The Exodus Files
Memoirs of a Fool
Mid-December 2005 Update
Ol' Lavahead Day was terribly unexciting. I spent the day in wage slavery. Then, I returned to Chez Loser, only to end up in front of the tube. Naturally, I had to drown my sorrows with the rest of the Vendage Chardonnay. I am beginning to see that my benign life-style will be my demise. As always, it reminds me of the Clint Black song, "Killing Time is Killing Me." Sheesh!
I met Lori for lunch at Chez Pasta on Wednesday. She gave me my B-day gift, a "one-month motorized chair pass" (read: bus pass). We made plans to resume surfing again on December 13th, provided there are any waves. Lunch was delicious, I might add. Robert was in the faculty computer room when I returned from the gym. He was feeling despondent, he told me. His various attempts to find a high-paying job have not panned out. He was still set on the notion of getting rich monetarily. I knew that his real motivation was the babe situation. He still desires young hotties, and his behavior is dictated by the latter. I offered a suggestion to end that foolishness once and for all. I told him of my own decision to divest myself of the babe situation. "Living with your mom is saving you at least $1,000 per month," I added. Then, I asked if his mother was cooking for the both of them. He said yes. "That will save you another few hundred dollars per month." No real shame in living with one's parents if there is no babe to impress. Even being a parasite is not a problem if no babe needs to know about it. Robert was also despondent because he wanted to celebrate his B-day. I knew that he did not want to celebrate with the ol' lavahead, and the feeling was mutual. As for giving up on the babe situation, Robert asked, "Well, how am I going to relieve this pent-up sexual frustration?" I should have told him to use his hand.
When I returned to Chez Loser, I observed that the upstairs unit was completely dark. Both cars belonging to IdiotBoy and his mommy were gone. I was somewhat relieved and immediately resigned myself into believing that the two fools were gone for good. I had a nice quiet and relaxing evening for once. I called Rod back and finally was able to chat with him. He disclosed to me that he has Type II diabetes. I was shocked to hear the news. He said that it's under control. He's been watching what he eats, and he must take medication. Rod now lives in Los Angeles proper. He pays $750 per month in rent. I enjoyed talking with Rod. He and Hortense are tentatively planning to visit Hawai'i again next year.
When I woke up on Thursday morning, I realized that I had not slept any better. Immediately, I ascertained that there were other stressors at play. The need to simplify my life (i.e., divest Chez Loser and my useless possessions) has got to be the real issue. Sometimes I wonder if I am losing my mind. I have intrusive thoughts several times per day about divesting my useless furniture. It has become a real thorn in my side. I keep wondering why I bought that crap. Mind you, I spent less than $1,000 total. I don't entertain, so there is no need for anything more than my Papasan chair (which is a piece of shit, I might add). People are conditioned to buy furniture to insure that they do not look poverty-stricken. What could be more embarrassing than having people over and all the rooms are empty? However, most furniture is useless. That crap all becomes soiled and obsolete in no time, not to mention being a roach hatchery.
I read Anonder's latest journal update with much interest. I am not certain whether it is purely coincidence that we share many of the same thoughts and opinions on matters of life. I was quite amused by his idea of starting up a monastery. I posed a similar idea to a few pseudo-professor colleagues a while back. My conclusions were the same. In the end, I felt that I was better off on my own. I would not be able to tolerate other people for longer than a few hours. There are very few "well adjusted" people around, especially in my age group. A good percentage of this demographic are suffering from severe psychological aberrations. I have no time to play psychologist.
It is my own belief that society is coming apart at the seams. There is very little holding the so-called "fabric of society" together. Civility, which is the mainstay of civilization (hence, the common root), has eroded to the point of no return. Government corruption and moronic ventures into places like Iraq are further dismantling our ability to maintain order domestically. Materialism and consumerism is the only glue holding the fragments together. How long will that last? This is a house of cards, at best. Peak Oil will bring about total anarchy. I have been trying to piece a few possible scenarios together. What will remain intact? The money and banking system? The military? I assume that there will only be a small select group of priviledged elite. The rest of us will make up the masses of marauding cannibals. Therefore, it is essential to exit society as soon as possible.
There has been some banter in alternative circles about the idea of creating self-sustaining communities. The more realistic of the bunch have concluded that self-sustaining communities may be virtually impossible to create. Further, few people have the skills or work ethic to participate in such a venture. It is the latter who will become the most vicious of the marauding cannibals. At this point in time, I believe that it will be necessary to procure survival gear and amass enormous amounts of armaments, that is, if one is inclined to live out a natural lifespan. Even the Good Book had warned of these times in prophesy. I will discuss this matter in further detail later.
My experience in academia is confirming my prophesy about the future, at least here in Hawai'i. My local students are the worst of the bunch, with the mainland students following not too far behind. There is very little going on between the ears. It might be easy to conclude that these people are just dumb as knobs. Yes, they are, academically speaking. However, when it comes to general trivia, they excel. I would guess that about 70 percent of the current generation of young adults are totally useless and will remain that way for the rest of their lives. The fact that they can live at home with their parents indefinitely (for free) provides little incentive or motivation to do anything. I predict that Hawai'i will see a surge in multi-generational and multi-family households within the next ten years with an average of 20 people in a typical household. That's about four to six people in the bedroom with some living in the garage. Rental units will also be overloaded with people, again multi-family and multi-generational. There will be a class of rich ex-patriate mainlanders who will live very comfortably in large estates. Obviously, crime will rise exponentially. Most of the jobs available for locals will be part-time with no health benefits. The State-sponsored MedQuest program will be overloaded. Locals, especially the poorest of the bunch, love to breed. There will be a large increase in population with kids even dumber than their parents. The problem will be exacerbated by the fact that we will all be confined to a small island. There's nowhere to run or hide.
On Friday, I ran into Robert in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. He said that, after some deliberation, he came to agree with me concerning the babe situation. Then, in the next breath, he told me that he had the hots for the 23-year-old hottie who is the office manager for the firm that he had just interviewed with. "She was very impressed with my credentials," he told me. I am not sure how he is going to explain the fact that he is a 47-year-old guy still living at home rent-free with his mother. Robert was also proud to tell me that he just bought a Blackberry device. I asked him why he needed that albatross when he could have just bought a cheap $5 planner. I asked if he was still going to the gym. He gave me a convoluted response which led me to believe that he has not been there in ages. The sad part is that he paid $800 for a three-year membership. He's unemployed. How could he not allocate one hour per day for the gym? So many of his plans were contingent on when he gets "in shape." Obviously, those plans are history.
It is amazing how quiet the Chez Loser complex is without IdiotBoy and his mommy. With the windows and doors open, I can hear absolutely none of my neighbors. Even neighbors whom I share walls with are so quiet that I feel as though I am living in the middle of nowhere by myself. I am going to enjoy these moments while they last. I have not even felt inclined to go anywhere, opting to stay at home in the evenings.
On Saturday, I spent a little time in the morning pruning some of the plants in my lanai. I also caulked the window frames. I am having second thoughts about spending any more money upgrading Chez Loser. At first, I thought that new carpets may help in making the place more desirable. I am now thinking of selling Chez Loser "as is." I would assume that the new owners would rather upgrade the place to match their tastes. In addition, condo sales remain brisk in Hawai'i. Prices are still going up as well. Lori tried to convince me to not sell the place. "It's always going to retain its value because it is an entry level home," she said. My problem is that I don't want to maintain a mortgage given my precarious employment situation. In addition, I do not want to spend any more money on replacing or repairing things.
Danno from Puerto Rico sent a lengthy e-mail. He's been a reader since the humble beginnings of LoserNet. Danno believes that I should not give up on the babe situation quite yet. "Two can live as cheaply as one," he wrote. In theory, this may be true. However, I am quite comfortable being alone right now. In my everyday dealings with babes, I really can't see myself hooking up with anyone. I am not compatible with most babes. I have nothing in common with them. I do not look like any of the studs they drool over. And, I am a senior citizen. I firmly believe that I'm better off alone because I have no tolerance for stupidity. That's why I need to cash out Chez Loser and initiate my exit from society as soon as possible.
I attempted to downgrade my cell phone plan, but the budget plan was no longer available. I will have no choice but to convert to a "pay-and-go" plan. I'm also not planning to renew my AARP membership. I have got to cut my expenses, or I am going to deplete my reserves quicker than I had anticipated.
I had nothing to do on Saturday evening except the same benign crap. I ended up driving to Safeway to purchase a big-ass bottle of Vendage Merlot to guzzle during the execution of my Sunday chores. Needless to say, I popped the cork immediately after returning to Chez Loser. I spent the rest of the evening in front of the tube.
On Sunday morning, I worked out in the lanai. I removed most of the cinder block tiles and dug up the weed-like fern which had proliferated between the tiles. I was sweating profusely. I finished around noon. I wanted to wash my truck, but some jackass had parked in the one and only authorized stall designated for that purpose. I prayed for rain. I decided to break the rules and wash my truck at the end of the carport driveway. Right as I was just about done, it started pouring. I chuckled to myself as I let the rain rinse off the truck. I then decided that it was time to partake of the Vendage Merlot. I polished off the rest of the bottle in no time. Later, I drove to Hawai'i Kai to go to the gym. I did not go to Kahala Mall. I decided last week that I am going to stay away from the ridiculous shopping frenzy. Thus, I have nothing to do. I should mention that one of my neighbors gave me a tree. I have to transplant it into a new planter. It is fairly large and will make a nice addition to my lanai. We also discussed my former idiotic neighbors upstairs.
As is quite obvious, I have had quite a bit of difficulty in attempting to "go on the wagon." I am spending at least $40 per month on cheap booze. I can only assume that the "existential vaccum" (read: boredom) has driven me to this. I have also had difficulty weaning myself of cold-cuts for sandwiches. I was supposed to convert to peanut butter a while back. Hence, my goal for a healthy life-style has been thwarted. I had vowed to mummify the cheap booze after the losers upstairs moved out. I need to make good on that vow.
I met moms at Kahala Mall on Monday. We ate lunch at Panda Express as usual. We were supposed to meet an hour earlier, but there was some kind of mix up. I waited an hour before moms showed up. Normally, I would be quite upset. I really cannot hold that against moms. I waited with moms at the bus stop. The bus was late, so I had to walk across the street to catch my bus. I waved good-bye to moms just as the bus arrived. Once again, I was overcome by sadness. I won't see moms until next week.
The babe situation, as resurrected by Danno, requires that a few aspects of life to be entertained. One burning issue is the question of whether a person can live without giving or receiving love. Can such a person live a fulfilled life with only a superficial social network? This appears to be the objective that both Anonder and I are striving to attain. I, for one, have abandoned my network of friends. Essentially, all friends were downgraded to acquaintances. I have eliminated any loyalties and dependencies. My only real tie with humanity is moms. What will happen in the future? I surmise that, as long as moms is around, I will have no need for any social network. I will be honest. I have absolutely no feelings about my bro and his family. I am forced to remain amicable with them for obvious reasons. However, that amicable relationship has a finite future. What I really find interesting is that I am becoming more and more indifferent about the babe situation. At one time, I craved at least some kind of physical contact (i.e., da wild thing). Now, I am almost sickened by the thought. Of course, I still see many babes around who can make the mind snap. However, it's rapidly becoming more like a neutral third-person experience for me.
My classes at The Seminary ended on December 3rd. Thus, I have been able to sleep in until 7:30am. I have been trying to catch up on my sleep, although I know that's impossible. I continued to be very fatigued, most likely because of my uncertain future.
An article in Tuesday's paper detailed the closure of the OC's Clark Foam. The company produced about 80 percent of the world's supply of foam blanks for surfboards. It was also the sole supplier for Hawai'i surfboard producers. The prices and availability of surfboards will be adversely affected. Word has it that surfboard prices were already up by $100 the next day.
On Wednesday December 7th, I dropped by the T-Mobile store with the intention of switching to a "pay-and-go" plan. I also asked about the budget plan, which was allegedly no longer available to me. The customer service representative said that she would be able to change my plan retroactive from the beginning of the month. So, I decided to go the latter route until next year. The "pay-and-go" plan would have required a temporary change in phone numbers. Once I sell Chez Loser, I won't be too concerned about changing phone numbers.
On Thursday, Lori responded to my e-mail in which I had sent the article about Clark Foam closing and its effect on the surfboard industry. "Holy Crap! Your surfboard has more equity than your home," she wrote.
I ran into Justin, one of my former students, at the gym. I've known him for a while. You may recall reading about him in the journal a few years ago. "You look tired," he said. In all honesty, I've seen it myself when I look in the mirror. I am not showing any true geriatric signs, but the latter are bound to develop if I continue to experience chronic fatigue.
The fact of the matter is that I've learned the truth. I am living in a prison. Hence, I am living the life-style of a prisoner. I got caught up in wage slavery, only to have acquired unnecessary crap and embedded myself in a life that I truly despise. Seeking comfort is possibly a good enough reason to work. However, most people must work an exorbitant number of hours just to maintain a standard of living that they have no time to enjoy. Those of us who remained single have obviously seen the futility of wage slavery, that is, if we are not caught up in rampant materialism. In days long gone, people had a sense of real purpose for work. In those times, people grew their own food, so their work directly contributed to their survival. In modern times, there is no sense of purpose except endless consumption. People work 50-plus hours per week and endure an environment similar to that in the movie, "Office Space." Food consists of endless amounts of junk food. Over the years, the net result is a proliferation of fat slobs whose lives are sustained by multiple prescription drugs and motorized chairs. So far, I've been able to steer clear of that madness. However, I still live amidst these cattle, and I must interact with them whether I like it or not. These people (read: cattle) continue to breed, and their offspring are even worse than their parents. Like a tumor, this rancid "people disease" spreads and infects anything worthy of being called good. There really is no way to escape the cattle pen. Only the "powers-that-be" have figured out how to escape.
When I returned to Chez Loser on Thursday evening, I ate dinner (read: rice and beans) and spent the rest of the evening sitting in my Papasan chair. I sat in the dark while lapsing in and out of a coma. I did not turn the tube on at all. I am convinced that the tube has been responsible for my chronic fatigue. There is something quite sinister about the tube. In an article titled, "Keepers at the Gate," Manuel Valenzuela wrote:
With Americans watching so much television on a weekly basis, discarding books of enlightenment for monitors of idiocy, preferring the drug of fantasy over the sobering realm of reality, no longer capable of analytical, logical thought, choosing to incorporate as their own the views, beliefs and opinions of corporate media, the keepers at the gate are free to do as they please, disseminating lies, distortions, manipulations, propaganda and fictions into our homes and the minds of our family, young and old, never discriminating and always flowing in the interest of the Establishment.
I am further convinced that watching the tube has caused an internal struggle and turmoil which has manifested itself in the form of chronic fatigue. My mind is pitting my true values and beliefs against those values being peddled to me through the tube. In raw form, it's a battle of the mendicant life-style versus limitless materialism and hedonism. The tube has been attempting to turn my mind into mush. My own subconscious defense mechanisms have been fighting off this nefarious force. Am I too stupid to realize the power of that force?
Professor Lisa sent e-mail again. I was glad to hear from her. Sometimes I believe that she is the most sane person whom I know. I often wonder why she is not married. She is already in her mid-thirties. Her stint in Boston is just temporary from what I can tell. I'm certain that she does not like the weather much. Her dream is to move back to Hawai'i.
Shirley had sent e-mail earlier in the week. She wrote that she had a lot of news to share with me. She also wanted to meet for lunch sometime to celebrate my B-day. I ran into Shirley on Friday afternoon along Fort Street Mall. We chatted briefly. Later, she stopped by the faculty computer room. Her class had gotten out early. The big news is that she has another car. She purchased a 1992 Toyota Camry. She gave the truck back to her father. She also showed me a picture she received from the former friend. It was taken at some club in LA. The former friend was surrounded by other hotties. I have to admit that the former friend is still quite hot. I am not sure why Shirley wanted to show me the picture. Shirley offered to give me a ride home. I accepted. She is still smoking. I urged her to quit. She became quite defensive. She seems to spend a lot of time on her cell phone, either talking or sending text messages. Sad to say, she reminds me of a high school kid. She is planning to search for a new job after the holidays, claiming that Daiei has outlived its usefulness. I sure hope that she is prepared to enter the world of wage slavery. We also discussed her sister's divorce proceedings. Apparently, it has gotten ugly. That seemed to be all the news we had to catch up on, so I am not sure if we will ever meet for lunch. In any case, Shirley will finally graduate from the Diploma Mill in one week.
After Shirley dropped me off at Chez Loser, I ate dinner and did my laundry. Then, I lapsed into a coma for an hour. When I came to, I drove to Safeway to purchase a big-ass bottle of Vendage Merlot. I ran into a couple of my former students there. They wanted to party with the ol' lavahead. However, I was too fatigued. I ended up back at Chez Loser. I spent the rest of the evening sitting in the dark. I could not bring myself to watch the tube.
I was very fatigued when I woke up on Saturday morning. I managed to do more work in my lanai and also finished caulking my windows. I finally washed my truck as well. Some clown came by to do repairs in the vacant unit upstairs. I suspect that new rental shitheads will be moving in soon. The owner probably told IdiotBoy and his mommy that he was selling the place just to avoid conflict when he forced the fools out. The thought of new idiotic neighbors made me ill. I drank a couple of glasses of wine before departing to town on the bus. I checked my e-mail, listened to House Music on DI.fm, and updated the journal in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Then, I went to the gym.
I have had no desire to go anywhere on the weekends. The thought of driving to Kahala Mall and being inundated with shopping fools made me nauseous. I've read that, on the average, each person will spent about $800 for gifts. What will the ol' lavahead spend? Zilch. The oversized cranium has no intention of spending any dough on useless gifts for ungrateful idiots.
I pondered something my bro told me a few weeks ago. He said that a house down the street was selling for over $800,000 fee simple. He laughed and acted amazed. It was then I realized that he was laughing smugly at the fact that he and his wife were able to pull the wool over moms' eyes. Remember when they pleaded with moms to force me to lower my share in moms' house? I decided that I will no longer visit unless only moms is home. I will have to give moms some kind of lame excuse whenever I am invited over there for dinner.
Sunday was just another day. I had polished off almost all of the wine the night before. I managed to finish caulking the kitchen counter. I vegetated for most of Sunday morning. A couple of realtors came by to set up the "Open House" for the unit above mine. The unit is actually up for sale. I finished the last of the wine to celebrate. I knew that I would be able to spend at least one month in peace while the place is being sold. At the last minute, I decided to drive to Hawai'i Kai. I stopped off at City Mill to purchase a new planter and some potting soil. I went to the gym to do my usual workout. When I returned home, I repotted the ficus tree that my neighbors had given me. Now my lanai looks pretty good.
Later that evening, I was tempted to drive to Safeway to buy another big-ass bottle of wine. However, I resisted the temptation. Instead, I numbed my sense in front of the tube. I observed that I tend to eat a lot more when I do not partake of the fire water. Fortunately, I do not have any junk food lying around.
I met moms at Kahala Mall on Monday morning. We ate lunch at Panda Express as usual. I told moms that I was not planning to stop by during the holidays. I offered no reason. My goal is to visit moms during the week when the rest of the clan is gone. As always, I was overcome with sadness when I had to say good-bye. I wanted to ride the bus back to Hawai'i Kai with moms, but the public schools were still in session. I would have to ride the bus back to town with the unruly shitheads.
Back at the Diploma Mill, I checked the real estate listings on the Net. I discovered that the owner of the unit above mine is asking $379,000 fee simple. Obviously, the unit is exactly like mine. It has been upgraded with new appliances, new kitchen cabinets, granite counters, ceramic tile floor in the kitchen, and new carpet. It also has two assigned parking stalls. Using this information, I figured that I will have to set my price at least $20,000 lower. I do not plan to make any upgrades. I had thought of replacing the carpet, but I am not so sure anymore. My goal is to make the place look as presentable as possible and sell it "as is" with a minimum of cash outlay on my part.
On Tuesday, I decided to drive to Hawai'i Kai to drop off the gardening tools that I borrowed from moms. I also drove moms to Koko Marina to do some shopping. Later, I went to the gym at Koko Marina. I borrowed a vacuum cleaner from moms as well. With little else to do, I decided to drive to town. I had to pay $2 for parking just so I could spend an hour at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill.
On Tuesday, I drove my truck to the Nissan dealer for its six-month maintenance. I was quoted $180 for the job. My mind almost snapped, but I realized that I knew what I was getting into when I bought the truck. Money is flowing out like there's no tomorrow. The only consolation is that the Fed raised the interest rate again.
The Fed interest rate remained of interest to me. From what I understand, the Fed is planning to end the rate hikes very soon. So far, long-term rates have not really gone up, so fixed mortgages are still at historically low rates. My window of opportunity to sell Chez Loser should remain open for the first half of the year. If the Fed decides to reverse its course, it will take well over a year for rates to drop down to below one percent again. These are the factors that I must consider in making financial decisions. I decided to run some pro forma tax returns on Excel for two situations (one keeping Chez Loser and the other divesting same). A summary follows.
I am quite fatigued as of this update. Each day is like another day of a long prison sentence. I am not sure whether freedom will ever come. With three months left before I can sell Chez Loser, I must be absolutely certain of the outcome of my decisions. Life is a gamble, however. Nothing always happens as planned. The end of the year is coming up very rapidly. I see my life simply passing before my eyes. I am not living life. I am simply existing. This is the nature of the system that has been concocted, and continues to be ruled, by the elite. All aspect of our lives guarantee that we be conscripted into one form of slavery or another, whether it be wage slavery, materialism, boredom, poverty, and even the monk life-style. The key to happiness is to determine which form of slavery is the most palatable. I still have no answers.
Financial Projections. I developed two scenarios to input into my Excel tax template. I used my projected annual income of about $30,000 (interest from investments and working solely at the Diploma Mill). If I divest Chez Loser, then I stand to gain $140,000 minimum. My income would then be about $35,000 per year. Obviously, I will be operating at the poverty level. My choice to work so little is voluntary and is a direct result of my desire to exit society. My income will increase if I concurrently work at The Seminary. If I keep Chez Loser, I will receive a tax refund of $1,700 (State and Federal). If I divest Chez Loser, I will owe about $800 total. Interest income is based on a 3.72 percent rate. I am certain that the rate will exceed four percent early next year. It should also be noted that I have no job security, so I could easily lose my earned income contribution at any time.
Tax considerations are not all-pervasive. I must also look at the amount I will pay out for either the mortgage or rent. The mortgage will run about $20,000 per year. If I am fortunate, rent may be about $12,000 per year, but I am certain that it will be more like $14,000 per year for either a studio or one-bedroom unit.
Health Insurance. I still do not have any kind of health insurance. The cost of buying into the Diploma Mill's group health plan will be about $3,000 annually. I can write off any of those expenses if they exceed 7.5 percent of my adjusted gross income (and if I itemize tax deductions). I have not been pleased with the Kaiser plan since last year, which is one of the reasons why I have postponed enrollment.
Rental Market and Cost of Living. The rental market in Hawai'i remains tight. An article in the paper on Thursday stated that Hawai'i has the highest rents in the nation with Cali following in second place. For a two-bedroom apartment, a family must make an average of $46,338 per year, the basis of which 30 percent is used to pay housing expenses. Annual rental expense would then be $15,000 or so. In actuality, two-bedroom units have been going for $1,500 or more per month. The units in the Chez Loser complex are now bringing in $1,800 per month in rent.
In another article this past week, the affordable rental market was assessed as grim. More than 18,000 people (read: families) are looking for low-cost or government subsidized rentals. What is interesting is that almost all of the real estate development projects (single-family homes and condos) are in the upscale luxury class. The lowest price is about $600,000 for condos. House are much more. Locals cannot afford to pay that much dough. I've mentioned the chronic problem of multi-generational homes before. The first article also described the dismal job situation: "Of the 10 jobs that employ the most people in the islands, six have average yearly wages of less than $24,000, according to the state Dept of Labor and Industrial Relations." Hawai'i also has the highest cost of living in the nation. It has the highest petrol prices, the highest electricity rate, and now the highest rent.
Possessions. I am still planning to divest as many of my useless possession. Even in the event that I keep Chez Loser, I will live in a near empty townhouse. Later, I will make a needs assessment to insure that I maintain a survival level of possessions, most of which will be portable in nature.
Options. There are a couple of options that I could pursue in order to lower my monthly outflow of cash. I could pay off my second mortgage of $33,000 entirely and save about $241 per month. I could also pay off, say, one-third of the balance for the next three years. I could also pay off my other loans amounting to $9,000 total. That would save another $280 per month. The downside is a huge $42,000 withdrawal from my money market account. Paying off the second mortgage will lower my mortgage payment (and maintenance fee) to about $1,300 per month.
Current Opinion. Overall, the most sensible scenario is to sell Chez Loser. Even with no tax break, I will have a larger margin of income and less expenses for a smaller place. As it stands, I will put Chez Loser on the market as planned. It is the additional cash that will give me freedom. Obviously, I still have three months of time. When I compile my tax returns at the end of January, I should be able to generate a better pro forma estimate.
End-of-Year 2005 Update
After spending a day pondering my pro forma analysis of my financial situation, I became completely unnerved. The situation can only be assessed as grim. I was chatting with Professor Darwin in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill on Friday evening. He said that there was an article in the morning paper about property taxes going up. I quickly looked it up on the Net. Sure enough. I also asked about rentals in Kukui Plaza, the complex that he resides in. Professor Darwin told me that one-bedroom units are about $1,200 per month, if there are any available. When I returned to Chez Loser, I discovered that my property tax assessment was delivered. My property tax is going up by 45 percent. Sheesh! Remember that my property tax went up last year as well. I also read in the paper that Hawai'ian Electric is requesting a 10 percent rate hike. I had no choice but to drive to Safeway and purchase a big-ass bottle of vintage Vendage Chardonnay.
I am not certain how anyone can survive in Hawai'i. Locals who are not working two or three jobs are living in overcrowded multi-generational households. Yet, I am puzzled. I see people driving around all over the whole creation in their gas-guzzlers. People are spending money like there's no tomorrow on useless gifts. Where are these fools getting the money? Are they charging everything to credit cards? Next year is going to be interesting. I am wondering whether I will finally see the collapse of society as I know it, at least here in Hawai'i.
Lori keeps telling me about the boom in Hawai'i. That is also the party line usually written up in the business section of the newspaper. However, the boom is only truly benefiting the upper class, made up mostly of old time, affluent local families and expatriate mainlanders (of which Lori is now a part of). The rank-and-file locals are stuck working two or three shitty jobs just to survive. Obviously, I am not part of the economic boom. I have no health insurance, and I am on the verge of becoming homeless.
I did not feel too good on Saturday morning. I passed out in front of the tube after imbibing too much fire water. I spent the morning vacuuming Chez Loser. Then, I took the bus to town. I did some work at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Actually, I spent most of the time listening to the DI.fm Deep House channel.
On Sunday December 18th, I spent a few hours cleaning the linoleum floors in the kitchen and bathroom of Chez Loser. Even though the floors are clean, it's fairly obvious that the linoleum needs to be replaced. I also noted the condition of the appliances. The washer, dryer, range, and refrigerator are in sad shape because of the rust. The appliances work just fine, but none are aesthetically pleasing. Later, I caught the bus to town so I could go to the gym. I did my usual cardio workout and returned to Chez Loser. I did nothing for the rest of the evening.
I left for Hawai'i Kai early Monday morning. Moms was ready to leave for Ala Moana once I arrived. The place was completely packed with people at 11am. I was very fortunate to find parking. Moms wanted to check out some new shoes at Robbins. The shoes that moms wanted was not on sale. Moms was hesitant to purchase them. However, I persuaded moms to do so. Moms has spent most of her life sacrificing her own needs. At 83 years of age, moms no longer needs to worry about whether something she wants is on sale. Moms ended up buying two pairs of shoes. We ate bento lunch from Shirokiya. The dining area was completely filled, so we ended up eating outside on one of the benches. We did a little more shopping at Sears before returning to Hawai'i Kai. I walked down to the gym at Koko Marina and did my usual workout. I ended up staying for dinner. My sister-in-law and nephew were due home at 8pm. Thus, I was able to spend time with moms. When I returned to Chez Loser, I became very confused about my life. As I checked the real estate section in the newspaper, I discovered that there were three units for sale in the Chez Loser complex. All of units boasted several upgrades. I became despondent in knowing that my unit has no upgrades except for the new dishwasher. I do not want to invest another dime in the place, but I may be forced to do so. I also began to have second thoughts about selling the place. I knew right away that the sinister kahuna was trying to obfuscate matters. I will need to remain focused. I ended up driving to Long's to purchase more canned goods that were on sale. I also bought a bottle of Yellow Tail Merlot as well.
I ran a free classified ad to sell one of my beds (the one that is never used). I had a few calls, but they ended up being "no shows." I am not sure if I am going to waste any more time trying to sell the furniture. I am better off donating them to the Salvation Army to get a tax deduction. The headache of selling stuff to other people is just not worth the time. As I've stated before, all furniture is useless anyway.
I lapsed into a coma in my Papasan chair at about 9pm on Tuesday evening. I did not feel like watching the tube. I came to at 11pm and went to bed. The fact that Chez Loser has been really quiet lately made it much more conducive to relax and vegetate. Overall, I am not pleased with this benign activity. However, I am beginning to see that modern life does not leave us with many options during our leisure time. That's why people spend so much time in front of the tube, the computer, or the gaming console. I can see why Anonder spent so much time daydreaming. Without hi-tech toys, there is nothing to do.
On Wednesday, I decided to terminate my cell phone plan. I was able to switch to a pre-paid plan. Changing to the pre-paid plan will probably save me at least $150 yearly. I have also decided to only share my new phone number with a small handful of people, if at all. I called moms to give her my new phone number. I also updated most of my more important accounts to reflect the new number. I am now in survival mode. When I returned to Chez Loser, I lapsed into a coma after dinner. I came to at midnight. I did not sleep well for the rest of the night.
Incidentally, I stopped by the Asylum to see if I could recover two books that Pseudo-professor Mike had lent me. I had forgotten about them because of the ensuing debacle at the dump. Glen and Milton helped me search for the books. Glen had the keys to the office that I formerly shared with Kevin. There was no trace of the books, or 75 other books that I kept on one of the shelves. No doubt, Kevin sold them off for cash. He's been stealing books for over a year. I suspected that he was stealing much more than that. Both Glen and Milton concurred.
Kevin has been spending a lot of time on Myspace. He has been communicating with Robert, which I found odd. Kevin has used Robert to glean information about me, which is typical of a backstabbing weasel. I also noticed that Kevin has a blog now. His entries quote Buddhist dogma verbatim along with photos that he has taken. I'm not surprised that he cannot express his own thoughts. If he did, he would expose his evil ways.
I was not really welcomed in open arms by either Glen or Milton, which made me believe that their loyalty was suspect. I am very happy to no longer be a part of that backstabbing operation. As you may have guessed, I have not heard from any of the faculty as well. I believe that, like Kevin, they were happy to see me leave. The less competition, the better. I will no longer contact any of those losers.
Lori sent e-mail on Thursday. Apparently, she tried to call me in the morning. She could not get through because the number was disconnected. We were supposed to go surfing. However, I did not recall making any such plans. Lori had just returned from a trip to Oregon. Her daughter Stephanie is attending a university in Montana and was home in Oregon for the holidays. I was a little disappointed that I missed out on a surfing day. I sent a reply and included my new phone number.
I ended up in town as usual on Friday. When I returned to Chez Loser, I ate my favorite cold can of beans for dinner. Then, I drove to Safeway to buy a bottle of wine. Lindeman's Shirah Cabernet to be exact. It's an Aussie wine, but it did not suit my palate. I spent the rest of the evening in front of the tube.
On Saturday, I cleaned my lanai, which is now becoming an on-going project. I had pretty much neglected it for over a year. I also cleaned my range/oven again. What I thought was corrosion on the over door was simply crud. Later, I caught the bus to town and went to the gym. In the evening, I polishd off the rest of the wine while I sat lifeless in front of the tube.
Moms called early Sunday morning to invite me to dinner. I repectfully decline. I have no intention of visiting on the weekends anymore. Moms does not realize that my bor and his family do not really care to see me. And, that is now their home. So, they can determine who is allowed to visit or not. The gym was closed for the day. I drove to Safeway to buy a bottle of Merlot. I polished off the bottle by mid-afternoon. Shirley came by to drop off a gift while I was passed out in my Papasan chair. She was in a hurry, so we did not have a chance to chat. When I came to, I decided to wash my truck. Then, I washed myself off with a towel and a bucket of cold water. As you may recall, I have no hot water in Chez Loser. Naturally, I spent the rest of the evening in front of the tube.
Monday December 26th was a holiday as well. I caught the bus to town in the afternnon to go to the gym. Aside from that, I had nothing else to do. As always, I simply end up lapsing in and out of a coma as I sit in my Papasan chair. Or, I contemplate life. Lately, I have been locked into my benign analysis of my pathetic situation.
I had quite a feast for the holiday weekend. Instead of one can of either tuna, salmon, or beans, I went all out and ate two cans. I was livin' large in a small way. I must continue to eat in this fashion as long as I must spend most of my income on my mortgage.
There was an article in the paper about the population increase in Hawai'i. Apparently, the peopulation has been increasing by an average of 13,000 people per year. That number also takes into account the number of people who are leaving as well. You may recall that I mentioned an article a year or so ago that stated that the number of cars in Hawai'i has been increasing by 68,000 per year. The traffic problem in Hawai'i totally out of control. There is currently a major controversy over the proposed rail system. We also have the issue of how we are burying ourselves in trash. No one seems to understand that we live on a very small islands. There's only so much space available.
I spent the afternoon with moms on Tuesday. Moms put together some leftovers for lunch. I walked down to the gym at Koko Marina to do my usual workout. I took a nice long shower. Once cannot imagine how good that felt, especially after how I took a bath the day before. The leftovers that moms served also made me realize how much most of us take things for granted. The food tasted so good. That's why I prefer the simple life. Small luxuries are appreciated so much more. For me, buying fresh fruit is a luxury. I had bought a couple of pounds of tangerines at Safeway. The act of peeling the tangerine and eating each slice was so pleasurable. Moms gave me more leftovers to take home. I departed at five o' clock. I spent the rest of the evening in front of the tube.
I spent Wednesday in town, mostly alone in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Lori sent e-mail since we were not able to connect by phone. She apparently had misplaced her cell phone for a few days. She expressed the desire to go surfing on Thursday. Danno in Puerto Rico sent greetings via e-mail. He's the only virtual homey whom I hear from anymore aside from sporadic e-mail from Anonder. Danno mentioned that there are a lot of hotties in Puerto Rico, perhaps implicitly recommending that I move there. Hotties nowithstanding, Puerto Rico may be a viable option to include along with Costa Rica.
Lori called early Thursday morning to report that the surf conditions were flat. She wanted to get together anyway. I drove out to Hawai'i Kai with my surfboard and my beach stuff just in case. Along the way, I was able to observe that the surf conditions were quite flat. Lori and I ended up driving to Ala Moana. She purchased a rash guard for me as a gift. Later, we ate lunch at The Shack. Then, we finally waxed our surfboards. We'll be ready to go surfing once there are any waves. Sheesh! Moms had also called in the morning. I was not able to visit moms until 3:30pm. My visit was quite short because I had to walk down to the gym at Koko Marina to do my usual workout. I was back at Chez Loser by 6pm. I spent the rest of the evening in front of the tube.
Lori had presented a good argument about keeping Chez Loser. However, I don't think that she realizes how far down the food chain I have regressed. I did begin to have second thoughts again about selling Chez Loser. Knowing that I am literally living in a House of Cards made me quickly return to reality.
I ended up back in town on Friday at the Diploma Mill. Moms called to invite me to come over to eat some Curry Stew that she made, but I was not able to make it. I tried to restore my monk haircut, but the place was completely packed. So, I didn't bother. The rest of the day was the same old shit.
I ran into Robert along Fort Street Mall. He seemed to be in good spirits even though he apparently was not hired back at the Legislature. Instead, he will return to the Legal Aid Society. He also dyed his hair. He paid $4 for the dying kit at Long's. Actually, he did a really good job. His hair looked quite natural, and he looked years younger. Both Robert and I believe that he was not hired at the Legislature because of the pathetic Myspace incident that happened when he worked there last year. He invited me to a New Year's Eve party in Ewa Beach, but I declined. I won't be going anywhere for the weekend.
I heard from former Asylum faculty Bill. He's going to be in Hawai'i next month. Apparently, he still owns the condo in Makiki. He has to find new tenants. He almost purchased a house in Florida. He spent time there. He also went backpacking in Utah and Arizona. I'm not sure where he is getting the dough to fund his extended vacation. I was able to contact Rob, the former IT guy at the Asylum. He's putting his property up for sale, but he's worried about finding a rental. Sounds familiar, eh? We are supposed to meet next week.
Well, this is the end of the month of December and also the end of the year. Time has gone by quickly. Once again, I have to nothing to show for it. The year has been one of superficial existence. I have a few more thoughts to include this time around. The latter will be utilized to determine the course of my life in the months to come. I hope that all of you have had a good year. Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
The Tube. I truly despise the benign nature of the tube, but I can see how people have fashioned their lives around the bloody piece of shit. Even in the midst of natural disasters, it is common to see people risking their lives to save their tubes. So pathetic. I'm looking forward to the day when I live in much more squalid condition. The tube will be a luxury that I cannot afford. However, that will be a blessing in disguise. One cannot live life by sitting in front of the tube. The tube cannot vicariously subsitute for living.
Babe Situation. The sinister kahuna has definitely been toying with the oversized cranium again. My thoughts have been divergent. I have been pondering the babe situation again, which has been quite detrimental. Just as with the dilemma concerning the sale of Chez Loser, I simply have to look at the facts. Babes are not interested in the oversized cranium. And, the ol' lavahead has nothing in common with babes except possible da wild thing. My life-style, my views on rampant materialism, my inability to tolerate foolishness are all not conducive to any kind of relationship with babes. And, I cannot financially afford to have a babe, just as I can barely afford to keep Chez Loser.
Friends, Family, and Relatives. Anonder had suggested in "Philosophical Fragments" that friends, family and relatives ultimately be disassociated using a gradual tapering of contact. In changing my cell phone number, I have been given such an opportunity. I have already minimized my contact with friends. I have no contact with any relatives. The only family contact is moms, since I have also chosen to minimize contact with my bro and his family. It seems odd that I have now reversed my position concerning the value of friendship. At one time, I was clearly dependent on friendships and valued the latter highly. I do not value friendships any less. However, I observed how frail and dependent I became. I needed companionship to exist. In the end, I found myself alone. People have their own lives and families. in addition, I knew that I brought nothing to the table in friendship. I have become a loner.
Similarities with Anonder. A few people may believe that I am a disciple of Anonder and that I am blindly following in his footsteps. There are many areas where Anonder and I are convergent as well as areas in which we are divergent. Clearly, Anonder had the foresight to see that we have many similar traits and ideas. Our life-styles are not so different. However, Anonder has accomplished what I have not even attempted. He has attained a spiritual detachment from the world, wherein he specifically seeks the spirituality of the most devout monks and yogi masters. I, on the other hand, am simply trying to detach myself from a decadent society and gain some kind of self-respect for my paltry existence. My detachment has been difficult because I have no real spirituality. I am devoid of purpose. That's why I am constantly vacillating insofar as my station in life is concerned.
Property Tax Dilemma. This new development has me now caught between a rock and a hard place, as the old cliché goes. When property taxes go up, so does rent for housing. I can assume that rentals will go up by at least $100 on average. By Summer, I would assume that finding anything below $1,000 per month would be impossible. In addition, the cheaper rentals are in high demand. All of the people in the low-income and mid-income brackets are looking for cheap rentals, not to mention students.
My analysis also revealed that I would end up paying $2,500 more in taxes if I end up renting a place. Thus, the only way I could come out ahead would be to find a rental unit that is less than $800 per month. As it turns out, I may end up no better off by renting. I will be paying out the same amount after all tax considerations are figured in. In Anonder's "Philosophical Fragments," he stated that taxes and maximization of investment returns are unimportant. That's probably justifiable in his case since he has a significant amount of assets. However, for someone like myself, everything must be factored in. One bad move, and I would end up even more enslaved to the system.
Health Insurance. I have yet to commit to a health plan. My reservations are entirely based on my experience this year with Kaiser. The most obvious was the diagnosis of the "benign cyst." Neither my physician or the surgeon would listen to what I had to say. In the end, it turned out to be an infection, most likely caused by an ingrown hair. Then, there was the issue with my possible heart palpitations. I have yet to hear anything about the results. Finally, I am still baffled at how I was given an appointment with the wrong physician last year.
The healthcare system is taxed beyond capacity. I was dumbfounded by the sheer number of people who are at the clinics on any given day. No wonder healthcare premiums are rising constantly. I am no longer certain whether I should pay for healthcare through an HMO. Who knows what will happen if I really needed proper care.
Social Security & Medicare. One benefit derived from investment income is that no social security or medicare deductions are taken. The latter and former make up a huge percentage of employment deductions. Unfortunately, I must maintain employment income of some sort such that those deductions are taken, albeit at a minimum. If not, I will not be able to claim any Social Security benefits. Thus, I will be an endentured wage slave until age sixty-two. I do, however, have no hope that Medicare will be solvent at that time.
Cheap Condos. I have been spending some time looking at listings for cheap condos (read: less than $100,000 leasehold). Upon selling Chez Loser, I could purchase one of those places in cash. The leases are certain to be short and most likely about $100 per month. The maintenance fee could be close to $300 per month. If I live in the dump until the renegotiation date of the lease, then I could simply renege on the lease and walk away. If I live there for ten years, I could end up better off than renting a place. I may be able to sell the place for salvage value at the end.
One may wonder why I won't keep Chez Loser instead. In order to keep Chez Loser marketable in the future, I will have to spend a lot of dough on repairs and renovations. This is unacceptable. If I acquire a dumpy condo, it will remain a dumpy condo. The idea is that the condo will be disposable. Say that I purchased a $60,000 condo in cash with lease termination in 15 years and the renegotiation date in seven years. The lease rent and maintenance fee may be $400 total. If I kept the condo for 10 years, then the cost would be $10,800 per year. When the renegotiation date comes up, the new lease could add $2,000 per year. Still not bad. At the end of ten years, I could try to sell the dump for $30,000 or so. If it doesn't sell, I could just walk. Well, that's something to consider.
Housing Market. The housing market in Hawai'i is cooling slightly, just like on the mainland. Most of the cooling is occuring in the high-end luxury category. From what I can tell, condos are still selling briskly, most likely because of low inventory and affordable prices. Prices are still climbing overall, which is slowing the pace of sales.
I believe that I am coming to an understanding about the crazy rental market here in Hawai'i. Most of the rental units (even in so-called "apartment complexes") are probably owned by individuals as investment property and most likely have been acquired fairly recently. The owners are charging rents that will adequately cover the mortgages. That's why the average rent is so high.
End-of-Year Financial Position. My reserves were down $3,000 for a balance of $5,500 total. On the other hand, my investments are now earning over $1,000 per month, most of which is derived from my money market fund. My net worth still remains about the same. My earned income will drop significantly starting January 1st. I have made no effort to secure further employment in order to compensate for the deficit. I do not plan to increase my time devoted to wage slavery. Freedom still remains at the forefront of my strategic plan.
Current Opinion. Given the facts at hand, I am still firmly committed to selling Chez Loser. As a matter of fact, there seems to be no other option, that is, unless I decide to become a complete wage slave.
To be continued ... Go to E.29
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