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The Exodus Files
Friday January 7, 2005
The sheer numbers of typographical errors that appear in the journal are because I cannot type and I am close to being blind. I can barely see anything on the 12-inch screen of my iBook. That's another reason why I need the PowerBook. Bigger screen. Well, that's not going to happen anytime soon. Sheesh!
I received a call from the Kaiser Moanalua Clinic this morning while I was at the Asylum. Apparently, the Holter monitor used to track my heart was defective. The information was completely lost. That's odd. I remember that Adele showed me all of the channels including heart rate and EKG. The monitor's display was always active. I had to push a button whenever I experienced any kind of symptoms in order to lock in the time. That feature was functioning just fine. I will be going back to the clinic on Monday to be fitted with another Holter monitor. What perturbs me most is that I do not like to spend any time at the clinic. It's a depressing place. Most people there do not look well at all.
I went to the gym later in the afternoon. I only experienced one heart palpitation during the cardio workout. Prior to the gym, I had been at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Pseudo-professor Ralph was there. We chatted for a few minutes. I had a cup of fresh coffee while I was there. Could the coffee have lowered my propensity for palpitations? In actuality, coffee is supposed to increase the symptoms. I don't know what's going on anymore. Pseudo-professor Glenn had sent e-mail the other day about the Art Walk. He and Nancy were going to be at the Indigo Happy Hour at 4:20pm. I decided not to go because I would have ended up hammered. I haven't been on the Art Walk for a while. I particularly miss the Louis Pohl Gallery. Wine is always flowing like water there.
I brought two small plants home with me. Someone left them in the faculty computer room. I will be taking them to Chez Loser, the home of wayward plants. Gayle, one of the staff, gave me permission to take them. So far, all of the plants that I have rescued are doing quite well in my lanai. My little plants are my friends. Well, I will spend the evening with my iBook. I will also be listening to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. This is the life of a senior citizen.
Saturday January 8
I should at least provide a synopsis of what is happening at the Asylum. Attendance has been sparse. Many of the students are taking an extended vacation, most likely because the public schools are out until next Monday. The campus is close to vacant. Some of us are assuming that many of the students have quit. Yet, there seems to be no action on the part of the entire management. Marc, the Executive Director, is staying on. No one seems to know what he does. Kim, the Director of Education, claims to be swamped with work. The crux of spooky ol' Al's plan has been tossed aside. All of his "checks and balances" have been completely disregarded. The faculty continue to submit the endless paperwork that is required, yet nothing has been reviewed in weeks. The Medical Office program is rudderless now that Ernie has left. There seems to be no hurry to infuse new leadership in the Asylum's flagship program. Gino, the accountant, is about the only person who sees the place folding before the end of the year. I don't particularly care to make "Samhain" rich. I was just hoping that I could keep a comfortable class load for at least a couple more years. If the Asylum could maintain about 250 students, all of the faculty would have enough classes without having to resort to the kind of backstabbing we've seen lately. I sense that the death knell for the Asylum has begun, which is exactly coincident with my prediction of a significant downward trend by V-day. What is really curious to me is how little "Samhain" cares about what is happening. Will the Asylum become a tax write-off for the remainder of his $10 million estate? It doesn't make sense.
I made the benign journey to Chez Loser. I was quite surprised to have arrived in a timely fashion given the extremely heavy traffic. I dropped off the recycling. I also brought Shirley's gift and the two plants with me. I cleaned up my lanai and put the plants in the shade. After that, I walked to Windward Mall and purchased a Weedwhacker at Sears for $35 on sale. I returned to Chez Loser. There was nothing for me to do, so I popped the cork on the bottle of Chardonnay that my bro gave me. I only had one glass. It was pretty good. I left at 3pm, taking the Weedwhacker with me. When I got on the bus, I was privy to some bullshit from a group of young sluts. People who carry large items on the bus are usually targeted as losers because it is obvious that they don't drive. No car equals no dough, right? I let the little shits have their way. Normally, I would have told them to fuck themselves. They are all going to end up pregnant and on welfare in a few years anyway. For some reason, I was able to make all my bus connections today. While I was on the final leg of my journey, I figured out that there was nothing wrong with the old Weedwhacker. The problem is the extension cord. When I arrived in Hawai'i Kai, I quickly tested my theory. Sure enough, the extension cord is intermittent. I am not taking the new Weedwhacker back for a refund. I don't want to go through the ordeal on the bus again. I may not be so patient if anyone gave me shit again. Perhaps it's time for me to break out the Nova® Spirit.
I've been working on computing my net worth (not up yet). The primary reason is to set up my divestiture schedule. I am looking at replacing my iBook very soon. It is actually four years old, and I surmise that I may still get about $400 for it now. I never keep anything until it is completely worthless or it fails on me. I have put a moratorium on any spending for Chez Loser for now. I am watching the mortgage rates as well as home prices. So far, it looks as though home prices in Hawai'i are still climbing while interest rates are still low. I have not decided when I will divest Chez Loser, but it will probably be sometime this year. My cell phone will most likely be divested soon. I am waiting for all of my tax information to arrive before making final decisions.
Sunday January 9
It's time to discuss the non-existent babe situation again, I suppose. I believe that I have reached the point of resignation (or acceptance). I went through the final bout of mid-life crisis last year. I felt the pain and anguish of relinquishing the monk life-style. Nothing ever happened. Frankly, I believe that the monk life-style was ideal for me. I laughed when I read Shirley's e-mail, which urged me to purchase another car in case I start dating. I have been single and celibate now for over six years. Absolutely nothing has made me want to change that. I have now divested myself of most of my friends, so I am truly a loner. I have no desire to contact anyone. I do not want to hang out with anyone. I don't want to make conversation. I just ride the bus with the other losers. I like being alone. These are the Viagra Years. Actually, I need to clarify that point. If I am having heart problems, then I certainly won't be taking any Viagra. As far as babes are concerned, my time has come and gone. As this particular aspect of my life finalizes, I must make all of the crucial decisions immediately. As I am to remain single for the rest of my life, I need to rid myself of any unnecessary paraphernalia. The cell phone must go. The disposition of Chez Loser will be determined early next month.
I made the benign journey to Chez Loser at 9:45am. The buses were running like clockwork, so I arrived in Kane'ohe at 11:20am. I dropped the recycling off. I walked to Ace Hardware to buy an extension cord. I bought one on sale for $7 but it is only 40 feet in length. I will need to repair the old extension cord. Shirley called and left a message that she was running a little late. She arrived at 12:30pm. I was outside in my lanai. I saw her walking up the steps from the carports. I almost didn't recognize her. She is even more of a hottie than when I last saw her close to two months ago. Shirley is going to be one of those babes who get hotter with age. She wanted to go to Ala Moana for lunch and also to do some shopping. The waiting line at California Pizza Kitchen was long. We walked over to Pac Sun. Shirley exchanged a gift and bought some other clothes. We finally ate lunch at 2pm. The meal was delicious. We were able to chat about a few things. Mainly, Shirley caught me up with she's been doing. Apparently, she had been hanging out with a lot of her old friends. She also seemingly repaired her friendship with Ramona. There are now about three guys after her. She made a Myspace page, which is all the rage with the kids here. She watched the fireworks up on Tantalus with Seth. They apparently had the "talk." Shirley evidently put him in the dreaded FriendZone®, even though many of her friends are suggesting that she hook up with him. She is also concerned that her friend Kerri would be upset since the latter once was hooked up with Seth. However, Kerri has been in a relationship with another guy for a couple of years now. I find that Shirley's concern for Kerri to be odd given what happened with Erin. None of this really matters because Shirley and I rarely see each other these days. I did broach the topic of making her the executor of my estate. This is an important matter to me, and I believe that I can trust Shirley no matter what. This will probably be the only remaining facet of my friendship with her. We also shopped in the Old Navy store. After that, Shirley dropped me off in Hawai'i Kai.
I opened the present that Shirley gave me. There was a nice belt and a wallet. She must have noticed how tattered my stuff has gotten. I maintain a certain level of dereliction for a reason. I have to combat Kevin's poverty shenanigans at the Asylum. I mentioned to Shirley that I was planning to sell my iBook. She said that she wanted it. I will probably just give it to her. I could sell it on eBay, but that might be more trouble than it's worth. I have determined that my computer will be my most valuable possession. I am free to invest as much as I feel is necessary to satisfy this need. Well, strangely, I did not experience any palpitations at all this weekend. I am not sure what is going on.
Monday January 10
About 8pm last night, I realized that I might have left the water running at Chez Loser. I called Shirley and left a message. Moms called my bro for me. My bro came by to pick me up. As we were driving past Sandy Beach, Shirley called. She was at Ramona's place. She was not able to use her phone because it was out of the transmitter range. I told her that I was on my way already. We chatted briefly. I thanked her for the gifts, which I will definitely use. She thanked me for her gifts. I am planning to give Shirley one of my spare key sets. With my on-going senility, I will need someone close by to check on Chez Loser for me. My bro and I arrived at Chez Loser shortly afterward. I discovered that I did not leave the water running. However, better safe than sorry. I showed my bro around the place. He seemed pretty impressed with it. I downed a glass of wine to calm my nerves. Then, we left.
I have decided to evaluate my family situation. I have let the animosity get to me. As I have been discovering, life is way too short for this nonsense. From this point forward, I will not refer to my bro's family as the Ninja Turds. There will still be some uneasiness over the same issues. However, I can no longer concern myself with them. Moms will decide what to do with the house, and that decision will no longer affect me one way or the other. Moms also mentioned that Aunty Eva may be visiting again. Perhaps that will an excuse for the relatives to get together.
After my class at the Asylum, I rode the bus to the Kaiser Moanalua Clinic. I was fitted with another Holter monitor. Adele was not there today. It took me 1.5 hours to return to town. The bus were very late. Four buses came at the same time. The sad part is that I just ride up to the next stop. Then, I have to walk across the freeway to the other bus stop. A little old lady was there waiting with me. She talked to me during that time, so it was actually a pleasant wait. As I got off the bus, I waved good-bye to her. I arrived in town close to 3pm. I went to the gym. I experienced no heart palpitations during my cardio workout. I am not sure what is going on any more. As I walking to the Diploma Mill after the gym, a guy yelled out to me, "Nice triceps. They're huge!" I laughed and thanked him. I spent a little time in the faculty computer room before leaving for the the bus stop. For the record, I heard a rumor that Brad, the Admissions Director at the Asylum, was going to resign. The official announcement was sent off by e-mail late in the day.
I mentioned to Kevin that I saw Shirley yesterday. I said that Shirley is getting to be quite a hottie. Well, she's always been a hottie. Remember the furor she caused when she attended the Asylum lua'u. She's even hotter now. He always tells me that I should try to hook up with Shirley. "My wife and I think that you should go after Shirley," he said. I don't think Kevin understands that Shirley is not interested in old losers. In addition, she's been like family to me. If I was twenty years younger and a stud, I would definitely think about hookin' up with her. As it stands, I am ready to be put out to pasture.
Shirley sent a reply to my e-mail. She was glad that my gifts were okay. She liked the Gap gift card that I gave her. That is one of her favorite stores. She also reluctantly agreed to be the executor of my puny estate. And, she refuted my claim that she is a hottie. She mentioned that she is getting fat. She wears size 1 jeans. How could she be fat? I only know this because she bought a pair of jeans at Old Navy yesterday. I should also note that Shirley told me that the Middle Eastern guy who was interested in her a while back had a heart attack and passed on. He was still in his twenties. That's a real wake-up call.
Tuesday January 11
There was a lot of tension in the air at the Asylum. I am beginning to believe that I have a high level of subliminal stress because of that dump. Judith is completely stressed out. She said that she is losing weight as a result. The Asylum is the sole source of income for many of the faculty. I had to speak with Kim, the Director of Education. There's a faculty meeting tomorrow, but I cannot attend. I will be at the Kaiser Clinic again. The meeting is supposedly very important. Kim would not give me any details. I will have to see her on Thursday. A few people are now agreeing with my predictions. I am almost certain that the Asylum is going under by Summer. Only a few of us are actually doing our jobs. Everyone else is just collecting a paycheck until the end comes. Brad's sudden departure signals major problems ahead. The admissions office is the "front end" of the business. James believes that we are going to be reduced to part-time status. I've been saying that for months. Most likely, we will lose our health benefits. I can survive and pay all of my loans and bills with two classes in each six-week term along with what I earn at the Diploma Mill. However, now I am apprehensive about not having a health plan.
I left for the Kaiser Moanalua Clinic right after my classes. The buses were on time, so I was able to go there and return to town before 2pm. I saw Adele there, although she was not the one to assist me. I went to the gym and did my usual workout. I may have experienced one or two mild palpitations. I left town on the first express bus. I spent the rest of the afternoon doing my yardboy chores. Shirley sent e-mail. She accidentally deleted my last e-mail. I sent her a copy. I was able to peruse the Apple® site. New products are being introduced at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. There's a new Mac mini computer. It's pretty nifty. I am just waiting to see if there's a new line of PowerBooks.
I am still confused about what I am going to do with my useless possessions. Somehow, I am still locked into the notion that I must save for the future. We've all been indoctrinated with this crap through the use of fear by the moneychangers. Many of the alternative financial gurus are predicting a major financial collapse in a few years. What is the money going to be worth then? Tentatively, I have decided to keep Chez Loser until March of next year. Other minor possessions will be divested on a whim. I have already told Shirley that I would give her my iBook once I purchase a new PowerBook. I have got to become less prophylactic about my finances. I don't have much money anyway. I don't particularly care to save money just so it can used for geriatric medical expenses. So, why not enjoy it while I can?
Wednesday January 12
An interesting day at the Asylum. Kevin spent some time negotiating with Kim about his classes. Apparently, a few students have complained about Kevin's classes, so now he's down to two classes like me. He is in a desperate situation, so I am expecting him to do everything he can to fuck the rest of us over. I can see it in his face. "He's just a spoiled kid," Chip said to me later. Chip's right. Kevin has had an easy life. He did not have to pay a dime for his Ivy League education. He's on his own now because he decided to get married to someone not of Chinese pedigree stock. He also disappointed his father by not becoming a lawyer. Joanne told James and I that Roach is still going off on his yelling tirades at the Hawai'i Moronic Institute. Roach and Ernie recently got into a shouting match. I laughed. People are beginning to reap their just rewards. It universal karma time!
Pseudo-professor Glenn had sent me e-mail. He wanted to know about the results of the heart monitor and also about the Asylum. I sent him a reply detailing everything. I've chatted with Glen at the Asylum almost every day. He's looking to purchase a condo. He showed me a few of the places that he's interested in. I had to leave for my appointment at the Kaiser Clinic. I arrived there fairly early. Frankly, I was not too happy with the idea of being sliced into. The doctor told me that I did not have to remove the cyst. In fact, he advised me to avoid the surgery. The scar, he said, would be about 3 inches long. So, that was it. Why wasn't I told this by the my doctor? I had to pay the $10 co-payment just for this foolish visit. I returned to town and went to the gym. I departed on the first express bus. I spent the rest of the afternoon doing more of my yardboy chores.
I should mention a few more points from my afternoon with Shirley. She only has a handful of classes left to take at the Diploma Mill. However, she cannot complete them until the end of Summer term. So, she will not graduate as planned. She is trying to substitute another class for the internship requirement. I urged her to do the internship to get some kind of relevant work experience. "I'm not going into advertising anyway," she rebutted. Her parents have suggested that she find a State or Federal job. Shirley is now fixated on the idea. Those jobs are hard to come by, and the entry-level positions may be of the brain donor variety. I am concerned that she'll get stuck working at Daiei and living in the "cocoon." Then, she'll get desperate and hook up with some clown. She said that Jason, the last BoyToy of four months, was one of the few guys who had a decent job. I also told her that she needs to face the facts — guys in their twenties are not interested in getting married. Guys only start thinking about marriage when they are in their mid-thirties. Obviously, there is only one reason to be in a relationship. Did you say "da wild thing"? Shirley did not agree with me. However, deep down inside, I'm sure she knows the truth. I always joke around about that nonsense. After she tried on a couple of skimpy tops at Pac Sun, she came out of the dressing room. "These are really hard to take off," she said. "I don't think the guys will like that," I added. "They won't get the chance," she retorted. She then purchased the skimpy top.
Thursday January 13
The Asylum is beginning its final stages of collapse. I chatted with a few faculty members about the meeting yesterday. Only Chip was astute enough to see through the bullshit. He said that the administration is planning to reduce the faculty to a few full-time and the rest part-time. When I met with Kim, the Director of Education, she sugar-coated the concept. I already know that the Asylum basically needs only three full-time faculty to meet the accreditation requirements. I asked Kim point-blank if that's what she was alluding to. She avoided the question by saying that she would like to see all of the faculty kept on as full-time. Then, she went on and on about how the faculty is not working with her. I knew right then that the faculty is going to be the next sacrificial lamb. She said that she and Marc, the Executive Director, have big plans to increase the enrollment. However, the faculty have been working against them. Ernie single-handedly caused the loss of fifty students. Kim blamed all of the faculty for the poor retention. I know that they have no plan. Otherwise, that plan would already have been in effect. They are simply mirroring what "Samhain" has been doing. The first step will be to reduce us to part-time. We will lose our health benefits immediately. Then, there will be some rescheduling to reward the "chosen" ones. They will be given four classes or more for each six-week term. No one in their right mind could handle a load like that and maintain any quality in the classroom. The caveat, of course, is the fact that the "chosen" will be required to do much more than teach. They will take on department coordinator responsibilities. They will also be delegated much of Kim's work. The pay will be only $33,000 annually. Chump change. The real problem is that the fucking highly paid idiots have no idea what to do. Kim has done nothing for weeks. She has gained weight. She's damned near 290 pounds from my estimate. Her eyes are sunken in her skull, and there are blackened areas right below her eyes similar to someone tweaking on Ice. That is the way spooky ol' Al looked before he disappeared for good.
However, it is not my call to avenge the greed that "Samhain" and his minions have succumbed to. They have sold their souls to the Satanic Order of the Demon of Money (SODOM). There is no way to appease this god except with one's own life. Kim is only buying time. She's clueless, but she wants to continue to collect her paychecks. Otherwise, how could she consume such an enormous quantity of food? She will either have a stroke or become diabetic. Her healthcare costs will absorb all of the money that she obtained by selling her soul. "Samhain" will suffer at his own hands. His concern for every one of his pennies will drive him to end his own life after he loses the money he invested in the Asylum. I will not be there to see justice. Yet, if I ever found out that my predictions were correct, I would giggle my ass off.
I went to the gym after my ordeal at the Asylum. I did my usual workout. I am not experiencing any more heart palpitations. I walked to the Diploma Mill afterward. Pseudo-professor Ralph and Glenn were there. I was able to chat with them. I also did some work preparing my lecture notes. Pseudo-professor Glenn went to the Indigo Happy Hour. I was tempted to join him, but I decided not to. Later, I told moms about what is going to happen at the Asylum. Moms briefly told me that she is planning to change her will again. The disposition of the house will be left between my bro and I. Moms also said that her IRA will only last seven more years. I seriously doubt that moms has even considered what would happen if she became seriously ill.
I am now going into crisis survival mode. I am prepared to pay down my loans and my second mortgage in cash. I will leave the first mortgage intact. That crap will amount to 45 AWUs. I currently have 107 AWUs in savings including my retirement accounts. I am not really spending money. I am just transferring cash into a long-term asset and paying off other debt. If my income drops significantly, I will not need many tax deductions. I am still inclined to keep Chez Loser until March 2006 minimum. I revisited the idea of renting the place. However. I am not convinced of the feasibility considering that I plan to divest it in a little over a year. I am still planning to purchase a new computer. I qualify for the educational discount, which will save about $200 or so.
Chip and I were chatting about my experience at the Kaiser Clinic. I said that I don't like going there because people do not look well at all. He agreed. "People look like they are waiting to die," he said. He added that he'd rather go to the gym. Even people in their seventies are still active and look good, he told me. That's why he wants to continue working, and he doesn't mind working long, hard hours. The key is to remain active. I thought about what Chip said all day. He's right. I am not ready to retire. I am not old. I've got to work. Otherwise, I would have nothing to do. I'd be bored shitless. I would lapse in and out of a coma all day. The only excitement would be my gym workout. Frankly, even that wouldn't be exciting. I could hang out at Barnes & Noble by myself, but that would get real old in two weeks. Maybe I should go after Shirley. Just kidding! Ultimately, I do not want to give up Chez Loser because I would have no purpose to continue working. I have become more convinced that there is no sense in having too much dough saved away for the Golden Years. This goes against the grain of what Anonder has suggested, but even he has admitted to being bored shitless in retirement. I am not going to start spending the last of my money like crazy. All I really want is a new computer. However, I may purchase a big-screen LCD tube for Chez Loser. That way, I can become part of the mainstream. Booyah!
In addition, I am not going to let those cheap fucks at the Asylum get to me. Kevin is beginning to unravel. He's going to resort to nefarious tactics to save himself, but that's all short-term. The fucking dump is doomed. I will need to make a proactive effort to secure more contracts. I will also take care of as many of my health issues before I lose my health plan. I am not going to be taken down by smarmy assholes like "Samhain" or those other useless fat fucks.
Friday January 14
The stress level at the Asylum is increasing, particularly amongst the faculty. We are required to sign up for our annual evaluation next week. The stupid part is that we were told that our hire date was in June last year, so our annual review is technically one year from that date. It is quite obvious what the fuckheads are up to. Kevin is maintaining a calm front, but I am certain that he's coming unglued. He kept telling me that his students were complaining about Layton's classes. He's probably setting me up as well. This is the beginning of the backstabbing phase. Layton is now the most likely choice out of the computer instructors to be one of the "chosen." Pseudo-professor Glenn sent e-mail asking about the Asylum. I sent him a full report of what has transpired. The information is being passed on.
I went to the gym and did my usual workout. Once again, I did not experience any heart palpitations. Frankly, all I've been thinking about is how to circumvent my financial demise. I am sending off a check for $3,500 to put into my IRA bond fund. It seems to be the best performing of my investments. I will decide by tomorrow whether to pay down my unconsolidated 12 AWUs in loans. That would bring my total savings down, but I would save approximately $586 in interest per year. The payments are $277 per month, automatically debited today. The hard decision will be whether to plunk down 33 AWUs to pay off my second mortgage. I am making $181 in interest-only payments per month. I just paid that today as well. If my income drops significantly in the next month, I will not need these tax deductions. The cash is only earning 1.6 percent. Paying those loans down would reduce my total savings to 62 AWUs including my retirement accounts. However, my monthly outflow would be reduced by $458 minimum. The payment for the unconsolidated loans will simply vanish. That money was spent on foolish crap a long time ago. Paying off my second mortgage simply transfers the interest-bearing cash into equity (read: the balance of the 20 percent down payment) in Chez Loser. That money does not disappear. Not yet, anyway. I am sure that Anonder would be shaking his head right now.
I am still haunted by the Jabba the Hut features of Kim, the Director of Education, at the Asylum. Her head was bloated. The lard has layered itself where her neck used to be. It was sickening. A former secretary is now deciding the fate of the faculty. "I need to break one of my thermometers and put the mercury in her drink," Kevin said. I am not sure how Kim can live with herself. It is her incompetence and stupidity which has contributed to the Asylum's ultimate collapse. That's probably why she's been stuffing her face with Ding Dongs and other crap. The conscience is a hard thing to suppress. However, Kim's soul is owned by the sinister kahuna now.
I've been reading about the PowerBook in the Macworld Forums. Apparently, a few people feel that the PowerBook is still quite fragile in comparison to the iBook. Yet, I still want the PowerBook. I have tentatively decided on the mid-line 15-inch unit. I will just add more memory. It should end up costing $1,800 or so. Well, I will spend the evening with my iBook while I listen to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio.
Saturday January 15
Most of the faculty at the Asylum are close to the edge. They are also in denial. I, myself, have become incoherent as evidenced by my ramblings in the journal. I was caught by surprise by my own predictions concerning the Asylum. Not one of us is prepared for what will happen next week when most of the faculty are put on part-time status. Several of the faculty have no other job. That includes Kevin. Well, I have developed a few worst-case contingencies this week. I am going to spend some time in deep contemplation to determine which will be the best alternative. However, I believe that the "chosen" have already been preselected.
I must also be careful about "downsizing." This is the strategy that "Samhain" is using to save the Asylum. Strategy, my ass! He's downsizing the place out of business. In real life, downsizing can also be detrimental. I've noticed that anytime I've done so, the rest of my life shrinks proportionately. Selling my six-four, for instance, has resulted in some expense reduction. Yet, now I face a reduction in employment (read: income). I have my contingencies in place. I should perhaps wait until the outcome of the evaluations.
I embarked on the benign journey to Chez Loser at 10:30am. I was surprised that my trip to and from Kane'ohe went very smoothly even though the buses were late. I brought the recycling with me as usual. Later, I walked to City Mill to buy the part to fix the extension cord. I finished off the bottle of Chardonnay, which amounted to three glasses. I left at 3pm. When I returned to Hawai'i Kai, I fixed the extension cord. I did more of my yardboy chores. It turns out that I did not have to buy the new WeedWhacker and extension cord. A simple $4 part was all that was needed. Now, I am out $42 for the useless crap. Oh well.
Sunday January 16
I neglected to mention that Caroll called in the wee hours of the morning yesterday and left a message. I finally called her back when I was at Chez Loser. She's now working for an advertising agency. Her clients are car dealerships. Hawai'i is part of her territory. I told her that I sold my six-four. She asked if I sold Chez Loser. I filled her in with some of the details of what's been going on. It's strange how history is repeating itself. Both Caroll and Robert lost their townhouses through foreclosure. I vowed that I would not let that happen to me. Yet, my demise may be right around the corner.
I made the benign journey to Chez Loser at 10am. I really had nothing to do there, so I left at 12:30pm. I walked to Windward Mall. I perused a few of the LCD and plasma tubes at Sears, none of which were cheap. I don't even know why I was looking at those pieces of shit. I despise the tube. It seems that the condo maintenance fee includes a cable connection. I am not sure if the latter merits the purchase of the tube. However, the tube is the focal point of The Master's life. Should I not be trying to emulate his ways? After all, he is The Master. Sheesh! I left for town shortly afterward. Once again, the bus ride to and from Kane'ohe went well. The Asylum's graduation was sometime this afternoon. From what I understand, those of us who did not attend have pretty much sealed our fate.
I am really grasping at straws to define my existence and give meaning to my life. I, like many others, am just trying to entertain myself for the short time that I am on this planet. The moneychangers have sold consumerism to us as a way to find purpose. It's an empty existence at best. Even now, I am desperately searching for answers that do not exist at shopping malls. Heck, I am not even certain why I want a new PowerBook. Will I do anything more than I do with my iBook? I doubt it. And, what about my Bose® Acoustic Wave? I rarely sit and just listen to music. The bass from the tiny enclosure can shake walls. Where can I exploit this feature? No one at the Chez Loser complex would appreciate that. The real issue is the "existential vacuum," the term coined by Viktor Frankl to describe the void that we all experience in a technologically burdened society. We are all tethered to these electronic toys. Can anyone actually leave the house without a cell phone and an iPod? I am totally confused. On the one hand, as an acetic, I want to get rid of everything. Yet, on the other hand, I do not want to part with my meager possessions and want even more. Yet, divesting possessions is actually easy once it's said and done. For example, I don't miss my six-four. And, I have not gotten the urge to replace it. Why don't I just leave everything as it is? Heck, I'll just keep shopping for a big-screen LCD or plasma tube.
Monday January 17
I spent some time cleaning my iBook yesterday. It's actually serving me quite well. It only has a 10GB hard drive, but I have used less than half of that space. For all intents and purposes, I do not need another computer right now. Yes, my friends, you are here with me as I careen through the unknown in a clueless state. You get to share in the confusion and the frustration. That's the beauty of it all.
I did nothing except lapse in and out of a coma this morning. I departed for the gym at 1:30pm. This is what I imagine my life would be if I did not work. I don't have any friends to hang out with. I have no dough to spend on anything. I have no desire to wander aimlessly around town as I did during the peak of my mid-life crisis. I have only one activity aside from work, the gym, and shuttling to and from Chez Loser — that is to divest my useless possessions. When I returned from the gym, I had nothing to do. The rain started up about an hour later. I decided to sort through some of my other crap. It's kind of amazing. I have a two-bedroom townhouse with more than enough room for everything. Yet, I want to get rid of stuff. Actually, it's psychotic. I have never really been the same since the Summer that I spent homeless. From that point forward, I've always made sure that my whole life was portable. I never unpack anything, even to this day. That why I don't need a dresser. As I was perusing my crap, I noticed that some of my paperwork was out of order. Apparently, moms was going through my stuff. Later, moms made a comment about how little I am earning. Moms obviously saw my paycheck in the paperwork. Fortunately, I had already deposited my other paycheck. I was quite perturbed. This is the first time something like this has happened since I moved back to Hawai'i. I am not sure what precipitated this nonsense. The incident made me recall the time that Shirley's mother had opened her credit card bill.
As I perused the stuff that is still at moms' house, I observed that the Bose® Acoustic Wave is the least of my problems. I actually have more shit than I thought. Clothes, paperwork, and other crap constitute the bulk of the junk. I have two plastic containers and one briefcase full of "important" paperwork. I have one large plastic container full of useless shit. It won't all fit in a shopping cart as I once thought. I have at least three carloads of stuff lying around. I was in a bad way in the late afternoon. I have got to pare down this shit. And, I can no longer leave any important paperwork around.
I made a big mistake when I decided to purchase Chez Loser. I should have found a small studio in town. At the time, the mortgage would have been considerably less. And, I would be comfortable existing in a small shoebox. Now, those same studios are as high as I paid for Chez Loser or more. I cannot sell Chez Loser with the intention of "downsizing." My income will no longer qualify me for a mortgage. I would have to become a renter. I would end up in one of those despicable cinder block tombs. The whole city is filled with them. Most of those dumps are over 60 years old. The tenants are people who make just a little above the welfare line. Yes, people just like me.
Tuesday January 18
The stress level amongst the Asylum faculty is increasing as we await our evaluations. Several of us have to come to the realization that we will be losing out health benefits shortly. I checked the enrollment for my two classes in the next six-week term. There are enough students to keep the class from being dropped. Some of the students in my class today bought me a spaghetti lunch. That was nice of them. Kevin and I had a nice chat. He, like the rest of the faculty, is demoralized. No one really seems to care about the dump. I arrived a few minutes late because of all of the traffic on the freeway. "Nobody cares," Judith said. "No one else is here. Kim's not even here." Even James is become frustrated. "There's a pep squad, but no coach," he said. There is even less commitment on our part than before. I also received e-mail from Jen, a former Asylum student. She's in New York. However, she has not been able to secure any kind of work. She became quite demoralized after being screwed over by an internship set up by the Asylum. That's sad because Jen is very talented. She really should have gone to art school.
I went to the gym and did my usual workout. As I stood at the bus stop, one of the regular passengers sat on the bench. She works as a secretary for the Coast Guard office. She's planning to retire next month after 30 years. Since she works for the government, she will receive a nice pension. "Most of the rank-and-file government jobs are really boring," she said. "It's the same thing every day." This is something that Shirley needs to hear. I spent the rest of the afternoon going though some paperwork. I cleared out the briefcase and consolidated everything into one of the plastic storage boxes. The briefcase will be going to Goodwill. I was tempted to keep it because it is the exact same briefcase used by Michael Douglas in the classic flick, "Falling Down." I still have that DVD, by the way. I may have to watch it again tonight for inspiration. Sheesh!
Wednesday January 19
An uneventful day. The usual nonsense at the Asylum. Gym. Faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. I managed to do more preparation for my math classes. It has been very difficult for me to find the motivation to do anything. Pseudo-professor Glenn dropped in while I was there. He has passed on the information to his contact. We will see what happens next. I happened to see Anne at the bus stop this afternoon. We ended up chatting until the express bus arrived and up to her stop in Kuli'ou'ou. She just started working at a law firm today. She's been off since she resigned from the other law firm at the end of December. The job is a temporary one but could lead to a regular position. She also cashed out her entire 401(k). Anne now has no retirement money. The Big Five-O is coming up for her in two months. Frankly, I am amazed that she perseveres under that kind of hardship. She has no safety net. In addition, there is almost no way for her to catch up in life. I should know. I am living the same kind of existence.
Thursday January 20
Another uneventful day. Asylum. Gym. Faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Anne was at the bus stop again this afternoon. We had another nice chat. She's in pure survival mode right now. I am not even certain how she's dealing with the stress. I sent an e-mail to Bill, former faculty at the Asylum. He rented out his place in Kane'ohe. He's been in Seattle since November with his wife. She's been there all this time. However, he's planning to return to Hawai'i next month. I finally replied to Malia's e-mail. She sent another one yesterday. She is very happy with her new job at Pearl Harbor. In a year or so, she's going to be making three times what I am earning now.
I was able to do more preparation work for my classes. I also perused the eBay site. My account is still functional. I just need to decide when I am going put my crap up for sale. I am pretty certain that I will be buying the PowerBook when the new models come out. That will probably be sometime in the Summer. I will most likely wait until I file my tax returns before purchasing a big LCD or plasma tube for Chez Loser, unless a really good sale comes up. The Master would be proud!
Friday January 21
Last night, I decided to see if I could find Shirley's Myspace page without having to sign up as a member. It took me about ten seconds. I was able to peruse everything. Sadly, she has not started her blog yet. Seriously, though, the Myspace fad is all the rage in Hawai'i. Almost all of the students at the Asylum are constantly checking the site even during class time. This is how the locals keep track of each other. The other purpose, of course, is for hookin' up. I have no time for that kind of nonsense. I am a fucking old fart. Sheesh! I thought that I was off to a good start this year with at least one radical change — I sold my six-four. I should have sold off everything else and divested my cell phone by now. My cell phone is basically being used as a watch. I have disabled all of the functions except for voicemail. There have been no messages in weeks. What I need to do is buy a cheap watch and get rid of the cell phone.
Yet another uneventful day. I was given a third class for the next six-week term at the Asylum. Unfortunately, the class conflicts with my schedule at the Diploma Mill. I have no idea why the Asylum's schedule keeps changing. I politely called Kevin on some his preposterous poverty claims. I am not even sure why he continues this charade. Almost everyone is on to him now. I stopped by the Diploma Mill for only a short time just to get some minor tasks done. Then, I went to the gym. I left town on the first express bus. As always, I will spend the entire evening with my iBook while listening to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio (courtesy my Bose® Acoustic Wave).
Saturday January 22
I continue to read the alternative news media. It's not looking good. If Seymour Hersch is correct, the US is making preparations to invade Iran. In a recent New Yorker article, he exposed the clandestine operation going on as we speak. Hersch has been on the money every time since his coverage of the My Lai massacre. He appears to have reliable sources in the highest levels. I wonder what "Samhain" feels about all of this. The chimp whom he voted for is now planning to repeat the Iraq debacle in his homeland. Is "Samhain" too busy counting his money to even care? As for me, I have an uneasy feeling about all of this. Call it a premonition. The bloodshed and mayhem that we have caused and continue to support is going to come back in bad way. Payback is always a real bitch.
The most recent listing from the Chez Loser complex has now topped out at 298 AWUs. The unit is exactly the same as mine. I hope that the trend continues until I sell the place a little over a year from now. Kaiser has revised its health plan. There is a completely new set of co-payment fees, primarily to discourage members from utilizing services. So, it may not make a difference if I lose my health plan or not.
I made the benign journey to Chez Loser. I took the recycling with me as usual. Since I had nothing to do, I walked to Safeway and bought a bottle of Chardonnay and a couple of energy bars from the bakery. My nerves were unsettled anyway from the crowded bus ride. I had to open Lou's School of Etiquette when some asswipe stepped on my foot. Safeway was filled with rude and arrogant people as well. I was glad to return to Chez Loser. I popped the cork on the bottle of wine. I poured out a glass and sat back in my Papasan chair. I also chatted with my upstairs neighbors. They are moving out. Apparently, they were just renting the place. They own a townhouse in the next complex. Their son's family lives in that unit. They are moving back in the other place to save money. I am worried about the next set of tenants. Will there be a loser who paces around? I departed at 3pm and was able to make the connecting bus to Hawai'i Kai. Since I have no social life, I will spend the evening with my iBook. It's fairly obvious that I really only need one possession. That's all I should spend money on.
Sunday January 23
I was in a really bad way this morning. My bullshit life is catching up with me. I have no idea what I am doing, nor do I have any reason for the latter. My mood seems to swing from one extreme to the other. Today, I wanted to throw everything I own into the trash can. I am sick and tired of all of this crap. Yet, I have no energy to sell them. I departed for Chez Loser at 10:30am. The trip one-way on the bus takes about two hours, including walking and waiting time. I was at my place a total of 15 minutes. I simply went there to drop off the recycling and to pick up the mail. This is all I have to do in my life now. Otherwise, I would spend all day lapsing in and out of a coma in my favorite chair. Frankly, I am really upset by the fact that I am a senior citizen. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) even sent me an invitation to join. How depressing!
Shirley had sent e-mail on Friday to arrange a get-together today. She apparently called today as well. I have really not been keeping up with e-mail or voicemail. I am becoming more of a hermit like The Master. It's all for the better that we did not hang out. I was not in the mood to do any socializing. When she called, she said that she had just gotten out of church. She has not gone to church for as long as I've known her. I sure hope that this was not a new ploy to meet guys. Sheesh!
My desire is to become a recluse. I must take increasingly greater steps to insure my exodus from society, which also means that I will have to disassociate from the last of my friends like Shirley. I will also have complete the divestiture of my useless possessions. Rumors are surfacing that the new PowerBooks will be out this week. Let's hope so. I have also made a rough estimate of my tax deductions. It seems that I will have about 16 AWUs in deductions. The sad part is that it won't really give me much more of a refund. However, I have already benefited by these deductions. I was able to increase my exemptions for both jobs. In prior years, I had to claim zero exemptions in order to prevent owing money at the end of the tax year. That also increased my monthly net income. Well, I am going to vegetate with my iBook for the rest of the evening. I've got to get used to this banal, geriatric life.
To be continued ... Go to E.17
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