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The Exodus Files
Pier 1 Blues

Tuesday August 10, 2004

An uneventful day. The clock keeps ticking at the Asylum, but no one truly knows when the ax will fall. Well, no one except for spooky ol' Al. I approached Kevin about his newfound friendship with the latter. He provided a really lame answer. So, I know what he's up to. He's also getting a bit of the middle-aged pugginess. A double chin is gradually forming above his neck. Perhaps, this is his payback. I really don't care. If he has truly honed his craft at manipulation, then so be it. He will have to answer for his misdeeds, just as I will for mine.

I checked to see if the folding metal shelf arrived at its destination. There was an unsuccessful delivery attempt yesterday morning. An article about The Palms in Waikiki appeared this morning. Apparently, all 246 units sold out in a matter of hours. Can you believe it? Half of the buyers were mainlanders. I've been having a lot of discussions with people about real estate. The general opinion is that prices are going to continue to climb. Two similar units in the complex where Chez Loser is located were up for rent. The asking rent was $1,300 each, which is lower than the last listings. I am also checking up on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Lori mentioned that, if I sold Chez Loser, I may be able to invest any profit in a REIT to avoid the capital gains tax. My investment firm, American Century, has set up a rollover account for the defunct Asylum 401(k). I am putting the modest amount in a government money market IRA account. The Fed raised the interest rate just one-quarter click. I need Greenspan to raise it 20 percent so that I can get some kind of return on the cash I am holding. Sheesh!

What I am realizing now is that, if I had been more astute, then I could have gone into a partnership with someone reliable and "flipped" properties for the last two years. Heck, I could have done it alone. I believe that it's still possible for about another year. Sadly, I do not have the cash flow to do anything. As always, I am extremely late in the game. I noticed that American Century's real estate fund had a gain of 56 percent in the last year. Obviously, I missed the boat again. This is the story of my life.

Wednesday August 11

I neglected to mention that I saw Anne on the express bus yesterday. She was in better spirits than the last time I saw her. She is fed up with the law firm that she's with, so she is looking for another job. I told her that I was looking for another job as well. There are so many of us in this same situation. The sad part is that we are all rapidly approaching our retirement years without any safety net. Since it is obvious that I won't ever have a babe again, I need to direct my energies into increasing my net worth. My so-called "investments" are doing nothing. Only Chez Loser has some potential to reap significant rewards. Perhaps I should rent out Chez Loser, and purchase a small one-bedroom condo. Then, I could rent that unit as well. In three years, I should come out ahead. Wage slavery is certainly not the answer to anything except a need for misery. There's got to be a way out, and I've got to find it.

An uneventful day. The evening training session was changed at the last minute. It will be held tomorrow night. I was a little perturbed by the insensitivity of the Asylum management. Most of the faculty attended the afternoon session, so I will hear about it tomorrow. I sent off e-mail yesterday to Pseudo-professor Glenn. I was having trouble answering two questions on the Diploma Mill application. I asked if he could come up with something. He has his own public relations firm. He sent me a response today. I will use his suggested replies. I had an appointment with the dentist today. I thought for sure that I had chipped a tooth about a month ago. There was apparently nothing wrong, although the tooth may have an internal fracture. I have to use my health benefits while I have them.

I saw Pseudo-professor Kai and his daughter in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. I've hardly seen them around lately. Pseudo-professor Ralph and Professor Gordo were also there. We had a brief discussion about marriage and divorce. Professor Gordo never wants to get married because every single one of his friends is divorced. The latter are all paying exorbitant alimony and child support. Oddly, Pseudo-professor Ralph's friends are all still married except for one. I suggested that the discrepancy is a generational issue. I actually do not have many married friends. Most of the people whom I know have never been married. The highlight of the conversation was when Professor Gordo told me that I look good for my age. "You could easily pass for thirty-nine," he said. Heck, some of my students think that I'm in my early thirties. I'm not going to argue with them.

Thursday August 12

The folding metal shelf was delivered to its destination yesterday afternoon. That's it. I've done my part. It's the end of an era. The bathroom remodel job is a much more extensive project than I thought. Moms is having the whole bathroom done. The "contractor" is replacing the light fixtures, the tile flooring, and the walls in addition to the shower. The whole thing makes no sense. I'm not even certain how much it will end up costing. In the meantime, the mayo jar will see much more action.

An uneventful day. Everyone at the Asylum who went to the training meeting yesterday was very excited about spooky ol' Al's plan. Of course, no seemed to have read the new policies and procedures manual. The rules have really changed. The faculty evaluation is really scary because it places almost all of the accountability for student success on the faculty. I suspect that most of the faculty will be on probation and terminated before the end of March next year, if the Asylum is still around. This was the last day for my Summer class at the Diploma Mill. I am now free in the afternoons for the rest of the month. After the gym, I ate at Taco Bell. Then, I spent some time at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Pseudo-professor Ralph was there. I was trying to remove AOL Instant Messenger from one of the computers when it suddenly activated. Some babe had left it logged on. I doubt that it was a faculty member. I conversed with the other person. It was quite hilarious because I was impersonating a babe. I almost gave myself away because I started typing sentences out with good spelling. I quickly changed to the irritating, yet popular, phonetic form. I had to cut the session short because of the meeting at the Asylum. It was two hours of hell. Spooky ol' Al went over the same "holistic" philosophy again. Then, we glossed through the procedure and policy manual. Kim, the Director of Education, then finished off the seminar with extensive guidelines to construct lesson plans. Overall, the faculty workload will increase exponentially with no additional compensation. The interventions that will be necessary could take up several hours per day. Faculty will be required to hold counseling sessions, and they must make phone calls to students as well. It's a "burn 'n churn" situation. Sam will be pretty happy because it will reduce payroll by natural attrition. Faculty turnover will increase, which will then cut payroll down to entry-level salaries and no health benefits.

There is no telling where this is all going. I am still going to pursue other avenues of employment. I don't trust Sam and Al. They only care about the money, and they are naturals at exploitation. Spooky ol' Al is a proven micromanager. He would have no problem running one of those sweatshops in third-world countries. His large spare tire around his abdomen shows that he is living well. Yet, his face is that of a cadaver. People like this will kick the bucket in the most painful and prolonged manner. That's when they have to reflect on the misery they inflicted on others. As I said before, payback is a fucking bitch.

Friday August 13

Sinister Kahuna Day. Lori was on the express bus this morning. She gave me refrigerator magnet that she made. It was a ceramic coconut tree. At the Asylum, the stupidity is beginning to reach a fever pitch. Kevin is the only faculty who did not attend the training workshop. So, he is being trained personally by Al, or so he claims. They have been meeting every morning. I asked Kevin how his sessions were going. He said that he thinks Al wants him to be a spy. "He's been asking me all kinds of questions about what is going on," he said. Later, he mentioned that Al asked for his résumé and that the two of them are supposed to go out for coffee sometime next week. Kevin is very good at lying. It has only been now that I can detect the subtle nuances that betray him. I suspect that he has been volunteering information, something he has no problem doing. It's clear that the enrollment will never reach the target. So, Kevin is in survival mode, which for him really means a lot of backstabbing and betrayal. The new requirements for the faculty and the possibility that there won't be enough classes to teach have now made my position quite attractive to him.

I have begun to piece together a lot of things about Kevin. He claims to have had a lot of work experience and education. He's a computer expert, a fitness trainer, a paralegal, and more. Yet, he cannot get a job anywhere else. Even the Diploma Mill will not hire him back. As I recall, he has had a problem with all of his previous employers. He claims that he was a victim of corruption and that's what cost him his job in each instance. When something happens over and over again, it becomes less likely that the original claim is true. I suspect that Kevin has been the problem, just as he is now. Bill was privy to the second conversation. He asked Kevin why he could not make the training session. Once again, Kevin told the same story about how he has three jobs. Bill asked him about those "jobs." Kevin now claims that he has a computer business, but payment is strictly under the table. Bill then asked if he had a steady stream of business. Kevin began weaving a convoluted tale of how how he once had a business license, but that only ended up in lost profits due to taxes. He quickly changed the subject to an anecdote about how he changed an alleged client's hard drive. It's clear that he's guilty as sin. He's betrayed all of us to insure that he can maintain an income. How can a guy like that sit there and tell me about the virtues of Buddhism? He is always trying to get something for nothing. He trades illegally copied movies and software with his students all the time. Sometimes, that is all he does in his classes. With Kevin's "help," I don't expect to employed at the Asylum much longer. As for Kevin, he has to live with himself. He will spend his whole life trying to make a success of himself by deceit and manipulation.

I submitted my application for one of the advisor positions at the Diploma Mill. For some strange reason, I was told that I could not turn in the second application. What kind of bullshit is that? I also checked on the math visiting instructor position. It actually ia a second vacancy because one the full-time faculty is being deployed to Iraq. I can only hope that I get the position. After my workout at the gym, I went to visit Scot, the former Asylum registrar. He is now working as an advisor for the Diploma Mill. We had a nice chat. He filled me in about his last few days at the Asylum, particularly his dealings with Sam and Al. I ended up at faculty computer room. Pseudo-professor Ralph was there. He invited me to go along with him to Pseudo-professor Kai's place for dinner. I declined. He also told me that he had run into Pseudo-professor Paul. Apparently, the latter is no longer employed at the Diploma Mill. There was some kind of run in with the Dean because of student complaints.

Each and every day, I find no reason to befriend or trust anyone. It's especially bad because almost everyone is strapped financially. They cannot live within their means, so they are forced to become whores. I find that I can do many things for people, but they can do nothing for me. Reciprocation is not common. Most of these issues deal with money. I would have thought that the "broke and poor" stories would end after the college years. I'm finding that it's a lifetime affliction. Oddly, Lori has been one of the few people who have helped me out beyond the call of duty. For that, I am thankful. It's obvious that I will be alone for the rest of my life. I am fully independent. I have no desire to surround myself with leeches and varmints.

Saturday August 14

The benign journey to Chez Loser was a nightmare. The bus was late, so I was not able to transfer to the next bus at Ala Moana on time. So, it took me almost three hours to get to Kane'ohe. I got off by the Windward Mall. I bought a big ass bottle of wine at Safeway. I walked to Chez Loser from there. I did not have much to do, so I immediately popped the cork on the wine. After a few glasses, I passed out on the floor. This time, I knocked over the glass of wine. The crap was all over the place. I am not certain if I can get the stain out. Who cares? That's why it's called Chez Loser! I wanted to stop by Pier 1, so I left in a timely fashion. I waited close to an hour at the bus stop. I even called the customer service line. No one could tell me why there was no bus. In fact, that's the only phone number left in my cell phone's internal phone book. The bus finally came by close to 4pm. It took forever to get to town. I aborted the idea of going to Pier 1, but I also knew that I would miss the next bus in town. So, I got off at Ala Moana. My connecting bus was late. The trip back to Hawai'i Kai took over three hours. I realized right then that I am wasting my life away either waiting for or riding the bus.

The crappy bus service is due to a number of factors. Although it's true that many of the drivers really could care less about a time schedule, the main problem is the increased traffic on the island. Car sales have been steady, so it becomes plainly obvious that traffic is out of control. Imagine the number of morons who have bought new cars by refinancing their homes. Imagine the sheer number of kids who are getting a car for the first time. I noticed that the traffic was so bad today that it was stop and go along most of the regular streets. The number of tourists who are opting to drive themselves around has also increased dramatically.

I was feeling quite nauseous after a quick cardio workout at the gym. Too much wine. I also had that bloated feeling. I passed out again. When I came to, I realized that the evening was gone. Caroll called, but she was already asleep when I called back. The strain of her work schedule must finally be getting to her. The ramifications of this pathetic life-style are becoming clearer to me by the day. Former pseudo-professor Paul finally checked out. He made the right decision.

Sunday August 15

Looks like that hurricane is hitting Florida pretty hard. It's hurricane season in Hawai'i as well. There were two storms which passed through here about a week ago. They were remnants of a hurricane. There was a lot of rain, but nothing else. Thank goodness. As a result, most of the island is green, which is unusual for this time of year. I also neglected to mention that Bill told me on Friday that Ernie went off on a tirade. "I can't take this fucking shit anymore," Ernie was quoted as saying. The Asylum is crumbling.

I don't know why I torture myself with these benign sojourns to Chez Loser. The buses were running on time today, so the trip there took me less than two hours. With nothing to do, I opted to refresh myself with my favorite beverage. I was enjoying my glass of wine when I noticed the stains from the fiasco yesterday. Then, I thought about my return to the Asylum tomorrow. I threw the glass of wine against the wall. The wine flew everywhere. I didn't even bother to clean it. Who cares? I'm on a downhill slide. Looks like I am going to have to replace the carpets after all. The bus was on time, so I made it back to town to make the transfer to the bus to Hawai'i Kai. However, I got off at Kahala Mall. I bought a Jamba Juice smoothie to placate myself. Actually, that was my reward for not going to Pier 1 to spend money. I spent the rest of the time at Barnes & Noble. The next bus came eight minutes early so I missed it. I killed time until the next bus, but I made sure that I was at the bus stop a little earlier. Sure enough, the bus was early. Later, I did my cardio workout at the gym and took a shower.

I noticed that all of the files at the Tripod mirror have been restored. I deliberately did not upload everything. Apparently, the site was not hacked after all. Strange things. The stress is beginning to build up for me. With less than 30 years of time left, I am simply wasting my life away. I am fool to continue to tolerate the unacceptable bullshit at the Asylum. I am a fool to even continue working. I need to get smart pretty soon. Housing prices are still surging and mortgage rates are still low. I need to take some kind of action. Maybe I should purchase one of those damned condo conversions. Heck, I need to do something that can generate income faster than a lousy wage slave job. Sheesh! While I was at Barnes & Noble, I perused a picture book of Egypt. Although Egypt is not part of the Middle East, it is part of the Cradle of Civilization. That is my dream to visit the ancient ruins in that whole area. That won't happen for a while, obviously. Well, I am going spend the rest of the evening listening to House Music and Hearts of Space. House Music is the only way to go!

Monday August 16

I suspected foul play when I could not upload files to the Geocities mirror last night. This morning everything was fine. Strange things are happening on the Net. At the Asylum, I am keeping my distance from Kevin. I will no longer share any information with him because he cannot be trusted. I chatted with Big Al briefly. I am certain that my time is limited. The rest of the day was a blur. I had a lot of things to do. In actuality, nothing seems to going right. I am thwarted at almost every turn by some kind of idiocy. It really is clear that I should sell everything off and semi-retire. I'm not sure what it's going to take before I do the latter. It's obvious that I am not at all happy with wage slavery and the conventional life-style. I enjoy poverty for its freedom.

I am discovering that there is no escape from stupidity as long as I am around people. The majority of people are stupid and damned proud of that fact. I once was tolerant of that crap, but now I just can't take it anymore. When we extrapolate this concept over the whole world population, then it becomes quite a dismal prospect. Actually, people are not stupid. They just act stupid out of ignorance, arrogance, greed, selfishness, and every other abominable trait. It's not getting any better. As a whole, our system of values has degenerated to a troglodyte level. I'm about ready to believe in evolution. Sheesh!

Part of the problem is that I have not enjoyed one day of my life in the last few years, mostly because of the city life. There's no solitude. No peace. There's always noise and tension. The closest thing to serenity here is Koko Head Park at night. I used to take nightly walks there. The sad part is that most of the parks and beaches close at 10pm. Then, only punks and hoodlums hang out there. In Hawai'i, the most secluded areas are riddled with crime. I'm still searching for Paradise.

Tuesday August 17

I'm living from paycheck to paycheck. And, I'm still pissing in an empty mayo jar. Heck, it's good practice for when I am homeless and destitute. I neglected to mention that Pseudo-professor Ralph has been printing job descriptions of current openings for me. He's also looking for a job. Pseudo-professor Kai gave me a piece of Lasagna for lunch. Pseudo-professor Glenn called the faculty computer room to chat. He wanted to know if I was hired for the visiting instructor position. "Don't worry, everything will turn out fine," he said. I am actually quite touched by these small acts of kindness. I also discovered that I cannot access Geocities from my iBook.

An uneventful day. At the Asylum, I had a chat with Kevin. He claims that neither Robert or I are doomed to be terminated. He has obtained this information from Big Al. Overall, I have decided to lay low for the time being. I'm going to try to stay below the radar. I have projects that I need to get done anyway. After the gym, I ended up in the faculty computer room. I had to run a couple of those spyware programs to clean up the computers. This wastes a lot of my time. I am glad that I have my iBook. I don't have to worry about that crap. Pseudo-professor Ralph was there. Evelyn, one of the math instructors, came in while we were chatting about the visiting instructor position. I asked her if she knew anything about it since she was on the hiring committee. She avoided the question, saying only that a recommendation was made. The problems in the math department seem to be equal to the Asylum I am not sure if I want to be a part of that political quagmire. I ran into Pseudo-professor Franklin. He has not heard anything about the position either. He and I are two of the three so-called "finalists." He has already accepted a full-time professor position at Chaminade, so he is effectively out of the running. We'll see what happens next.

The bathroom in moms' house is about half finished. It looks pretty good, but I just can imagine how much it's going to cost. The sad part is that it is not going to match the rest of the house. Well, I'm not going to say anything because it's none of my business. I have my own place to contend with. I noticed an ad in this morning's paper. There's a one-bedroom unit in the townhouse complex that is available for rent for $1,100 per month. I have keep myself informed just in case I must act quickly.

Wednesday August 18

I've seen Lori on the express this week but I have not sat and chatted with her. I have not been in the mood to socialize with people. An uneventful day at the Asylum. Big Al left for Cali today, so we did not see him. The main Web site for students and faculty at the Diploma Mill was down last week for upgrades. After it came back on line, I was not able to access my classes. From what I can tell, I am the only one with this problem. Everything is done through this Web site, including class management, e-mail, and grading. I reported the problem to Client Services. However, no one there knows how to solve the problem. It's been two days now as we wait for the vendor to respond. The computers in the faculty computer room are all screwed up. I am now having to run several spyware killers almost daily. I am so glad to own my iBook. I have no anti-virus program. I don't need any spyware crap.

Shirley sent e-mail yesterday. I have yet to respond. She is having problems with her computer. I'm sure its the same thing as I have experienced on campus. She still wants to get together. "I miss hanging out with you," she wrote. She wants me to call her. She said that she missed the sound of my voice because its been so long since we last chatted. Pseudo-professor Glenn sent e-mail clarifying that the grand opening event at the Louis Pohl Gallery was to be this evening at 6pm. I was too tired to attend. And, I am not in a socializing mood.

My life continues to pass before my eyes. I want my time in wage slavery to go by quickly, but it works against. When the weekend comes, I realize that another week of my life has gone by. I am not simply marking off days. I am marking off weeks at a time. This is how we lose track of time and lose total control of our lives. Yet, essential aspects of my life are missing. I am at the point where I really must come to accept these terms. Simply put, I am at the point of no return. That's probably what is making me very irritable these days, I suppose. I measure time with my paychecks. Yet, what do I have to show for all of this? Nada. Money comes in and goes right back out. I have a stack of bills sitting here. I can't even buy a lousy shirt because I cannot afford it. Yet, sitting in Kane'ohe is the overpriced, quarter-million-dollar townhouse. Who can really afford to live anymore?

Thursday August 19

An uneventful day. Two of the faculty at the Asylum, James and Bill, both mentioned that Ernie has been telling everyone that he is going to resign. Bill also said that one of his students bought a car from Ernie. The car apparently was not registered. It also had no current safety sticker. And, it was in bad shape mechanically. Ernie has also purchased an apartment. This is all rather peculiar since he is allegedly a monk. Kevin believes that Ernie will go "postal" soon. I am inclined to agree with him. My greatest fear is that I will be stuck at the Asylum until it closes down for good. None of the job applications have panned out. I can only hope that things will turn out in the end. It's the eleventh hour.

The bathroom in moms' house looks pretty nice. However, it does not match the rest of the house. I am still baffled about why moms is spending so much dough on the bathroom. Moms doesn't even use the shower. Can you say "Ninja Turds"? The bathroom is still not done. It's been almost a month.

Well, tomorrow is a State holiday. It's Admission Day. This will be the last time that the Asylum observes this holiday. The faculty are getting a raw deal. They will be working as much as the salaried personnel with no increase in pay. I'm not sure what I am going to do tomorrow, but work is the last thing on my mind.

Friday August 20

As to be expected, I had nothing else to do but embark on the benign journey to Chez Loser. The buses were extremely crowded, but I made it there in good time. There was a couple next to me on the bus. They were about my age. The wife asked me about the bus route. I am now an expert on this subject, so I detailed the itinerary to her. The bus we were on goes around the island. From what I could tell, they were Persian. Once I arrived, I did a little cleaning. That took all of ten minutes. So, I had no choice but to finish off the wine from last week. I was pretty hammered. I passed out on the floor. When I came to, I gathered my crap and left for town. I did my workout at the gym in town. I had quite a headache by late afternoon. I pondered the idea of going to Kahala Mall this evening, but I was too fatigued.

I suppose that the "renunciation" has finally come to me, as Anonder had suggested. I have become a hermit again. As you can guess, I did not call Shirley. However, I did send her e-mail. The "renunciation" has to do with the babe situation. As I close in on the Big Five-O, I have decided to let it all fall into place by itself. I assume that Robert is doing the same thing. It is, of course, our sickening attraction to young hotties that seals our fate. Since we will never compromise on this issue, we are essentially insuring a permanent monk life-style. It's not all that bad. Babes are more trouble than anything else. I have also observed that most old people travel alone. They either hang out at the shopping mall or get hammered to kill time until the end comes.

Saturday August 21

There has been a significant drop in the readership of the journal. We're down to one. Oh well. There's a combination of factors. I have never finished the pruning of the journal, so there is a gap of six chapters. Primarily, my life has become so boring that there is nothing new to write about. The only drama left concerns my precarious employment situation and the disposition of Chez Loser.

Another benign journey to Chez Loser. More wine. I did a few chores while I imbibed. Then, when I had enough of that foolishness, I left for town. Pseudo-professor Glenn and his wife got on the bus at Windward Mall. They sat in the front of the bus, so I did not get a chance to chat with them. I was able to make the transfer because that particular bus was late. Later I went to the gym, did my cardio workout, and took a shower. I decided to go to Kahala Mall this evening. As I walked out to the bus stop, I saw the bus go by. It was six minutes early. I walked down to Koko Marina to see if I could catch the other bus. I thought it had gone by, so I walked back. I was very frustrated by then. I was determined to go to Kahala Mall. I drove my six-four there. I ended up at Tower Records. I bought a new House Music compilation called "Afterdark New York City." It's a winner! I also stopped by Barnes & Noble, but I left shortly afterward. People were all behaving like cattle. The guy who rang up my CD purchase at Tower made my day. I always end up in his line. He's a funny guy. He's got a great attitude even though he's stuck at Tower Records. I need to learn from him.

Sunday August 22

Unlike the old monk days, I have not been prone to profound thought lately. All I can think about is my less than 30 years of remaining time on this planet. It's hard not to. The bus is filled with senior citizens. They were all young once. Now, their skin has lost its elasticity. Deep wrinkles cover their entirety. Their hair is silver gray, but it is no longer full of body or luster. They all look extremely tired. No longer fit to drive, they take the bus to benign locations like Ala Moana Center. There's nothing to do except sit around the Koi Pond and watch the young people. As they hobble around the mall, people rush about and often bump into them. No one seems to care about the forgotten generation. If they can afford it, they will end up in planned retirement communities like the new Kahala Nui complex near Kahala Mall. What a monstrosity! Well, that's coming up less than 30 years from now.

Here's an interesting tidbit. About 51 percent of the adult population in Hawai'i is overweight (BMI > 25) and 18 percent of them can be classified as obese (BMI > 30). BMI is "body mass index," if you did not already know. By ethnicity, 71 percent of Hawai'ian and Pacific Islanders are overweight, 48 percent for Caucasian, 47 percent for Japanese, and 44 percent for Filipino. Pretty alarming, isn't it? I've seen this trend myself. I think the numbers get worse for younger people. What surprises me is the sheer number of extremely thick babes, both young and old. In Hawai'i, it's almost at epidemic proportions. Thus, a hottie in Hawai'i can pretty much get anything she wants. Many of the guys here are slobs with beer guts, but they are usually not extremely obese. So, Hawai'i is really the perfect place to be a monk.

To add variety to my benign journey, I took the bus to town. A loser sitting across from me was guzzling a 40-dog of malt liquor. In town, I looked around the Ross store for a while. I almost decided against the trip to Chez Loser. What else would I have done? So, I made the trek there. Once I arrived, I polished off the bottle of wine I bought yesterday at Foodland in Ala Moana. Once again, I was hammered. I did not stay long enough to pass out on the floor. I ended up at Pier 1. All of the sale items were pretty much gone. Babes were buying stuff like there was no tomorrow. I walked back to Ala Moana in time to catch the bus to Hawai'i Kai. The Ninja Turds were at moms' house when I arrived. Moms is spending the night at the Turds. Moms has to baby-sit Turd Jr. tomorrow. At least they came by to pick up moms for once. I walked to the gym and did a short cardio workout. I forgot to bring a change of clothes, so I had make sure that I did not sweat much. What a loser! I should give it all up and become a fat slob already. Sheesh!

I am getting close to my breaking point. The pressure of keeping a shitty job just to pay the mortgage for Chez Loser is now taking a toll on my sanity. I am ready to snap. It looks certain that I will sell the place by the end of the year. Mortgage interest rates have gone lower again. I don't expect any drastic change by the end of the year. On the other hand, I saw an ad for a new beachfront condo project on Kaua'i. Studios are $210,000 or so. The project is called Islander on the Beach. It's a nice looking complex close to Wailua. Could be an investment opportunity. Well, I am going to relax and listen to House Music and Hearts of Space tonight. I'm back in the monk life-style, livin' large in a small way!

Monday August 23

An uneventful day. I chatted with Lori on the express bus this morning. We were talking about real estate again. After I got off the bus, I became preoccupied with the idea of buying another condo. I exchanged e-mail with Debbie, my realtor, during the course of the day. She sent me a number of listings, including the one for Islander on the Beach on Kaua'i. I decided that I would be better off looking for something on this island. The listings are interesting. Most are hotel conversions, but they are all in the $100,000 range. I am looking at purchasing a unit that I can immediately rent out. I want to insure that I at least break even on the monthly mortgage and fees. The tricky part is that all the units are leasehold. I have to look for a long lease with a low monthly fee. I may end up looking at a few units this weekend. If all goes right, there may be a Chez Loser II in the near future. If that works out well, then I will try to purchase another condo at the end of the year.

All of this sounds rather foolish, doesn't it? I am on the verge of becoming unemployed, yet I want to invest in more property. The key, of course, is that the property generates enough income to pay for itself. It will build equity for me, even if I am unemployed. The disposition of Chez Loser is yet to be determined. I could sell it and use any proceeds as seed money to buy more condos. Chez Loser is still the flagship of my plan. It is a fee simple condo, and it has gone up in price quite a bit since I took possession. It can also be rented at breakeven or above. I do not plan to keep any property past ten years. Five years is probably the target. Why am I coming up with these weird plans? Simple. I need to exit wage slavery before I snap. I should have done this three years ago, but I was too stupid to realize that it was possible. I didn't think that I had enough money. Heck, houses in Hawai'i Kai were going for less than $300,000 then. Now, they are double that amount. That could have been a lot of seed money. It is late in the game. I stand to lose my shirt if the housing market is truly a bubble. It's a big risk, but I only have 30 years left on this planet. Sometimes it is better to not be safe than sorry.

Tuesday August 24

I started feeling stupid about my idea to purchase another condo. Who do I think I am? Big Money Grip? Sheesh! Well, let me not throw out this idea quite yet. It may be zany enough to work. The enrollment for Fall term at the Asylum is still dismally low. The backlash from the latter will be immediate unemployment. The computer program is almost extinct because there has been no effort to recruit new students in that area. The Asylum has placed its bets on Ernie's program. I am almost convinced that Sam and Al are just taking shots in the dark. The bathroom in moms' house is still not finished. I'm still pissing in the empty mayo jar. It's now been a month. From the progress (term used loosely) I've seen, it may take another month to complete. The "contractor" also screwed up the water main valve. It now leaks.

An uneventful day. The big rumor going around the Asylum is that Ernie submitted his resignation. The punchline is that Sam and Al are allegedly begging him to stay. My students at the Asylum have disappointed me one too many times. I am now coming to realize that most of them are con artists. They are hiding behind the "This is Hawai'i" excuse. It seems that my original thesis was correct. Locals are really just a bunch of lazy slobs. Heck, I'm one of them. It's all a game to see how much they can get away with. I'm not buying the story anymore. I guess that I am siding with the haoles. The situation at the Diploma Mill is interesting. The computer classes are rolling out a new version of SimNet, yet it has been set up for the instructors. Everything is a mess because there has been no coordination. The same thing happened with the previous version of the software. I saw Mark on the express bus this afternoon. We had a nice old man chat. "Soon, we'll be talking about our ailments," I said. He mentioned that he will schedule his first colonoscopy this year. This is what we have to look forward to.

The "contractor" did not do any work today. I discussed this matter with moms. Moms claims that there was no authorization to do anything more than replace the bathtub with a shower unit. Yet, everything has been replaced including the tile floor. Moms has no written quote. The whole job is supposed to cost a little more than $6,000. I have a feeling that the bill will come closer to $10,000. I have no idea where moms is getting the money. However, moms is always a victim to these fly-by-night assholes. Yet, as with the styrofoam trays and the mixing of chemicals, nothing will ever change. I suspect that moms will have to look into a reverse mortgage in the near future. Having the Ninja Turds move back in won't do much except expedite becoming homeless. I suspect that my bro has saved most of his dough so he can add a second level to moms' house. That was his plan a few years ago. He wants his wife's family to move in. The $23,000 roof job will have just been wasted money.

There was an article in MidWeek about the hotel condo conversion boom here in Hawai'i. It seems to be all the rage. I am now having second thoughts about my idea to purchase another condo. I most likely will not qualify for the loan anyway. I'm having a tough enough time keeping up with the mortgage for Chez Loser. The Asylum has yet to rollover my 401(k) account. I am getting a little perturbed. Why does life have to be so complicated?

Wednesday August 25

An uneventful day, although this was the last day of the term at the Asylum. The faculty have a vacation until Labor Day. I must report to work. This will be the last vacation for the faculty. After this, they will be on the same schedule as the staff. Debbie, my realtor, sent me a smaller listing of possible hotel condo conversions to consider. The terms of the mortgage will be different. It appears that I will have to put at least 20 percent as a down payment. I sent e-mail to Brenda, the loan officer, to initiate the loan process. I plan to view some of the properties this weekend. I am interested in a unit at the Hawai'ian Monarch in Waikiki. It's classified as a studio with a kitchenette, and it only has 223 square feet of living space. The price? $65,700 leasehold. Debbie said that these units can command as much as $1,000 per month in rent. The estimated monthly payment for the mortgage, lease rent, and condo fees are about $600 or so. The situation is risky because no one can be certain how long the rental market will remain favorable. I am not certain about what to do. With that, I managed to restore my military haircut today. A Filipina hottie cut my hair. That's the most excitement I've had in a while.

The "contractor" finally finished the shower. The rest of the bathroom is still not done. So, the mayo jar cannot be retired yet. The fortune in my Panda Express fortune cookie read, "A sudden change in plans will lead to good fortune." Is this about my latest idea to purchase a hotel condo conversion? I am at wit's end. I will never exit wage slavery if I just continue to work and save my dough. I don't want to get rich. I just want a way to exit wage slavery and live comfortably. Everyone says that real estate is the way. It's now a cliché. However, I believe that it's true to a point. This is a questionable time in the real estate market, unlike the time period when I purchased Chez Loser. Yet, there are some interesting quirks. Concrete and lumber are becoming scarce, so new housing prices will increase. The price oil is increasing, and that will figure in. Even if the so-called "bubble" bursts, there is no way that prices will drop to depressed levels. In fact, that will be the time to pick up more property. Well, in the days to come, we will see what transpires.

Thursday August 26

The Asylum was desolate today. Only a couple of the faculty came in, one of which was Joanne. I chatted with her for a while. In fact, we had a really interesting discussion. She apparently was in the Hawai'i K-12 system for five years commencing in 1995. She said that it was the most stressful job she's ever had. I listened as she told me about the ordeal she went through with students and various administrations. It became clear to me why local students do not fare well. In the end, cancer is what finally caused Joanne to resign. She believes that the stress brought it on. An article in this morning's paper discussed the shortage of teachers in the system. Joanne explained that they all quit, even the ones that were brought in from the mainland.

After my workout at the gym, I ended up at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Pseudo-professor Ralph has been coming by with his kids. He discovered who got the visiting instructor position. It was some clown from the mainland. So, there are no job prospects for me. I am now in quandary. I really should not take the risk to purchase another place if I may be unemployed soon. The Asylum's enrollment for the Fall term is still low. I am becoming extremely demoralized. The other day, I had a chat with Gino, the accountant who teaches at the Asylum. He is not too keen on my idea about real estate acquisitions. It will be a tough job being a rental property owner. He recommended that I find a property manager. Brenda, the loan officer, sent me e-mail. She said that I should be okay for the loan if I can come up with the 20 percent down payment. If I were a young stud, I would have no problem with this situation. However, I am an old guy. Last night, I had delusions of grandeur. I envisioned myself controlling $1 million in various real estate. In Hawai'i, that doesn't amount to much. Yet, it sure sounds impressive, doesn't it? Heck, I'm almost a third of the way there with Chez Loser.

All I really want to do is semi-retire from this bullshit. Gino suggested that I take on more jobs and save money. That's wage slavery. My investments are yielding less than one percent. I can't seem to find another job. I will soon be a decrepit old guy. My only real alternative is to generate income through rental property. Those are my only options. Bill at the Asylum is the only one who thinks the latter option is a good idea. He bought a condo in Makiki and rented it out. Now, he's in a townhouse just a few blocks from Chez Loser. I am so confused. I don't want to lose my life savings, but it is chump change anyway. Should I take the gamble? This is my life, and I have about 30 years left. I can live prophylactically, or I can take the chance to break out of the ranks. I don't have to worry about babes anymore, since I am too old. And, I have nothing else better to do. So, what's holding me back?

Friday August 27

I only chatted briefly with Lori on the express bus this morning. She likes my idea of purchasing a hotel condo conversion in Waikiki. She seems to think that my plan to rent it is workable. The Asylum was extremely quiet. Joanne was the only faculty member there. I chatted with her later. I've come to discover that Joanne is really a good person. She's always stressed out, but she really cares about people. I told her about my plan to buy the condo in Waikiki. I told her that I cannot wait to become a victim of Sam's impetuousness. I also mentioned how fearful I was of losing my life savings on risky investments. "You have to have faith," she said. Where have I heard this before? Caroll called. She made $9,000 last month. She is now contemplating the purchase of a house. Phillip, the con man who was my predecessor, stopped in at the Asylum. I was surprised to see him. He's living in Thailand now, obviously retired after swindling the Asylum with a bogus workman's compensation case. Ernie photocopied a bogus certificate from the American Medical Technologists Association. He put it in everyone's mailbox.

After my workout at the gym, I ended up at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Robert was there. He's having all kinds of problems with his supervisor at the Legal Aid Society. He was typing out cover letter for jobs. He's leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow. His sister won two tickets to fly there. However, her on-again, off-again BoyToy was off again. That's why Robert is going. He's also finished cleaning out his storage unit. Thus, he bought an air conditioner for his room in the "cocoon." I asked him if his mom would be upset with the resulting electricity bill. He said that he straightened her out on that matter. He has also put on some weight, all of it concentrated in the midriff region. We're talking at least 15 pounds. Once again, he mentioned that he wants to join the gym. However, he wants a really good deal. He's got a long wait. Pseudo-professor Bill dropped in. I haven't seen him all Summer. He's got classes for Fall term. I told him that I would be in Waikiki this weekend. We may get together for a few drinks.

When I returned to Hawai'i Kai, I did my yardboy chores. I was still out there in the dark. The grass was quite high since it has been raining so much. The bathroom is finally completed. I retired the empty mayo jar last night. Well, I may be embarking on a new adventure as of this weekend. If all goes well, I will bid on the condo in Waikiki after getting a loan approval. Then, I may be on my way to becoming a real estate mogul.

Saturday August 28

I did not sleep well last night because my throat was itching bad. All of the dust from doing the yardboy chores must have caused an allergic reaction. Shirley sent me an e-mail last night. She wanted to know if I was going to be in Kane'ohe so we could have lunch. I did not see the e-mail until this morning. I sent her a text message saying that I would be there around noon. I left for town on the 9:45am bus. I made the transfer right on schedule. When I sat down, I realized that I forgot the keys to Chez Loser. Doh! I was actually quite perturbed. There was nothing that I could do at that point, so I rode the bus to Kane'ohe. I got off at the Windward Mall. I was looking around the Sear appliance section when Shirley called. She was driving home from stud's place. She said that she would call when she arrived in Kailua. Lunch was on. I looked around the mall for a while. There was a Spencer's Gifts store there. I went in to look for the stonehead lamp, since Mr. Ray (a faithful reader) had mentioned in Speak! IV that he saw the foolish lamp at a Spencer store. Sure enough, the lamp was there. I had to laugh. I went through most of the shops within an hour. I walked outside and saw a small cemetery encircled by the parking lot. I walked there and took a look a round. It's an old cemetery, yet it was serene. It's hard to believe that this small grassy knoll is all that's left of the past. It was truly sad to see how it was partitioned off with concrete. I then walked to the elementary school just up the block. I sat there and relaxed. Shirley called while I was sitting there. She was already in Kane'ohe. Within a few minutes, she drove up the driveway to pick me up.

It's been almost five months since I last saw her. It was like nothing really changed. We just resumed our friendship exactly where we left off. I showed her Chez Loser, but we could only see the outside. We drove to the small shopping center where Safeway is located. This is where I sometimes buy wine on my way to Chez Loser. There's a small place called Sumo Ramen. That's where we went. The place was packed. We sat at the counter. The food was really good. We spent a considerable amount of time discussion Shirley's new stud, Jason. She made it clear that she is not doin' da wild thing with him yet. "I knew you were thinking that when I said I was driving home from his place," she said. They've been together for two months now.

After lunch, Shirley wanted to look around the mall. We drove across the street to Windward Mall. As we walked around, we continued out chat. Shirley and stud apparently have had a discussion in which the ground rules were determined. I was skeptical. "Have you heard of "blue balls"?" I asked. She laughed. I warned her that guys pretty much expect some "action" by the end of three months. "I'm worth the wait," she said. Shirley is still quite the hottie. Guys were checking her out everywhere we went. She also wanted to know if I had met anyone. I laughed. "It's too late for me," I said. I then gave her the run down on my "old man" life. I then revealed to her that my goal is to become a real estate mogul. All in all, we had a good time. Shirley gace me a ride back to Hawai'i Kai.

It's hard to believe that Shirley is one of the better friends that I have ever had. At half my age, she's still been both loyal and mature. It's plainly obvious that she would never allow me to disassociate from her. Therefore, she can always count on my friendship. Even with a BoyToy, she has not forgotten the ol' lavahead. I walked to the gym to do my cardio workout. I stopped off at Foodland to buy a four-pack of Guiness. I am partaking of the soothing beverage as we speak. I was not able to have Happy Hour at Chez Loser today. Overall, my chat with Shirley has started to weaken my resolve. I was noticing all of the hotties at the mall. Not good. I have to keep telling myself that it's over. I had an interesting thought while I was walking home from the gym. Robert is going to Las Vegas. Is he going to the "ranch"? He always talks about paying for da wild thing. I have to wonder.

To be continued ... Go to E.07

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