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The Exodus Files
Monday July 26, 2004
I am coming to an interesting realization, which further solidifies my belief that Robert and I lead parallel lives. It's been almost seven years now since Robert mysteriously fell into the Abyss. That's when he lapsed into chronic depression, lost his townhouse on Mau'i, and eventually moved back to the "cocoon." There were a number of factors. His father was ill and eventually passed on. Yet, I believe there was more. In fact, I am living that exact same scenario right now. There is no reason to buy property when one is single. As a guy, the concept of buying furniture and decorating a home is both alien and nauseating. And, there is no purpose in having a large amount of space when even a closet would do fine. That's when everything stops making any sense. In actuality, this is also what happened to Caroll when she lost her townhouse in Salinas. Yesterday was the first day that I observed some possible signs of depression in myself. In analyzing my situation, I felt as though I was lost at sea. However, I am remaining cognizant of what's happening. I am not going to put myself in bankruptcy. I have seen what happened to both Robert and Caroll, and I am determined to not let that happen. The purchase of Chez Loser has made me become more of a consumer. I have had to buy a lot of things, and I am now caught up in it. That's why I am always yearning to go to Pier 1. Both Robert and Caroll also got caught up in spending. In fact, they still are. I see the red flags. Will I heed the warnings?
I was quite amused by Anonder's suggestions on Speak! IV that I carry condoms and some lube with me at all times, just in case I have any stray encounters with babes. I doubt that I will follow his suggestion. I have had no encounters with babes in the last few years, except for a few "dangerous" babe students. I can easily keep them at bay. The babe situation is not even on the radar. My one and only concern is that I am growing old and decrepit by the day. I have less than 30 years left and I am wasting my time in assorted shitholes for no particular reason. That's the problem!
An uneventful day. I told Bill, another computer faculty at the Asylum, that we should run on an independent ticket for governor and lieutenant governor in two years. He laughed. I told several other people. They all laughed. Believe it or not, I believe that it is possible to win using a grassroots campaign strategy. The overall voter turnout is so low in Hawai'i that it is ludicrous to say how any candidate won the popular vote. Caroll called. She has found an apartment, so she may be moving in soon. She also offered some encouraging words about my own situation. Pseudo-professor Glenn sent a text message saying the he and Pseudo-professor Ralph are planning to go to the Indigo Happy Hour tomorrow. I may join them. I also saw Lori on the express bus this morning. We may be having dinner at The Shack on Wednesday night. After the gym, I turned in my one and only contract for Fall at the Diploma Mill. The status of my other two classes is unknown. Something fishy is going on. As always, I sent an e-mail to the math program coordinator to see if I could pick up another class. I am also going to submit my application to the various community colleges. I am sick of this bullshit.
The statement for my 401(k) arrived. It looks as though I have more in the account than I thought. I want to quickly roll it over into one of my IRAs. An interesting side note. I have come to understand Sam, the Asylum's new owner a lot more. In effect, he is similar to me. He has a sole proprietor profile. That's why he's doing everything to cut costs, and he has invested little of his own dough. I see it in myself, especially in how I am handling the townhouse deal. No matter what anyone says, I believe that I have done okay so far. Many people wonder why I have not rented the place. That decision requires a long-term rental commitment. The carpets and some of the appliances will only last through one cycle of tenants. Thus, those tenants would have to be renting for at least two years for it to be cost effective. I can replace the carpet and appliances after the the first cycle, but I would have to rent it out again to write off the expenses. And, yes, I have been analyzing the additional income and associated taxes. The choice may be made for me soon anyway. If I can't afford the mortgage, then I have to either sell or rent the place.
The morning paper had an interesting article about the growth trends on O'ahu. There are 15,000 new homes planned for development on Central O'ahu over the next ten years. That does not include the Leeward side or Hawai'i Kai. I suspect that we will be seeing a real housing bubble develop in about five years. I suspect that real estate prices will begin dropping then. I don't expect the home prices on the Windward side (i.e., Kane'ohe and Kailua) to drop at all. Hawai'i Kai is near saturation, and the Windward area is really the next desirable area.
Tuesday July 27
Yet another uneventful day. I managed to regain my lost classes at the Diploma Mill. However, the times for the classes are not ideal. I cannot be choosy at this point in time. I will learn the true meaning of the term "wage slavery" come September. Indigo Happy Hour has been changed to Thursday. That's a better day. Kevin suggested that I resign from the program coordinator position at the Asylum. I am curious about his intentions. The treachery is still running at a fever pitch.
In continuing my topic on the real estate market in Hawai'i, I should mention that the military presence is increasing. So, too, will the housing market. There are many bases on O'ahu, including the large Marine base in Kane'ohe. The new Stryker unit will also increase military personnel significantly. A large portion of home buyers and renters are comprised of military personnel. In fact, the housing situation for the military is so tight that hundreds of contracts have gone out just to upgrade the existing housing. This suggests that the housing market may remain quite active for a while. Thus, I may have revise my previous analysis about a possible housing bubble in Hawai'i.
I read an interesting column by Keiko Ohnuma in this morning's paper. The topic was about penny pinching and worthy of quotation:
When every action you take is tallied, every squeeze has to count. Every dollar has to gauge the distance from where you'd like to be, and the terror of where you might end up. Needless to say, this frame of mind hardly swings open the gates of abundance. Bean counters see a route to prosperity only though accumulation because they can do the math. Compulsive savings seem as empty, in the end, as compulsive spending. Both attempt to squirrel away what cannot be materialized. If you've ever faced a life threat, you know what I mean. The only hedge we have is friendship and love, character and something that matters more than it. People who cling to money don't think they can depend on others, or don't want to. But that's all money is — the ghostly trace of a dependent relationship.
I found the latter to be quite profound. Does this strike a chord with anyone?
Wednesday July 28
Another uneventful day. I saw Lori on the express bus this morning. She sat a few rows away, so I suspect that she wasn't in a good mood. These are not matters that I concern myself with anymore. Shirley called and left a message. She wants to hang out sometime. She made some comment about the "phone phobia." I could hear her snickering. As you know, Shirley's friend, Erin, is faculty at the Asylum. Today, Erin noticed that I was perusing the Pier 1 site. She asked me if I shopped at Pier 1. Naturally, I told her that I did. I then discussed the problem with budgeting for furniture as a family of one. "You have have two jobs, and you don't have a girlfriend," she said. "You should have plenty of money." I told her that I just break even. "If I had a babe, I would need five jobs," I added. "Well, yeah," she said. Sheesh! That says it all!
After gym, I ended up in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Pseudo-professor Ralph was there. For some strange reason, we spent some time looking for an Easter Island stonehead lamp. A few weeks ago, he saved an image of the lamp. However, he cannot find the site that sells it. We were actually amused by the number of stonehead products that are available. I am thinking of purchasing such an item for Chez Loser. Wouldn't that add to the ambiance of my spartan living room?
The construction of the new bathroom at moms' house began today. I have no idea why moms is spending so much money to remodel the bathroom. Only the bathtub needed replacement. The main bathroom will be out of commission for two weeks. The other bathroom has no shower, so moms has to wash outside. I will be showering at the gym. In fact, I took a shower at the gym at Koko Marina this evening. As I was leaving, I saw my favorite Asian babe. I have not seen her forever. She drives one of those Nissan Xterras.
I finally made an appointment with the dentist. I believe that I have a chipped molar, so I better take care of it. No telling when I will lose my health benefits. I also saw Lori's former friend, Ann, on the express bus this afternoon. I waved, but she ignored me. She seemed to be in a pissy mood. If anyone should be in a pissy mood, it's me. Yet, I am seemingly unaffected by the constant state of stupidity around me. This is the only strategy that I have for survival. Taking things too seriously is only going to cause premature aging. It might also cause a stroke.
Thursday July 29
An uneventful day. Word has it that someone has been hired to take over Ernie's position. Apparently, the new person is a doctor of psychiatry. What makes no sense is why someone of that stature would accept a low-paying job. Ernie and I receive the same salary. I am carrying all of my shower stuff, which adds significant weight to my gym bag. I took a shower at the gym in town after my workout. Pseudo-professor Glenn and I went to indigo Happy Hour. Pseudo-professor Ralph decided not to go. Robert made a rare appearance at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. I chatted with him for a few minutes. He is still cleaning out his storage unit. He's had the unit now for six years, which means that he has spent over $12,000 to store junk that he is now slowly discarding. I also told him that I am in full agreement with him about the babes situation. Essentially, it's over. He's still been perusing the Match.com site. From what he's seen in our age group, he's now convinced that there's no hope. He did note that guys in our age group all want young hotties, but most of them are fat slobs. "That only leaves prostitutes," he told me. I'm not ready to go that route, and never will be.
Lori called while I as at the Indigo. I listened to the message later. She said that she could not go to dinner tonight because she has to go to paddling practice. Afterward, a friend will be visiting. I know that she said Wednesday night when I talked with her on Monday. She wants to try to meet tomorrow. I still have not called Shirley. Incidentally, there was a call from Kahalu'u just a few minutes after Shirley's call yesterday. I asked Pseudo-professor Ralph if he had called since he lives there. He said no. I know of only one other person living in that area. Something funny could be going on.
Friday July 30
I am becoming very suspicious of the "contractor" who is doing the work on the bathroom in moms' house. So far, he's spent two days with his assistant and the job is nowhere near completion. He apparently did not show up at all today. Any reputable contractor would have finished the job in three days. Moms was told that it would take two weeks or longer. I estimate that labor alone for two weeks will run about $5,000 or more. The "contractor" is someone from moms' church. I have said nothing about the situation. Moms should know better after being taken for a ride with the pathetic roof job. It is also my guess that the Ninja Turds will be moving in very soon. Moms wants to fix as much of the house as possible before the Turds occupy their future home. It is still my prediction that the Turds will be in the house before the end of the year.
With the housing boom currently in full swing, my bro should be making quite a bit of dough as a carpenter. In fact, there is a shortage of carpenters on the island. So, it makes no sense that the Turds continue to live in a small one-bedroom apartment. I suspect that my bro is saving his dough to add a second floor to his future house. That was his plan a long time ago. He wants to move all of his wife's relatives into the house. So much for the expensive roof, eh? In the meantime, the ol' lavahead is close to defaulting on all of his loans. I am doing what I can to reduce the negative cash flow, but it is beyond my control now.
Another uneventful day. I managed to have my Asylum e-mail account set up to forward mail to one of my Diploma Mill e-mail accounts. So, I am effectively down to four e-mail addresses. I will also be downgrading my cell phone account tonight. I donated more stuff to the Salvation Army today as well. I never did hear from Lori. I don't know what's going on with the stealth keyboard monitor on her computer, and I really don't want to know. I am already telling people that I am going to rent out the townhouse. I am selling some of the furniture, but not all. The truth of the matter is that I really haven't made a decision. I am simply telling this to people to make them see how financially troubled I am. I learned this tactic from Kevin.
Well, another weekend is upon us. As always, I have nothing to do. Hanging out with the old guys has really been no fun. It sure isn't anything like hanging out with young hotties. I sure miss those days, although you would be hard-pressed to understand what I mean since the journal has been pruned. Incidentally, I have not pruned the remaining six chapters. There's a big hole in the journal. Right now, I could care less. On the weeknights, I have absolutely nothing to do. I just sit around with my iBook. That's the only reason I maintain the journal. It gives me something to do. And, now that I fully concur with Robert concerning the babe situation, I will have nothing to do for the rest of my life. So, what about Costa Rica Cinco? Oh, it's still there on the back burner just like everything else. It's like what Caroll said — I need to have faith. I've done all the planning that's possible. Now, it's up to fate and faith. I have a number of contingencies in place. I just hope that I have all of the bases covered. Finally, I restored my military haircut yesterday.
Saturday July 31
Last night, I overheard part of moms' phone conversation with Mrs. Turd. Apparently, the contractor cracked the commode while removing it. Thus, it will be a while before any portion of that bathroom is functional again. There's no sense in telling moms anything. As you can see, the local ways prevail. We just continue to do the same stupid mistakes over and over again. Lessons are never learned. In a day or so, I should start hearing moms complaining about how long the work is taking. The problem could have easily been avoided if a reputable contractor was hired, one with a proven track record. The contractor should be liable for the broken commode, but I assume that moms has already decided to pay for it. These are, of course, the same kinds of things that Robert has encountered with his mom. Unlike him, I am disconnected from the whole situation. I will only add my comments when I continue to hear complaints after-the-fact.
When I take the position of a neutral, third-party observer, I find it alarmingly odd that Robert and I have taken such a cavalier approach to the babe situation. He's cleaning out his storage unit, and I am shuttling back and forth to Chez Loser. We are really accomplishing nothing, except to waste time. There is very little time left for both of us before we become decrepit old losers. Yet, the piddling around just continues ad nauseam. The same really can be said of the other single, old guys whom I know. It is rather pathetic.
The benign journey to Chez Loser was marked by crowded buses and dense traffic. Every clown and lolo must have been out gallivanting around. I did my lanaiboy chores. Then, I had nothing else to do but partake of the Corbett Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon. I was hammered in no time. However, I did not pass out on the floor. I wanted to stop by Pier 1, so I staggered out to the bus stop. The trip back to town was better. I looked around the Pier 1 store. As usual, I saw a lot of great stuff, but I didn't buy anything. What I found intriguing was watching the babes shop. They just load up their baskets with everything. I could not believe how much they were buying. All the guys in there were sitting on the various furniture, so I assumed they were waiting for their babes. I was the only single guy shopping in there. Maybe I have the "queer eye," eh? Perhaps I am a faggot. Needless to say, if I had a lot of dough and I knew that I could maintain the mortgage, then I would buy up a lot of that stuff as well. As it stands, Chez Loser is almost completely devoid of decor. I am thinking of selling the bed that I purchased from Lori's friend. It looks really nice with the new bedding. However, all I need is a cheap air mattress from K-Mart. There is no other furniture in both bedrooms. It doesn't matter because no one else will ever set foot in Chez Loser.
As I expected, the "contractor" did not show up today. He may not be back until Tuesday. In the meantime, moms is hanging a shower curtain outside on the clothes line in order to bathe. Is this the most pathetic bullshit you've ever heard? I am able to go to the gym and shower. Actually, this has given me incentive to do a cardio workout on the weekends. I am also getting used to taking a whiz in an empty mayo jar. I pour the whiz down the wash basin drain and rinse the jar. This is the plantation life-style at its best. Sheesh!
Sunday August 1
Remember the Anton Jackson character from In Living Color? That what it's like to use an empty mayo jar in lieu of a latrine. I surmise that this process will be going on for at least three weeks given the sporadic schedule of the "contractor." So far, moms has not said anything about the fiasco. There was an interesting article in the paper about non-judicial foreclosure. I could, for example, lose the townhouse if I was in arrears with my monthly maintenance fee. The law allows for the condo association to sell the property for what I owe without involving the courts. It becomes even more clear that the risks clearly outweigh the advantages. I was too ignorant to realize this. I have also been observing the number of people who are moving lately. Everywhere I go, I see people loading up trucks and vans, or I see trucks on the road stuffed with furniture. The housing issue is at critical mass.
Another benign journey to Chez Loser. I had nothing to do, so I had to imbibe in the vino. I chatted with Caroll for a bit. She was at work. It seems that things are beginning to change. The cutthroat nature of car sales is once again wielding its ugly head. Caroll was also upset that I wanted to downgrade my cell phone plan. "You make a lot more money than I do, and you've had a lot of breaks," she said. I'm not sure if she realizes that my "breaks" were simply a more concise plan which included contingencies. What most people don't realize, too, is that we usually "nickel and dime" ourselves into debt. Cutting $11 per month amounts to $132 in a year. I departed early and got off the bus in town. Then, I looked around Ross for a few minutes. I caught the next bus to Hawai'i Kai. I walked down to Koko Marina. Everyone was speeding around in the parking lot. I almost got run over three times. These fat slobs are impatient because they cannot get a parking space within a few inches walking distance. It's also interesting to observe the sheer number of people who drive to the gym. I did my cardio workout and took a shower.
An article in this morning's paper cited the results of a recent Carat/Maxim survey in which most guys admitted that they would give up video games before the tube. What can really be inferred is that most guys are at home watching the tube. Couple this finding with the fact that the majority of people are overweight and it's even clearer. If they are not shuttling their fat asses around in their 3,000-pound mobile living rooms, then they are sitting at home watching the tube and stuffing their faces with Ding Dongs. Heck, I have my own demons to battle. I've got to stop the Chez Loser drinking binges. It's costly and I am risking my health. I also need to increase my cardio workout. Today, I noticed that I only had my heart rate up to 150bpm. Even at my age, that's too low. I've also discovered what has been causing me a lot of stress. No, it has nothing to do with the Asylum. I don't want to grow old. In fact, as I've mentioned before, I am not growing old gracefully. Riding the bus does not help. When I see all of the senior citizens, I wonder how much longer it will be before I look like them. I'll be honest. I am scared. I don't want to turn into a shriveled up prune. Not now. Not ever.
Monday August 2
This was an interesting day. The complaining began this morning about how long the bathroom work is taking. I told moms that she should have learned a lesson from the roofing job. The morning express bus was disabled when the wheelchair lift jammed. Lori was on the bus as well. All of us had to wait for the last express bus which goes to the UH before it ends up downtown. We arrived close to 9am. At the Asylum, everyone was tense because Al was supposed to arrive today. He'll be here for about three weeks.
I sent an e-mail to Shirley finally. She replied fairly quickly. The big news is that she now has a BoyToy, a guy named Jason. He's the same age, and he work as an engineer at Pearl Harbor. He's got to be making close to $80,000 annually. They have been an "item" for about a month. It's funny how I saw this coming and predicted it. Once Ramona got a BoyToy, that was the green light. This one is a keeper because she is now on target to emulate the chronology of her friend Erin. Fortunately, she plans to finish school. That will be in about a year. I am certain that she will be married shortly after that. I sent a reply wishing her the best. It is here that I must part company with Shirley as well. We will, however, always remain friends. That's important to me.
I guess the news about Shirley kind of affected me. I wasn't feeling all too chipper by the end of the afternoon. I had to force myself to do my workout at the gym. I walked back to the Diploma Mill. I dropped my stuff off and walked over to Ross. I looked around for a few minutes. When I returned to the faculty computer room, Professor Gordo was the sole person in there. He asked me how I was. I was feeling pathetic, so I listed off my woes. It was then that he told me he's been called into active duty. He's going off to Iraq for a year. He's leaving on August 16th, but he will be stationed at various bases until October. That's when he departs for Iraq. Suddenly, all my problems seemed quite petty. Even with the macho talk and bravado, I could tell that he was clearly worried about his situation. I hope that we get a chance to go out and have a drink before he leaves.
The "contractor" never came by today. He's supposed to be by tomorrow. The job is going to cost moms $6.000 if the crook doesn't pad the invoice for more. This job should have cost less than half the amount. Of course, it's nowhere near the $23,000 that moms got fleeced for the roof job. I am not sure where moms is getting the money for all of this. And, there is almost no reason why moms is spending so much on a house that is almost 40 years old. My guess is that moms is getting the place ready for the Ninja Turds. That way the Turds won't have to spend any money. They will be free to buy new cars and whatever crap suits their fancy. I will be strapped with a mortgage with no assistance from anyone. Well, at least my 401(k) paperwork has finally arrived. I will begin the rollover process tomorrow.
I should explain one thing while I am on this topic. Why am I continuing on at moms' place? Aside from the fact that I am keeping the Turds from moving in immediately, there is one really important aspect. Moms is at the age where anything can happen. If moms were to slip and fall, perhaps breaking a hip, it would be days before anyone would find out. If I were already living in Kane'ohe, then I would not be able to check on moms until the weekends. I don't need to stay at moms' place because I am lonely. I am always alone, but I am getting used to it. Of course, now that Shirley has hooked up, the point is really being driven home. Later in the afternoon, I wondered again about why guys like Robert and I cannot find babes. And now, we are at the point where the issue is moot. We will be single forever. There are days that I long to have a babe, but I don't know why. Whenever I have a babe, I long to be free. Nothing makes sense. It seems as though everyone is paired up. That's really why Robert is on Prozac. Like me, he has evaluated his masculinity and his worth as a guy on the basis of his attractiveness to babes. Since no babes are interested, he has become worthless in his own eyes. Even though I am less of a man, I continue to do what I have to do. I really have given up on life, but I am on automatic pilot to continue to at least act like I am alive. Chez Loser is about the only thing that has given me some purpose. Perhaps Anonder was right. Maybe I have a deeper motivation for the purchase of the townhouse. My anger with life in the "cocoon" probably masked my intent to make myself more marketable to babes. How could that be true, though? I never tell anyone about Chez Loser except friends. And, who would be impressed by that dump?
As you can see, this is why the journal is so important to me. Pruning thirty-one chapters of my own foolishness was not something that I wanted to do. I did not make myself out to look like anything else but a fool in those pages. Now, I would have to rely on my feeble memory. There was a real purpose beyond the thing that I had for the former friend. History is there for a reason. We don't want to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Right now, I am sensing a possible pattern, but I can no longer make a reference to the past. That, my friends, is sheer calamity.
Tuesday August 3
"Let the renunciation come to you," admonished Anonder in one of his posts on Speak! IV. That is perhaps what I am trying to do. I am wasting away the last few days of my stolen youth, which will result in the default (i.e., loser). Robert has grayed prematurely. He has also let himself go. Thus, he has put himself into the default much sooner. He has given up. It led to chronic depression and the loss of his townhouse on Mau'i. So, here I am, revisiting history.
An uneventful day. I was busy for most of the day. None of us have any idea about what is going on at the Asylum. All of the crap has worn most of us down. If I could see a successful path up ahead, I wouldn't be so worried. However, that is not the case. I did manage to submit the paperwork to rollover my 401(k). Later, I enjoyed a nice workout at the gym. I also took a shower there. Afterward, I walked over to Ross again. I bought a Chindi accent rug for six dollars. I'll take it over to Chez Loser this weekend. The Ross in town is always packed. Babes are buying up everything in sight during their breaks. What is it with babes and all this spending? I am seeing that many of my future purchases will have to be from Ross. For some things, Pier 1 is too expensive.
Shirley had written in e-mail, "I have all the time in the world to get together with you. Forget the phone phobia and call me." I sent an e-mail stating that I can get out on the weekdays, but I am under scrutiny at the Asylum. I also mentioned that I am in Kane'ohe on the weekends. Perhaps it's a relapse of phone phobia but I did not call. I still haven't changed my cell phone plan, so I have a lot of free minutes. I am not sure about anything anymore.
Wednesday August 4
My time is finally coming. Sam's sidekick, Al, has requested my job description and work schedule at the Asylum. I also talked with Robert, the IT guy, and the same has happened to him. The enrollment numbers are nowhere near the target, so Al is going to cut payroll costs. The dismal enrollment is really a reflection of the top management and the new ownership. They fail to see the real cause of the problem. In addition, the Asylum's advertising dollars are wasted on poorly designed ads that do little to promote the school. There's no excitement in the ads. I have already isolated the real problem. The Asylum's reputation is tainted. Even the current students are saying that they are telling everyone to avoid the place. So, the answer is right there, yet no one even bothers to find out. Wayne, one of the faculty, is still interested in buying out the place. He wants me to ferret out the source of student discontentment. I'm not sure if I care anymore. I am even more convinced that Gino, the faculty member who is an accountant, was absolutely correct. The Asylum is past the point of no return. Wayne predicts that the new ownership's plan will fail next month. I have predicted that a significant downward trend will be evident by February 14th. I believe that our predictions are actually one and the same.
All of this is moot. I expected to be kept on until the end of the year. However, this will not be the case. My original prediction that I would only make it through the Summer was correct. It is obvious that Al is attempting to do some "triage," but the folly of his error is clear. The Asylum is retrenching and moving into a defensive position. This will reduce its options to nothing. We are seeing that already. Rather than innovate and invest to increase revenues, it is now trying to stay afloat by cutting all costs even though it is rapidly putting itself out of business. The Asylum's competitors know all of this, as evident by the amount of target advertising we've seen lately. The competitors' advertising is aimed directly at the programs that the Asylum is relying upon to save itself. I am only pissed because I turned down the offer from Chaminade for Fall. My only hope now is that I can file a claim for unemployment compensation.
The immediate future is predictable. My last paycheck will be on the 15th of August, which puts me in a precarious situation. What I am talking about is the townhouse. Do I sell it or rent it? That's the big question. If I can make a $50,000 gain, then I will sell it. After closing costs and taxes, I will end up with half the amount. However, this will also allow me to semi-retire. I will have to remain in the "cocoon," but I won't have to work much. If I rent the place, then, it will be a while before I see any gain. I will be able to semi-retire, but I will also remain in the "cocoon." I would continue to build equity as most of the mortgage and maintenance fee will be covered. I may also be able to realize the same gain when I sell it in the future. This is the quandary that faces me now.
Thursday August 5
The Tripod mirror of LoserNet was hacked yesterday. The whole site was deleted. It only takes a few minutes to restore the files, but only half have been restored so far. This is a rather crazy situation. Why would anyone want to hack LoserNet? There are only two people who read the journal. Sheesh! I neglected to mention that my former student, Claudia, sent e-mail a few days ago. Her mom had to go through an operation for cancer. She is still in Texas, but she wants to return to Hawai'i soon. Remember that I was the only faculty member that took the time to help her when she was in dire straights. She wrote, "Thanks for caring, Mr. T. You're a wonderful person - professor." Little gestures like that are all that keep me sane these days. There was an article in this morning's paper about the rise in condo sales. Apparently, home prices are so high that many people are now buying condos. I will do fine no matter what happens. Gotta have faith.
The faculty meeting at the Asylum was a real winner. Big Al made a short presentation about the new methods. More and more responsibility is being handed to the faculty. The faculty evaluations have a criteria sheet about seven pages long. Each faculty member will be reviewed four times per year. And, there will be at least sixteen class visitations per year. Faculty will also held accountable for student "reliability" (read: absences). This ia a total joke because most of the students are consistently absent. "We care about about our students," Al said. "So, we must really show that we care." Then, in another breath, he admonished, "Each student is worth about $10,000, so if you have 20 students, then it's like I gave you $200,000 to take care of. If two students fail, then, you give me back $180,000. How would you like that?" I watched the caricature that is Al's face. I could see the ugly grimace which highlights his shriveled face. His eyes are sunken in the sockets like an emaciated skull. That's one thing Kevin was right about — the ugliness within always oozes to the surface. It's evident in a person's face. Remember when Bug's face began looking more like a Kabuki mask. For Sam and Al, it's all about the money. They don't care about the students. They only care about the financial aid money they are going to reap. Kim, the Director of Education, made a most confusing presentation. At one point, she said that she has a good heart. However, she will have no problem letting the ax fall. "Either you're with us, or you're against us," she warned. Shades of Shrub! Then, she had tears in her eyes as she made her convoluted closing statements. Al never looked me in the eye because he knows he is about to give me my walking papers.
I've come to accept this foolishness. It is better if I am jettisoned because I don't want to be a part of all this greed and money grubbing. There's nothing more ugly in human nature than that. I am amused by Al's jack o' lantern face more than anything else. He has a significant spare tire as well. Obviously, his Golden Years have been good to him. Yet, he is a step away from having a stroke. That's how life is. Just like the guy who fleeced moms for the crappy roof job. I laughed when I heard that he kicked the bucket as Caine did in "Shock to the System." Whenever these two clowns go, I am going to giggle my ass off. It's the universal karma, and money just can't buy additional time. Payback is a fucking bitch. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!
Friday August 6
An uneventful day. It is now clear to me that I have only until the end of the month. Al, the walking cadaver, is making it clear to me. I requested letters of recommendation from some of the Diploma Mill administration. I also learned that the visiting professor position has not been filled. This is so odd. The decision is due next week. I am still one of the three finalists. I am very concerned about the students at the Asylum. They are so afraid of the crap that is coming up, and rightly so. They are afraid of spooky ol' Al. Who wouldn't be? He looks like a zombie. Sam is really the one who is pulling Al's strings. Faith is coming back to me because none of these fools can bring me redemption. Only the Creator can do that. I don't bow down and worship walking cadavers. They are going to end up as shriveled prunes anyway. They will die a thousand deaths. When will these idiots realize that their fucking money isn't going to buy them salvation.
When world oil finally peaks and there is a forced sort of equity, I am going to hunt these fools down. Nothing will protect them as I exact punishment upon them. I will feel no remorse as I tear their limbs apart. I may even jolt their craniums with the Nova Spirit. My fate is to combat evil. Justice will be served. I want to see them beg for mercy as they throw their gold on the table. Then, I will put them out of their misery. That's why I continue to work out at the gym. Even in my advanced years, I will be able to subdue and inflict tremendous pain upon them. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!
As you may have guessed, I was at the Indigo Happy Hour and the infamous Art Walk. Pseudo-professor Ralph joined Pseudo-professor Glenn, his wife, and I. We had a great time. Wine was flowing like water at the Louis Pohl Gallery. We have become a fixture there. I also noticed that there was an older Asian hottie at the galleries. Pseudo-professor Ralph attempted be a "wingman" for me. Why am I so weak? It's obvious that it's over. Why do I fool myself into believing that I can find a babe?
Finally, I chatted with Lori on the express bus this morning. If anything, she always provides me with a reason to keep going. I have been demoralized with the latest escapades at the Asylum. Yet, Lori was quick to point out that I am doing better than I ever have. I can either sell or rent the townhouse, and I will come out ahead. And, I have managed to maintain 100 AWUs in various investments after the fact. This is a feat which I didn't think I would be able to pull off. Yet, it happened. I am going to make it through this ordeal. I have a purpose. I will be there to punish fools like the Asylum Twins in the appropriate time.
Saturday August 7
I was pretty hammered last night. Being in a bad way did not help. It's plain to see that I have to make a decision about the Asylum. It's already beginning to affect my health. In my fragile mental state, I must be careful. I could easily go over the edge and commit mass mayhem. The real problem is that I do not want to spend most of my remaining thirty years in wage slavery. I could give everything up except my beloved iBook. Actually, all I want is one those new PowerBooks. I am observing people at the Asylum deteriorate. I already know that few, if any, of the current faculty will survive the changes. The Asylum itself is doomed to failure. I have become too involved in the machinations of the Asylum. It's just a job. Nothing more, nothing less. I will review my contingencies this weekend as I shuttle myself back and forth from Chez Loser. I knew that this time was coming, so there is no surprise.
I made the benign journey to Chez Loser with the Chindi accent rug. When I arrived, I put the rug in the dining area. It looked so pathetic there. I may just put it in the bathroom to use as a bath mat. With nothing else to do, I broke down and popped the cork on a bottle of vino. Yesterday at the Asylum, Bill said that he had bought two gallons of wine. I assumed it was boxed wine. He drank a gallon this week. We're all losin' it. In the afternoon, the buses were running late, so I didn't get a chance to stop by Ross. I walked to the gym after I returned to Hawai'i Kai. I did my cardio workout and took a shower.
Moms said that the "contractor" is going to take two more weeks to complete the bathroom. It has already been two weeks now. I told moms that he is padding up the labor. Moms didn't say anything, so I knew that this is a repeat of the roofing fiasco. The main bathroom in the house is very small. The bathroom in Chez Loser is larger. There is no reason that it will cost $6,000 for the shower upgrade. Frankly, I have no idea where moms is coming up with the dough. After the roof fiasco, moms said that she was almost broke. Remember, the roof cost $23,000 when it should have cost one-third that amount. You can imagine what the cost overrun will be for the bathroom. As I sad, I really don't know where the money is coming from. Moms only worked for seven years. She cleaned houses to help pay for her church activities. I surmise that most of it came from pops' pension. There is no way that Social Security is providing that much dough. In any case, I am getting used to pissing in an empty mayo jar.
I wanted to go to Kahala Mall this evening, but I was too tired. I will spend the evening with my beloved iBook. Caroll called while I was at the gym. When I called back, she was too busy to talk. It was 9pm Cali time. She is working 12-hour days, seven days per week. Work is really all she has. That is really the way it is for me as well. I have no family of my own, so I have no home. Chez Loser is not my home. The "cocoon" is not my home either. All I need is a place to sleep. I may eventually end up in a boarding house.
Sunday August 8
There is another interesting option available insofar as housing is concerned. The latest trend is the hotel condo conversion, primarily in Waikiki. These are essentially former hotel rooms being sold as studios. Lori said that many of these units won't even qualify for loans because they don't meet the minimum square footage area. There's no kitchen either. The "kitchenette" consists of a small sink, a tiny fridge, and a cheap microwave oven. However, this is all I would need. Most of these places are available for $100,000 on average. I could easily make the mortgage payments with any type of job if I sell Chez Loser at a profit.
I took a different route on my benign journey to Chez Loser. It was equally frustrating. Taking the bus in Hawai'i requires a lot of patience. Everything is holo holo, so there's no sense in making any kind of schedule. In some respects, I am too much like a mainlander. The bus can be either 30 minutes late or early and anything in between. It's still on time because that's the local way. After six years here, I should be used to this. When I arrived, there was nothing for me to do. So, I immediately poured out a glass of wine. I passed out on the floor after a few glasses. When I came to, I walked to the bus stop. I was expecting to arrive in town with a few minutes to spare before the next bus to Hawai'i Kai. Naturally, the bus was late. Thus, I did not get to do anything else. I should have stayed in town and gone to Kahala Mall instead of riding out to Kane'ohe. I would have had a better time at Barnes & Noble. I did a long cardio workout at the gym, then I took a shower. I have to get more serious about my workouts. I am starting to develop a gut again. I don't want to look like spooky ol' Al. His gut is bulging out like a bloated frog. Caroll called just as I left the gym. She made $9,000 last month in commission and bonuses. She's obviously doing better than I am.
Some of you may be wondering how to use an empty mayo jar as a latrine. It's easy. While either standing or sitting, just whip out the Vienna Sausage and insert it into the jar. Hold the jar at an angle and aim the whiz at the side. This avoids any splashing. Quickly take the jar to any convenient drain while holding your nostrils shut. It is best to avoid the toxic fumes. Pour the contents down the drain while running water from the tap. Rinse the jar extremely well.
The cheap Corbett Canyon wine is starting to get to me. Aside from possible liver problems, it is the most likely reason that I am on my way to having a gut like spooky ol' Al. It's also costing me too much money. Add in the chronic fatigue, and it's easy to see that imbibing in cheap booze is a totally useless activity. What else do I have to do? I don't have a storage unit full of crap like Robert. I've already gotten rid of everything. I don't have a babe either. Heck, maybe I should start working seven days per week like Caroll. Sheesh!
Monday August 9
An uneventful day. I have not heard anything about my job at the Asylum. The Executive Director (former ownership), who requested a list of my job functions, has been mysteriously ill since Thursday. I suspect that the "illness" has its roots in guilt. Spooky ol' Al has been laying low. He's neither walking about or is he as friendly as he was a month ago. According to Bill, Kevin has been meeting with Al every morning. He is most likely lining up his ducks in a row to succeed me when I am ousted. I gave these fools many chances to gain my trust, but all they do is stab me in the back. There's a mandatory "training" session coming up. We were given two days advanced notice. I cannot attend the day workshops, so I have to stay late on Wednesday night. Everything is coming apart at the seams, yet no one is looking for a new job. These morons are fighting over the small scraps. The numbers from registration are pathetically low. So far, there are only 14 new students.
One of the guys on the express bus, who works at the Diploma Mill, told me about two openings for advisors. I am applying for those positions. Although I may qualify for unemployment when I am discharged from the Asylum, I'd rather not leave anything to chance. Sam and Al will most likely contest any unemployment claims. I'm not sure if these guys know what they are doing. Ernie's medical office lab has been slated for remodeling now for months. It's an extensive job, but Sam only wants to pay $15,000 total, and he wanted the project done by the end of this week. The bids have come in at four times higher. Even I could make that estimate. Now, he has changed the plans again, which will call for more bids. The new ownership is so fixated on cutting costs that it lost sight of the real objective — increase revenues. In addition, the whole scheduling plan is a joke. The competition are all starting Fall classes at least two weeks before the Asylum. This was a major tactical oversight.
I mentioned the hotel condo conversions yesterday. Specifically, I was interested in one in Waikiki called The Palms. It's an old former hotel right across from the Ilikai. It's been converted to a condo. The first open house was yesterday. Apparently, all of the units were sold within a few hours. This is how crazy the housing market has become in Hawai'i. However, most of those units will end up as vacation rentals. I have tentatively decided to sell Chez Loser. I will list it sometime in November. As long as mortgage interest rates remain below seven percent, I should be okay. I will ask for $50,000 over the price I bought the place. I checked the real estate listings and found that all of the units in the townhouse complex have sold except the most recently listed one. Why am I waiting until November? This will give me time to make the final decision. I also want to closing date to be sometime in the new year. That way, I can take full advantage of the tax deductions. This is the worst case scenario, that is, if I cannot find employment. The option to rent the place is also a consideration, but I am shying away from this idea.
Malia sent e-mail. That's funny because I was just thinking about her this morning. In fact, I was going to send her e-mail. She seems to be doing fine. Her mother was in the hospital twice for surgery. What is really strange is that I have invited her to lunch and also given her my cell phone number, but she has never accepted the invitation or called. I saw Mark on the express bus this afternoon. We were talking about life in the senior years. Hard as it may be to believe, that's where we're at. It's been about 32 years since we were in high school together. That's seems like a long time, but it's not. I try to tell my students about how fast time flies. Thirty years is not that long. In fact, that's about all the time I have left. I don't need to bow down to Sam or Al. In due time, they will end up bedridden because of a stroke. They will reap what they sow, just like Bug and Roach. As they see the rest of us suffering, they will fool themselves into thinking that they've been redeemed. It just doesn't work that way. I'm sure that I will pay my own dues, but it won't be as great. I make ammends for my wrongs as soon as possible because payback is a fucking bitch.
To be continued ... Go to E.06
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