get it. Nothing seems to motivate me to emancipate myself. I just fall deeper and deeper into the Abyss, be it wage slavery, materialism, and sheer stupidity. I am similar to Anonder, but not quite the same. He is much younger than I. And, through good planning, he was able to become financially independent. My thinking ten years ago was far different than it is now. Things that I could be patient with back then are now intolerable. Things that had no meaning now have greater meaning. Life has become more finite. Although Anonder has made some kind of decision concerning babes, he could easily change his mind. He is young enough to reverse his course with little adverse effect. If for some strange reason, he decides that he needs a house, then he could easily purchase one. So, ultimately, I must determine my own path, wrong as it may be to the casual observer. I could end up losing my shirt, but who cares? I have very little time to wallow in regret.

There is one other consideration in these discussions — the babe situation is tied to every other situation, including financial, material, and spiritual. The real problem is that the spiritual realm is diametrically opposed to the others. This is, perhaps, what Anonder had discovered, which also explains why it was essential for him to seek solitude in the way that he did. There is no middle ground. I am realizing that right now. Spirituality is endless, but each step toward the end offers some satisfaction. Going the other way is also endless, but each step is a lesson in frustration. There is no satisfaction because there is no end to the want. Thus, if I don't reduce myself to the barest of essentials, then I will always be burdened both physically and mentally. The real purpose of the journal becomes clear. However, it is too bad that I had to alter it once again. It's a recorded history of my own stupidity and failings, some of the most prevalent now removed from record. I could summarize it all easily with the old adage, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," I suppose.

Decorating a home is total joke. I have been perusing a few books of that genre. Affordable interior design is really just organized and color-coordinated clutter. That's Pier 1's trademark. A true minimalist layout requires either Asian or European architecture to begin with. Most of these cheap tract home interiors do not lend well to ascetic layouts. Ironically, minimalist furniture is also the most expensive. Tract homes with the generic white walls require an extreme amount of clutter to look right. Or, it has to be filled with pathetic Ashley furniture, some of the most hideous things I've ever seen. That's why my place looks really stupid. I have nothing on the walls. I have no entertainment center. I have no bookshelves. Heck, my ideal place would be a large, open-air thatched hut out in the middle of nowhere. Pier 1 furniture would actually look good in a place like that.

I like to look around at Pier 1 because it gives me a glimpse into the other life I could have lived. That's the real reason I bought the townhouse. I wanted to experience part of what will never be. It was an expensive lesson, mind you, but not as expensive as it could have been. I wanted to see what "settling down" meant. Naturally, I could never discover the full meaning because there is no babe who wants to settle down with me. However, I got to see a portion of the so-called "other life." Yet, my heart was never in it. I should have gotten a clue by looking at my purchasing patterns. Take a look at my most valuable possession, my iBook. Rather than purchase a desktop computer, I bought a notebook computer. A portable. That says it all.

Two-hour bus trip to Kane'ohe. Drink wine. Pass out on floor. Get up. Take bus to Ala Moana. Go to Pier 1. Walk along Ala Moana Beach Park. Apple Store. Take bus to Hawai'i Kai. Tanning hike up Koko Head. Another uneventful day in the life of a true loser. The shit is probably going to hit the fan tomorrow at the Asylum. Some of the faculty will have no classes. I expect to see layoffs in the coming week. The new ownership's trend has been to cut costs. All that's left is the expensive retail front offices and the payroll. Guess which one is going first? I have decided to take a defensive posture now that I am up shit creek. I will move my meager savings into a passbook account at my local bank. Believe it or not, it is paying 1.61 percent annual interest. I am going to stop my 401(k) deductions and try to withdraw the total amount under the economic hardship provision. I will prepare to pay off the other loans that I have outstanding. I will call Brenda at Bank of Hawai'i and find out how long I must wait before I can rent the property. In the meantime, I will continue to look for another job.

If by some miniscule chance I actually get the Visiting Instructor position at the Diploma Mill, then I will defer some of the plans for a year. I am planning to apply at Barnes & Noble very soon. I really want to work there, and not because there are a lot of babes working there. I need a mindless job. Since I am not doing anything else in my spare time, I might as well work. I will also try to secure more part-time teaching contracts. Teaching is a hard job. That's one thing I have to agree with the former friend. It's easy to burn out. Well, that's the plan for now. Let's see what happens next.

Monday June 7

I had to install iTunes on the computers in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill since Netscape Radio is now a loser. There's a channel called DI.fm Deep House (www.digitallyimported.com). It's pretty good. An uneventful day. I chatted with Lori on the express bus this morning. She's leaving for LA this weekend. The Asylum was like a ghost town considering this was the first day of the new term. The casualties were not as bad as expected. Oddly, it seems as though Erin is the only one with five classes. Everyone else has less. I have at least one class for now. Lori called to make arrangements to meet for lunch. So, I met her by the bus stop on Hotel Street. We ate at the Laniakea. We discussed a number of topics, one of which was the divestiture of useless possessions. I told her that I still planned to sell the six-four. She disagreed with me. I said that only the babes advised me to keep my six-four. All of the guys thought that selling it was not a bad idea. "They're all single, and they are going stay that way forever," she said. "What if you go on a date?" Where have we heard this before? I told Lori that I don't need a "dating car." And, the six-four is nowhere near being a "dating car." And, there is not much chance that I will be on anytime date soon. Heck, the only babe I had a thing for now despises me. I also told Lori that we should get together for Indigo Happy Hour one of these days.

After the gym, I ended up in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Incidentally, I had walked over there in the morning. I ran into Professor Marimi. She said that the math committee is making a decision today about the final pick for the Visiting Professor position. She said that she was voting for me. There are five candidates. I'm a real long shot since I'm up against doctorate types. Pseudo-professor Ralph was there this afternoon. He said that he had spoken with former Professor Lisa. She's on Kaua'i right now. She will probably be back on Wednesday. I compiled my stuff to send to Chaminade. I also put stuff together to send to Heald College. Later, I will be canvassing the community colleges. Everything goes out tomorrow.

Kevin told me about the Alaskan cruise that he and his wife went on during thee break. He said that it was a lot of fun. He also told me that there were a lot of singles on the cruise. He recommended that I try it out. Well, maybe Robert and I can do that sometime, eh? Can you imagine the two of us on a cruise? That would make great fodder for the journal.

I perused the rental section this weekend. Rents have gone up and availabilty has gone down. There is another unit in my complex and it is renting for $1,500 per month. A month ago, units there were going for $1,300 per month. Lori also told me that the minimum wait time to rent a newly purchased place is one year. I probably won't wait that long. Well, there's a three-day weekend coming up. I will see if I can send the printer off then.

Tuesday June 8

The power went off at 7:30pm last night. So, I had to sit in the dark for three hours with nothing to do. Sheer torture, but not as bad as today. The Asylum is a real mess. Currently, I am probably the only one who knows almost everything that's been goin on. I have been gathering bits and pieces from a variety of sources. I am almost completely certain that Kevin is behind the latest shenanigans. I believe that he persuaded Joe to file the complaint against me. There were several other curious incidents which further tipped me off. According to one of my sources, Kevin came in last night to plead his case to Kim, the Director of Education, to get more classes. He's proven that he's only out for himself, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Frankly, I am a little disappointed, but I am certainly not surprised. I am used to betrayal. That's the modus operandi at the Asylum. The former friend accused me of betrayal, but I don't really think she's ever been through anything like this. Word has it that there is no payroll, so I am wondering if anyone is going to get paid. Several people have already expressed to me that they will be resigning soon. They believe that the new ownership is deliberately making things rough to force people to resign. Kevin and Ernie will probably be the only two people still working there at the end of Summer. I really have no choice but to leave the Asylum as soon as I can secure another job. The whole culture there is adulterated with greed and corruption.

I sent off my application materials to Heald and also the employment paperwork for Chaminade. I did not hear anything from the Diploma Mill, so I must assume that I did not get the position. This is going to be a long struggle. I am being thwarted at every turn. Debbie, my realtor, sent e-mail. She wanted to check in and see if I had made any kind of decision. I replied saying that I will most likely rent the place, if it comes down to desperate times. Shirley called and left a message. She is leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow.

Wednesday June 9

I did not call Shirley back. I also neglected to mention that ran into Pseudo-professor Kai yesterday morning. He had called this weekend, but he did not leave a message. He gave me a few more details about the marriage that went bad, but he is saving the story for when we get together for drinks. I have made a lot of mid-life crisis buddies lately. Strange, but true.

I chatted with lori on the express bus this morning. I won't see her again until next Friday, since she is leaving for the mainland this weekend. The day at the Asylum wasn't too bad. I got a check for unused vacation from last year. Faculty didn't get any checks. Now I have some money to ship the printer to the former friend. I was pretty busy today. It's surprising how few people have any computer skills. It's surprising that I don't cash in on my knowledge. Pseudo-professor Kai stopped by the faculty computer room this afternoon. He wanted to go out for drinks. I declined because I have to work tomorrow. Pseudo-professor Bill was there. He wants to go out for drinks sometime this weekend. Pseudo-professor Glenn also stopped by. On my way out, I ran into Professor Marv. He's not doing too well. He just got out of surgery. He's also moving out of his apartment. We are supposed to go out for drinks sometime. Professor Dan from the math department chatted with me today. He said that the videotape with my interview was erased, so I will have to do the interview again. The decision for the position will be delayed until the end of the month. So, it appears that I made it to the final three. Pseudo-professor Ralph called and left a message. He wanted to know whether I got the position at the Diploma Mill. I sent a text message to him. I also sent one to Shirley. She should be at the casinos by now. I also ran into Dustin, a former student. He was in class last Summer with Brad and Odessa. He's also the guy was in my graduating class from high school. He graduating soon. I did not know that he was only working part-time. I told him about the townhouse. "Did you get married?" he asked. I realized right then how my earlier premise was correct. Single guys don't buy homes. They rent.

Moms had to spend last night at the Ninja Turds because she had to "baby-sit" my nephew. I really can't understand this nonsense. Why not drop the kid off at moms' place? Moms is getting too old to be catering to their every whim. Of course, that never crosses anyone's mind. It will be a sad day when the Turds move back into moms' house. The issue of what happens to moms in the near future bothers me. I am not certain about what will happen if moms becomes seriously ill or has some kind of debilitating injury.I have not planned for this situation, even though it is highly probable that one or the other will happen.

Today was a good day. I was still a little perturbed about Kevin. I discovered that he was given another class from a different department. He is now the only one with six classes. He is always talking about Buddhism and the "righteous" way, but it is all lip service. I've come to accept karma. Whatever goes around does indeed come around. He will answer for his deeds, just I have answered for mine. I need not intervene. In time, justice is always served. That's the Law of the Universe. I am coming to grips with my own actions and my own foolishness. I recently thought that I was losing energy. I was becoming tired, and I wanted to retire. Yet, I was retired for a number of years. That was my plan. I am going to continue to work and struggle. I can handle wage slavery for a couple more years. Sure, I will have to vent in the journal. However, I must pay my dues. And, if I don't work, I'll be completely bored. I am not sure what I am really doing, or what my goals really are. Right now, at this moment, I just don't care. I am just happy to be alive.

To be continued ... Go to E.02

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