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The Exodus Files
Collateral Damage

Monday December 6, 2004

I had to leave much earlier this morning because I now have 8am classes at the Asylum. The place was almost deserted when I arrived. The total enrollment is down to 221 students, a net loss of about 50 students. My prediction is coming true. I lost one class because of low enrollment. However, I will still end up with three classes and one directed study. So, I will be able to maintain my standard of living until the end of January. incidentally, everyone is stressed out because "Samhain" is arriving tomorrow. I chatted with James, on of the faculty. I mentioned that I wanted to donate my six-four to charity. Not a good idea, he told me. I would not get much in the way of tax benefits. This is exactly what Lori had said. I am now back at Square Zero.

The rest of the day was uneventful. I was extremely fatigued, no doubt because of my recent entry into the world of senior citizenship. Another more likely reason is the fact that I am stuck maintaining the status quo with no way out. I have got to cut my expenses down before the Asylum goes under. Later in the afternoon, I ran into Barbie, the former registrar at the Asylum. She's now working for the Diploma Mill. We ended up chatting for a few minutes. She disclosed to me that "Samhain" has been the pressure on the management and administration at the Asylum. "He wants to make changes, and he wants them done right now," she said. Barbie agreed that "Samhain" is literally putting himself out of business. Even a dumbshit could have turned the place around by now. However, even with 200 students, the Asylum will have an annual revenue stream of $3.2 million. That's more than enough to pay for his luxury condo in Waikiki.

Moms is going to the Ninja Turds' place tomorrow night in order to "baby-sit" Turd Jr. on Wednesday. Moms is still recovering from cataract surgery. I am not sure why the little shit cannot be dropped off at moms' house. The only good part, I suppose, is that moms gets to see my bro. I don't want to rehash my family dynamics. It is much too painful. There is still no question in my mind that the issue is the disposition of moms' house. Why else would the Turds continue to live in a small one-bedroom apartment? Sheesh! That sort of reminds me of Kevin. He and his wife must make a combined income of at least $60,000 per year. He's expressed that he and his wife wanted to start a family, but they were too strapped financially. They live in a shitty two-bedroom apartment in Mo'ili'ili. With the amount that they earn, they could easily have afforded a decent place. They wouldn't be throwing away $800 per month in rent either. For people like Kevin and the Turds, a real estate investment would have made sense. Much more sense than for me. Alas, I have no time to waste on these fools. I have to worry about my own survival.

Tuesday December 7

The Asylum was in chaos again this morning with the arrival of "Samhain." I received word that Marc, the Executive Director, is resigning. I confirmed the story with Vivian, the Human Resources person. In addition, she mentioned that "Samhain" was on some kind of rampage. I picked up another class, which means that I have a total of three. I also picked up three more directed study students. I am winding down my classes at the Diploma Mill this week. I will have the afternoons off until the end of next month. I have not really had a free moment. I am busy almost every second of the day. I manage to squeeze time in for the gym because my workouts are a top priority. During the ride back to Hawai'i Kai on the express bus, I contemplated the "retirement" life. Even Anonder had mentioned that his days are filled with boredom. Yet, do I want to continue doing what I am doing now? I am certainly not bored. I am certainly not having the time of my life either. In my conversations with other people, I discovered that these kinds of political machinations are the rule, not the exception. People, in general, strive to make life difficult for others. I assume that the game is to eliminate the competition. I continue to do what I think is right. I am committed to all my students regardless of the bullshit. I always express my gratitude to the administration and management no matter how foolish the situation gets. So far, it has paid off. I do not have resort to slimy methods to get what I want.

I read an interesting article by Stan Goff titled "The Material Basis of Accumulation" on the From the Wilderness site. Here's an excerpt:

Military power is the only card the US has to play in this new Great Game. Forgive the paternalistic analogy that emphasizes the imperial standpoint, but as any parent knows, when we must resort to force with our children, it is an indication that all other measures have failed.

They are not expanding their power. They are trying to manage their decline. The violence of that management is a reflection of the depth of the crisis, and the question of how to manage that decline goes to the heart of the struggle developing between the neocons and the technocrats.

The leverage that petroleum gives over the rest of the over-developed world, as well as nuclear Russia and industrializing China is absolutely and inescapably logical from a strictly mechanistic, military point of view. This is the reason that Southwest Asia is now the epicenter of world crisis.

But there is another aspect to the military solution, and that is that the rest of the world, which - as key resources demonstrate their geological and thermodynamic limitations - is competing for this diminishing material base even as it sinks further into geo-economic penury.

As the number of human beings actively involved in the process of valorizing the total global capital shrinks, leaving in its wake billions of human beings who are now superfluous as either producers or consumers to the accumulation process, the old post-war myth of development that was held like a carrot in front of the under-developed nations has been shattered.

There is now a largely urbanized, largely young, teeming mass around the planet that must - by the logic of the market - be expelled and eventually exterminated for the center of the center, the US, to continue to accumulate. Marx's "reserve army of labor" has grown into a giant mass of superfluous (to the market, except as a drag on accumulation) people.

Goff asserts that the current incursion in Iraq (and soon Iran) is not a matter of stealing oil or trading in euros. If anything, it has more to do with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The article was an eye-opener and makes complete sense. Everything meshes with Zbigniew Brzezinsky's "The Grand Chessboard" and the Project for A New American Century (PNAC) "white paper" (read: neocons' bible). Fools can stand around with their fucking heads in the sand or goose-step to the neocons' war drums. I could give a shit. Knowledge is power. There are too many fucking crooks out there. I'm not here to give 'em a handjob.

Wednesday December 8

The situation at the Asylum may be reaching critical mass. James, Chip, and I were having an interesting discussion. That discussion revealed to me that the faculty is now dividing into rifts of opinion. Chaos still ensues as more of the registration errors become evident. I ran into Vivian along King Street as I was walking to the Diploma Mill. She told me that Joe from Admissions had set her up for a fall. He made false accusations about her. He was able to persuade Marc, the Executive Director, to reprimand her harshly. As you may recall, Joe is the same clown who tried to set me up for a fall a few months ago. Kevin is hoping that Joe will end up replacing Brad as Director of Admissions.

Kevin called this afternoon. He apparently brought up a lot of the the registration problems to "Samhain," while deliberately insuring that Kim, the Director of Education, and Sierra, the new registrar, were present. Lehua, the new second in command, was running around like a chicken without a head. He built up the situation to crisis proportions. He laughed as he told me how angry "Samhain" became. "He kept standing and sitting down," Kevin said. This time, Kevin may have gone too far. He deliberately set up Kim to look like an idiot. He is trying to weaken her position knowing that Marc has already resigned. His intention, as he told me, is to rout the entire upper management. Kim apparently tried to defend herself. "She has thick skin," he said. It's apparent to me that Kevin is forming his own coup along with Joe. My only guess is that he is eyeing one of the management slots. The situation at the Asylum is out of control, just like the situation in the entire Middle East.

Thursday December 9

The situation at the Asylum remains chaotic. I am surprised that most of the students have not dropped out. Even I had to spend some time trying sort through the mess made of my classes, I discovered that Kevin now has three classes and six directed study students. Each directed study is a separate course, so he makes the equivalent of two additional classes. In fact, he somehow managed to take a few of the directed study students away from me. These are courses which Kevin has no background. One of our mutual students quoted Kevin as saying, "Now I can pay the rent." Odd, isn't it? He's actually making more than I am with my two jobs. In addition, he has his wife's income.

Chip called me later. He apparently had a chat with "Samhain." He found out that "Samhain" is considering an offer to Wayne to make the latter the Executive Director. Chip also asked "Samhain" about purchasing the Asylum. In all his arrogance, "Samhain" said, "You could never afford it." Chip also learned that "Samhain" made $10 million when he sold his ten LA campuses to Kaplan/Maric. "Samhain" is apparently leaving for Cali tonight because of an emergency. Chip tried to persuade me to go to the company party tomorrow night. I doubt that I will change my mind. I called Kevin right after I had chatted with Chip. I had to tell him about Wayne's possible ascension to the top position so he could stew in his own juices overnight. "We've got to get rid of him," he said. In actuality, Kevin is right. Wayne has already told most of us that he would fire everyone in the Asylum if he was running the place.

The intrigue at the Asylum has reached a fever pitch. I am trying to remain "under the radar," as Chip would say. I have discovered something appalling this week. I've noticed that I may have symptoms of heart palpitations. I experienced this during my cardio workouts. I checked my pulse during the duration of the fluttering feeling. Sure enough, my pulse indicated skipped heartbeats. The sensation was almost continuous during my workout, which may indicate that I am up for a severe cardiac event. I will be going in for my annual check-up within two weeks. I will bring the matter up with my physician. I will probably be spending most of my vacation at the Kaiser Clinic going through all kinds of tests. I'm a fucking old fart now. This is the kind of shit that happens when one is old and decrepit.

Well, with one foot in the grave, I certainly don't have time to think about stupid crap anymore. I definitely have no time to think about babes, although the new night computer instructor at the Asylum is supposedly a hottie. I do not have any night classes now, so I cannot verify that information. I've pretty much decided that I will remain "under the radar" insofar as the babe situation is concerned. I will have to make different life decisions based upon my new health crisis.

Friday December 10

An uneventful day. The main topic of discussion at the Asylum was Wayne's possible ascension to the top position. It's all speculation, mind you. I discovered that Ulla and Tiina in Finland had sent me a nice B-day card. It was stuffed in my faculty mailbox at the Diploma Mill. I check my mail infrequently, so I had not seen it earlier. I was deeply touched. Both of them corresponded with the ol' lavahead often in the earlier days of the journal.

At the gym, my irregular heartbeats were quite pronounced. I am fairly certain that I am facing a major health issue. Perhaps that is why I have been preoccupied with divesting my possessions. I have read that many people set about to reconcile their life just before learning that they have a terminal illness. The body subconsciously knows that it has very little time left. On my way to the bus stop, I heard someone say, "Happy belated birthday!" I looked over to see Nicolette sitting on one of the benches along Fort Street Mall. I assumed that Shirley had told her about the Big Five-O. Speaking of which, I have not seen or heard from Shirley. I have no idea what she's been up to. Perhaps she hooked up with a guy. I have not tried to call or send e-mail. Malia also sent e-mail, but I haven't gotten around to responding yet.

I ran into Robert this afternoon. We were able to chat for a while. He starts working as a Legislative Attorney on Monday. I was happy for him because it could be his New Beginning. The position only lasts five months. He seemed much more relaxed. The situation with the babe at the Legal Aid Society has gone downhill. One of the older babes had asked him if he was married. She then wanted to know what kind of babe he is interested in. So, Robert pointed out baby. He believes that the older babe had laid the cards on the table for him. So, baby is now quite distant. This is the game one plays when dealing with young hotties. I told Robert that "acceptance" (read: resignation) had come much easier for me than I previously thought possible. Anonder had advised me to "let the renunciation come to you." So it has. I am not exactly content with the fact that I will never ever have a babe in my life again. However, I have been single and celibate for over seven years. What is likely to change? I make absolutely no effort to meet babes. I don't go out anywhere. In fact, I have no friends to hang out with. I have declined all invitations to do anything, so no one calls anymore. I am making every effort to become more of a recluse with each passing day.

Saturday December 11

I drove my six-four over to the Kaiser Clinic in Kuapa Kai. I was able to get my blood test done, even though there was some confusion. My annual check-up was supposed to be in the middle of January according to my records. I had to beg for mercy to get my blood test done earlier. I cannot help the fact that I must work around my wage slave schedule. I made the benign journey to Chez Loser again. I had no choice but to partake of the bottle of the "Hammer" sitting in the fridge. I kept one bottle available just in case Shirley ever came by. I have not seen her in weeks, so there's no sense in letting a good bottle of wine go to waste. I painted the crumbling pressboard cabinet wall adjacent to the new dishwasher. Then, I turned the dishwasher on for the first time. It worked fine. No leaks. I also met my neighbors, Barbara and Ralph. They are an older couple from Chicago. They bought their townhouse one year ago. Barbara told me that the average unit has gone up about 70 AWUs since. She also seemed puzzled that no one was actually living in my unit. I believe that several of the neighbors are wondering the same thing.

I had to laugh when I perused my small empire. Chez Loser is a miserable joke for the amount that it's worth now. It's too big for me, but many families are living in similar units. I am planning to continue with upgrades, and I am putting in the cheapest possible replacements. I may have to replace the washer and dryer next. Naturally, I will be installing the Roper® line of fine appliances. It's a good thing that I will never show Chez Loser to any babe. I'd be a laughingstock. Sheesh!

The bus ride to and and from Chez Loser went somewhat smoothly. My return to Hawai'i Kai was unnerving as I was actually on the bus behind the one that I needed to be on. I was able to board the other bus in Kaimuki when we caught up with it. I returned at 4pm, which allowed me ample time to hike up Koko Head. I must increase my exercise regimen, even with the heart palpitations. The symptoms have only increased in the latter part of this year, coinciding with my decrease in cardio activity.

Moms was preparing all kinds of food again. Guess who's coming by tomorrow? Did you say, "Ninja Turds"? I was planning to stay in Hawai'i Kai tomorrow, but now my plans must change. I have been very fatigued, so I wanted to convalesce for the day. No dice. I'll make the benign journey to Chez Loser and pass out in the Papasan chair. Moms has to "baby-sit" Turd Jr. again next week. I am still waiting to hear when the Turds are going to move back into moms' house. Turd Jr. is now ten years old. The Turd's one-bedroom apartment must be getting a little cramped. That day is coming soon.

Armageddon and Other Pleasant Thoughts

I perused an article titled, "The Unannounced Reason Behind American Fundamentalism's Support for the State of Israel," by Gary North. Here's an excerpt:

Here is the opinion of John F. Walvoord, one of dispensationalism's leading theologians, who served for three decades as the president of Dallas Theological Seminary (founded, 1924), the movement's main seminary.

The purge of Israel in their time of trouble is described by Zechariah in these words: "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith Jehovah, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part into the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried" (Zechariah 13:8, 9). According to Zechariah's prophecy, two thirds of the children of Israel in the land will perish, but the one third that are left will be refined and be awaiting the deliverance of God at the second coming of Christ which is described in the next chapter of Zechariah. [John F. Walvoord, Israel in Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, [1962] 1988), p. 108.

Nothing can or will be done by Christians to save Israel's Jews from this disaster, for all of the Christians will have been removed from this world three and a half years prior to the beginning of this 42-month period of tribulation. (The total period of seven years is interpreted as the fulfillment of the seventieth week of Daniel [Dan. 9:27].)

In order for most of today's Christians to escape physical death, two-thirds of the Jews in Israel must perish, soon. This is the grim prophetic trade-off that fundamentalists rarely discuss publicly, but which is the central motivation in the movement's support for Israel. It should be clear why they believe that Israel must be defended at all costs by the West. If Israel were militarily removed from history prior to the Rapture, then the strongest case for Christians' imminent escape from death would have to be abandoned. This would mean the indefinite delay of the Rapture. The fundamentalist movement thrives on the doctrine of the imminent Rapture, not the indefinitely postponed Rapture.

It's an interesting treatise. I can now understand why the so-called Christian world (read: fundamentalist and charismatic sects) are co-opting Zionist Israel. They are trying to save their sorry asses. However, their "interpretation" of the Good Book is particularly disturbing. As I have already admitted, I am also waiting for Armageddon. I see the real prophesy being fulfilled. I also have noted that our world has careened so far out of control and now only Divine Intervention can save it. I once thought that it was humanly possible to turn things around. At this point in time, I see no way out. Our present course is leading to inevitable destruction.

This brings me to my small world and Chez Loser. In the past few weeks, I have been making mental calculations concerning the disposition of Chez Loser. As you know, my current options are to sell or rent the place. The best decision would have been to not purchase Chez Loser in the first place. I would be able to save about the same amount of dough in two years as I would make in possible capital gains for the same period, that is, if I still have a job. Renting is not a bad option. I would still have to kick in about $200 per month to offset expenses. Overall, I am losing more money in interest payments than anything else. The tax "break" only amounts to 30 percent of deductions. I fully understand the ramifications of my "ownership" of Chez Loser. We must understand that Chez Loser is the only thing that gives me a sense of purpose. I have nothing else and no one else in my life. I would be tempted to resign from my jobs and become a homeless derelict, if it were not for Chez Loser. That's how close I am to the edge of sanity. With Armageddon just around the corner and my precarious heart condition, does it really even matter?

I could start saving for the future. What a joke! I have already determined that I could never save enough for retirement and, Heaven forbid, long-term healthcare. The "system" is designed to rob us all in our most vulnerable years. I read an article recently wherein the author suggested that all savings be converted to gold and silver a few years before entering a convalescent home. Long-term healthcare is expensive, and the patient must exhaust all of his assets before any kind of subsidy will be provided. So, where does one store the gold? Who would be trusted to hold it? It's a futile situation. I no longer plan for the future in this respect. I maintain my savings only to keep myself going during my "good" years. I am fortunate because I can share resources with moms. I still pay rent to moms in addition to my mortgage. However, the shared resources cost a lot less than if I incurred the expense entirely by myself. It's fairly obvious to me that I could have a cardiac event tomorrow. Then, all of this planning would be moot. It's moot anyway given the grim future for all of us when we are old and decrepit. I plan to lead a frugal life-style. I will divest unnecessary possessions and vow never to purchase anything superfluous just because I am bored. I will still lead a good life until Armageddon comes or I experience that dreadful cardiac event.

Sunday December 12

The local paper has been running a sporadic series of articles about the aging local population. A number of local families have been featured. The stories are somewhat dismal. Yet, they provide a glimpse into the near future for most of us either as caregivers or care recipients. For families giving care to elderly members, the financial and emotional toll is high. There is no personal time. The elderly are close to being invalids, requiring constant supervision. Only familial bonds keep all of them going. I do not believe that long-term healthcare insurance is the answer. Will the insurance companies still be around in 20 years? Will the facilities be able to remain solvent in view of Peak Oil? I hear people saying stupid shit such as, "I will probably have to work until I'm eighty." The majority of people will be invalids by then. We will be fortunate to even be ambulatory at age seventy. Only the extremely affluent will be able to afford and receive adequate care. The extremely poor will be the only ones to receives subsidies. The rest of us will be drained of our resources until we fall into the latter category. The articles made all of this very clear.

The cost of long-term healthcare in a nursing facility is upwards of $84,000 per year. One woman, who is caring for her mother at home, said that the healthcare insurance now pays for almost everything. However, if she had to put her mother in a nursing facility, then she would have to pay half the cost. The insurance will only pay half the cost. My family is fortunate for now. Moms is healthy and moves around quite well for being 83 years old. Moms has no long-term care insurance. Moms' house is under a living trust. The tide could turn tomorrow. What happens if moms becomes seriously ill? Or, what if moms sustains a serious injury? Selling the house would only afford a little over five years in a nursing home. Many of the seniors today are fortunate to have family members who care enough to tackle the burden of responsibility. Will the next generation even care? Will they be able to afford to help? What about singles like the ol' lavahead who have no kids?

I made the benign journey to Chez Loser at 10am. The Honolulu Marathon ran through Hawai'i Kai, which affected the traffic. It took over 30 minutes just to move through Hawai'i Kai. I finally arrived in Kane'ohe at 12:30pm. Naturally, I had to stop in Safeway to purchase a bottle of vino. I didn't have much to do there today. I poured out one of many glasses of wine. I was hammered in no time. I departed at 3pm. When I arrived in town, I transferred to a bus heading to Kahala Mall. I only spent about 15 minutes in Barnes & Noble. Then, I caught the next bus to Hawai'i Kai. Moms was gone when I returned. Moms will be "baby-sitting" Turd Jr. tomorrow. I am feeling pretty shitty after downing a whole bottle of cheap wine. I will spend the evening with my iBook and my Bose® Acoustic Wave.

Monday December 13

An uneventful day. I was not feeling too well all morning. I surmise that I am having psychosomatic responses to the possibility of heart problems. The Asylum continues to operate in chaos. Sometimes I wonder why "Samhain" lets it continue on this way. He essentially has a staff of idiots and manipulators. It does not seem to matter that people come and go. The same type of charlatans continue to infest the place. The small minority of moneygrubbers like Kevin are the ones who make life miserable for everyone. The moronic nepotism which has certainly helped the Pacific Islander community (read: Kim's relatives, friends, or church associates) is another big problem. It would not be so bad, but the latter are completely incompetent.

At the Diploma Mill, I helped Pseudo-professor Ralph troubleshoot his computer. It was running extremely slow. After going through a series of diagnostics, we finally checked the memory. It turns out that his memory card had lodged loose from its socket. Robert stopped by briefly. This was his first day as a Legislative Attorney. He is now a man with a purpose. The job will only last until May. Perhaps that will be enough time to bring him put of that perpetual slump. I received e-mail from Patrick, an old time reader. He apparently took a long hiatus from LoserNet. He used quite a clever process to find the ol' lavahead's e-mail address at the Diploma Mill. He caught up with the journal, but found that it ended abruptly. As you may recall, this was because I had to prune the journal. I still have not completed the missing six chapters. So, I gave him the URL to one of the more current chapters. It's strange how people always come back to LoserNet just as though it was an old friend.

Well, since I started the discussion about finances and Chez Loser, I might as well continue. A small handful of people, including Anonder, have been trying to persuade me to sell Chez Loser immediately. Yes, I have been reading about the international housing bubble. Prices in some countries are rapidly declining. Hawai'i is an interesting place, though. It's a group of islands in the tropics. Many people want to come here to live. Real estate on all the islands is severely limited. Most of the land is displaced by mountains and mountain ranges. An article in this month's Honolulu magazine predicts that there will be a huge influx of mainlanders moving here. A lot of them are moving here now. They are buying property on the neighbor islands, usually luxury estates (read: seasonal housing). Right now, the percentage of seasonal housing on the neighbor islands is about 15 percent. On O'ahu, it's about two percent. I expect the housing market to crash on the neighbor islands. Will it affect O'ahu? Slightly. People who are moving to O'ahu to live in Paradise (or, so they think) must work, too. Only the extremely wealthy can afford the luxury estates. I expect housing prices to continue to rise on O'ahu at least on the same level as inflation. The only housing bubble to ever burst here was when Japan had gone through its financial crisis. At that time, the Japanese were heavily invested here. They abruptly pulled out. At this point in time, there is a housing shortage. And, it's getting worse. Rental units are also scarce. We're about at the limit for new construction because the existing infrastructure can no longer handle the load. People cannot just up and move to the neighbor islands to seek relief. The only real jobs are on O'ahu. This figures into part of my decision to either keep or sell Chez Loser. Frankly, as I mentioned yesterday, I am worrying a lot less about whether I have any money at all for the future.

Tuesday December 14

When I arrived at the Asylum, I was told by Kevin that Ernie has filed for workman's compensation. The slob claims that he allegedly slipped and fell in the Asylum's lab. He fractured his vertebrae. There were no witnesses. How convenient. And, timely as well since Ernie's last work day is two weeks from now. Vivian, the human resources person, confirmed this pathetic bullshit. It's exactly the same nonsense that Phillip pulled a few years ago. Phillip ended up with two years of pay and a huge settlement. He hasn't worked since. Ernie may end up suing the Asylum. What is "Samhain" going to do?

The rest of the day was uneventful. I am trying to finish my grading for the Diploma Mill. I have also had to deal with the pleas from the marginal students who are now trying to salvage their grades. Most of them have not even been to class for two months. I did my usual workout at the gym. I am doing my cardio workout regardless of my heart palpitations. I chatted with Ann on the express bus this afternoon. She's turning in her resignation this week. Apparently, the law firm she is employed with has become a hostile work environment much like the Asylum. She has decided to work as a "temp" for a while. She can live for three months with no pay if she cashes in her 401(k) and pays the tax penalty. She must have only about $6,000 to her name. What is she going to do in the future?

The young ho' and her brother have been acting up lately. I believe that the old ho' no longer lives at the House of Lolo. She has most likely moved in with her latest BoyToy. She apparently left her kids with the lolo. The young ho' is still in high school. The punk brother graduated last year. They are out and about all night long. Many times, their friends' Riceboys are all parked outside after midnight. The little punks are usually making all kinds of noise for several hours every night. The lolo and his wife have no control over the kids. Things were going downhill there anyway. The Cadillac Escalade was probably repossessed last year. There was a new VW Beetle in the driveway for few months. That has also disappeared. The young punk is still driving that piece of shit Mustang. And, there's now an old Jeep Cherokee parked outside. The young ho' usually drives it.

I have pretty much decided that I don't really care what happens to Chez Loser. I may just list it for sale next month. I had thought about renting it. Pseudo-professor Dorothy's property manager would have been perfect. He has a great track record, and his fees are low. However, I did a few mental calculations a while back. Even with the tax deductions, I believe that I will owe taxes on the income generated. I vaguely recall that Pseudo-professor Dorothy mentioned that what she earns at the Diploma Mill is used to pay taxes. And, I'd only increase my equity by $200 per month. Well, I am deferring all decisions until the new year.

Wednesday December 15

I neglected to mention that Robert was in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill yesterday. He seemed somber. He did not say much. Just before he left, he said that he was going to the doctor. The second day at his new job, and he's taking time off to see his doctor. I suspect that there's more than meets the eye.

Anonder has returned with a few comments in Speak! IV. He's living in Reno now. He is urging me to follow his financial advice. He wrote, "My agenda in giving all this advice is the same as ever. To keep you from falling into a financial swamp that prevents you from moving on with the parts of your life that really interest me. In particular, your sex life and how you deal with increasing isolation from the world. If your savings are wiped out, then your fate is sealed." I can answer the part about my "sex life" right now. It's over. These are the Viagra Years. I thought that I would have a more difficult time with this issue, but the transition was smooth. Robert is currently in denial like I was about a year ago. He is going through mid-life crisis. He wants a young hottie. For me, there will be no babe. I've been single and celibate now for eight years. I have made no effort to break out of the ranks, even through the most painful time of my own mid-life crisis. I am only here to kill time until the end.

At the Asylum, Ernie was seen walking around. He did not seem to be in much pain, given his shattered spine. Kevin printed out a document about the causes of strokes and gave it to me. Lately, I have joked about bringing in malasadas everyday and leaving them at the front desk. That way, all of the key people would eat them and end up having a coronary because of the high fat content. Kevin is beginning to take the idea seriously. Glen has been talking to me about real estate lately. He and his wife want to purchase a place while they still qualify with two incomes. However, Glen's wife plans to quit her job shortly afterward. Seems a bit dangerous. I made my mortgage payment, went to the gym, and did some grading.

Well, so far, two weeks have gone by since the Big Five-O. No radical changes have been invoked. I am still deliberating the same old nonsense while being drained financially at the same time. I am getting used to the negative cash flow. Shirley sent e-mail. She's apparently been working more. She has also been studying (or trying to catch up at the last minute). That's why I haven't heard from her. She may not graduate in May as planned because the two classes that she needs are offered in the same time slot. She's probably better off staying in school. After graduation, the heat will be on to find a job. Her parents subsidize her now, but that may come to end once school is out. I just hope that she doesn't hook up with some loser.

Thursday December 16

I am grown weary of the Asylum. Even the faculty are getting on my nerves. Chip is about the worst one because he is an attention whore. Lehua, the new second in command, has submitted her resignation. I chatted with Judith for a bit. She is caring for her elderly mother at home. Recently, her mother was in the hospital for pneumonia. Her mother returned home, but now requires constant care. I asked about how they are paying for everything. They have the house and some cash. Everything is coming from out-of-pocket. We also discussed long-term healthcare insurance.

I really wasn't in the mood for any crap. Frankly, I felt trapped today. I am tied down by my mortgage, and it is starting to depress me. I wouldn't mind paying it at all if I had a decent job. All of this is going to figure into the decisions that I have deferred until next month. In general, people are making me sick. I am tired of dealing with them. And, I am weary from the constant political intrigue. Yet, I live in one of the most dense cities insofar as population is concerned. There's no escape.

My vacation is coming up. It's unpaid, of course. I have to spend most of that time preparing for new courses. If I continue in wage slavery, the next few years are going to be a blur. I will have wasted more of what's left of my productive years. I no longer need to carry on the ruse of a "productive citizen." I have no babe, which means that I won't have a family. Well, I am a family of one. I am totally confused about what to do next. I have reversed my decision to save for the future. Sadly, I continue to save by default because I don't spend any money. I have bought everything possible in my lifetime, and all of that crap just made me sick of consumerism. I am contemplating the divestiture of Chez Loser. However, the day that I do so will also be the day that the Ninja Turds move back into moms' house. That's the comedy of life. The joke is, of course, always on the ol' lavahead.

Friday December 17

Yesterday, Vivian, the human resources person, advised me to speak to no one about anything. She also mentioned that Kim, the Director of Education, and Josephine, the Financial Aid Director, both filed a formal complaint against her. Josephine once worked at the Diploma Mill. Unconfirmed sources stated that she was asked to resign. I have decided to lay low. My interaction with everyone, including the faculty, will be extremely limited. I don't have time for this bullshit.

An uneventful day. I facilitated my classes at the Asylum. Vivian, the human resources person, is flying to Chicago to be with her daughter for a week. I went to the gym and did my usual workout. Then, I spent the rest of the afternoon grading papers at the Diploma Mill. I should be done by Monday. Pseudo-professor Ralph came by just as I was leaving. He is flying to Colorado with his family for the holidays.

The Feds raised the interest rate again. However, mortgage rates have fallen again. I am now contemplating the fate of Chez Loser. I may list the property next month for the ridiculous price of 300 AWUs. I will keep the listing active for six months. During that time, I will do a few more minor upgrades. My cell phone's voicemail is all screwed up. I am now contemplating the divestiture of the useless item. So far, I have only received three calls this month. It's not worth keeping the service.

Saturday December 18

I made the benign journey to Chez Loser. The bus ride went extremely well for once. I stopped off at Safeway to buy another bottle of wine for the usual festivities. I dropped the recycling off along the way. The minute that I arrived, I poured out a glass of wine. My chore for the day was to clean behind the decrepit washer and dryer. It was so disgusting. I almost had to deliver street pizza. I spent the rest of the time sitting in the Papasan chair while sipping the seemingly endless glasses of wine. I decided to leave at 2pm. The bus did not show up on time. I waited for 15 minutes before walking back to Chez Loser. I looked back a few minutes later to see the bus go by. Naturally, I had to partake of more vino. When I left an hour later, I was completely hammered. I was actually able to make the connecting bus.

When I arrived in Hawai'i Kai, I noticed that my bro's truck was parked in the driveway. He was cleaning his truck. We ended up chatting for a bit. We discussed real estate and the disposition of Chez Loser. My bro is a carpenter. He has been working at many of the the new housing projects in West O'ahu. He described the sheer number of mainlanders moving in those new homes. We also discussed some old man ailments. Apparently, both my bro and I have mild cases of arthritis. We also have high cholesterol. What is interesting is that my bro is ten years younger than I but he is already exhibiting the same symptoms of each ailment. Sheesh! My bro gave me a bottle of Chardonnay before he left. A nice surprise.

I received my tax assessment notice. The local papers have been discussing this topic all week. Property taxes are going up by an average of 25 percent. I was not too happy. I've been checking the real estate listing religiously. I had thought about purchasing a smaller place if and when I sell Chez Loser. One benefit is that I would not be taxed on any capital gains. However, studio apartments in town are now about as expensive what Chez Loser went for when I bought in. I would not come out ahead. In addition, the increase in property taxes is sure to cause an increase in rents on the whole island. Hawai'ian Electric is petitioning to raise its rates by 40 percent. It is already the most expensive electric utility in the nation. I can't keep up with these expenses. Lastly, I neglected to mention that Vanessa called yesterday and left a message. I was finally able to access my pathetic voicemail.

Sunday December 19

Yesterday, as the bus passed Central Union Church, I noticed a large "Nativity" scene on the grounds. There were camels, goats, and shepherds painted on plywood cutouts interspersed with the key characters. I laughed. The so-called Christmas event that is being celebrated happened in the Middle East about 2,000 years ago. The same Middle East that is now a killing field. The irony of an entire nation celebrating such an event while most of its citizens despise the actual people who live there is simply ludicrous. I can offer no explanation for this level of stupidity and debauchery. The holidays are only an excuse for decadent spending on useless crap. The mandatory gift-giving is simply the result of a year-long residual of pent-up guilt fueled even more by rampant materialism.

I also neglected to mention a most curious situation at the Asylum. Many of the students are leaving to enroll at the Hawai'i Moronic Institute, which is run by Roach and Bug. I had thought that the Filipino students would not qualify. However, I learned from Joanne that the dump is no longer subsidized by Alu Like. The latter is an organization which supports the indigenous Hawai'ian culture. One of Joanne's friends is a principal at a local high school. He has a doctorate, which is rare. From what Joanne told me, I believe that she persuaded him to assist Roach in obtaining numerous grants. Those grants permitted Roach to expand his little empire by releasing him from the auspices of Alu Like. Joanne expressed fear that the Asylum will close down because the enrollment is not increasing as planned. Yet, she was instrumental in its demise.

Some of the statements moms made last night seem to indicate that my time in Hawai'i Kai is nearing an end. Moms is expecting me to move into Chez Loser soon. I suspect that the Ninja Turds are waiting until that time to move back in primarily because of Mrs. Turd. My bro is still the same. I expect the same kind of totalitarian regime to reappear once he is comfortable. With all the rising costs, moms cannot afford to maintain the house. Yet, what moms doesn't realize is that she will end up subsidizing the Turds. As you know, that's one of my ulterior motives for prolonging this transition. When I first moved to Hawai'i, moms' house was a living nightmare. It's all in the journal.

An uneventful day. I made the benign journey to Chez Loser with the express intent of staying no longer than 20 minutes. The buses were running like clockwork, so I was able to accomplish my mission. As always, I carried the recycling with me. I also brought along the bottle of wine given to me by my bro. I was able to slam down a couple of glasses of wine. I returned to Hawai'i Kai at 3pm. Moms was cooking all kinds of food to take to the Ninja Turds. Moms may be gone for two days. Why can't Turd Jr. just stay at moms' house? Moms says there's no tube to keep him occupied. I believe that the little shit would cry all night without his mother around. Did the Turds come by to give moms a ride? Of course not! Can you imagine what will happen when moms gives them the house? I may have to maintain Chez Loser in case the Turds kick moms out.

I chatted with Caroll briefly yesterday. She was at work, so she said that she would call later. She finally called and left a message tonight. I don't think that she's doing well at all. It's a repeat of what's happened before. She's not making enough dough at her new job, and she's going through the same crap again. She needs to get out of sales. That's the real problem. Life continues in turmoil for the main characters in the journal.

Monday December 20

An uneventful day. I chatted with Kevin at the Asylum. At times, he seems like a straight-up guy. He puts on a sincere front, but I've long learned not to trust him. He discussed how he places value in good people. He has memorized quite a convincing spiel. I can always catch him in a lie, though. He showed me a GRE preparation CD. He claims to be using it for his classes. That's a graduate school exam. No one in the Asylum could even comprehend the questions. I asked him if he was pursuing a doctorate. He cloaked his denial in a non-committal response. Yet, I've seen him working on his essays for his application. The reason he doesn't want to admit it is because his parents are going to pay for it. How else could he afford the tuition for the Harvard satellite campus classes at Pearl Harbor? That would blow a big hole in his story of poverty. Later, at the Diploma Mill, I ran into the former dean of the Asylum. He's a sleazy bastard, too. He's just a pseudo-professor like me. He said that he would write a fantastic letter of reference for, if I needed it. Thanks, but no thanks. He left a document open on the computer. It was a reference letter for Kevin's Harvard application. Kevin keeps talking about karma and how people will pay the price for their actions. Why does he think that he's immune?

I managed to get a lot done. I am not planning to go to town much during my pathetic little vacation. I finished my grading at the Diploma Mill. I also began my preparations for my Spring classes. I went to the gym to do my usual workout. I was experiencing what seemed like extreme heart palpitations during my cardio session. I was able to chat with Mark on the express bus. I haven't seen him in a long time. He's buying new appliances for his place. So, we were talking home owner to home owner. He's buying good appliances as opposed to the cheap brands that I can afford. Old single guys should not even bother with anything but the cheapest crap. We also discussed joining the AARP (American Association for Retired Persons). Yes, we qualify now. Neither of us have submitted out applications yet.

Kevin asked me if I notice babe anymore. I'm past the point where I would have any interest in them, I said. Babes are thing of the past for me. He said that he still notices babes. He has also observed a few young hotties checking him out. I'm not sure why. He looks more middled-aged than I do. I am a little curious about why Anonder wanted see what I am going to do about my "sex life." Am I going to embrace the idea of what he calls "sexual kung fu"? I doubt it. I am just going to let my Vienna Sausage atrophy. I was suprised to learn that Anonder has hooked up with another babe. I surmise that he's ready to enter the mainstream again. That's good. I'm ready to exit. The journal will make for boring reading from this point forward. I won't be discussing babes. I won't even be hanging out with babes. I'm a party of one. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa!

To be continued ... Go to E.15

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