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 Millennium ... Journal of Life

Saturday December 11, 1999

I have not gone anywhere since I came home last night. The rains precluded any excursion beyond the detestable resin chair. However, I did venture out this morning to get the annual "safety check" for my six-four. I'm sure you remember that it is an exercise in extreme brain donation. The "safety check" is just a thinly-veiled subsidy for local gas stations. I perform the equivalent of the "safety check" when I sit on the can every morning. The highlight of my day was when I ate some Spam and bit into another bone fragment with the exact same tooth that I chipped while eating the [copulating] Spam before. That lousy can of ground up [dung] and lard has cost me a fortune. I exploded in a tirade. Eventually, I had to sedate myself with fire water.

I have decided to remain a celibate monk until I can meet the babe of my dreams (see photo at right). Oh baby! Since I'll never find a babe like that, I'll be a monk forever. I rather like that rationale. In fact, it will keep me in check. I'm not an idealist, but I would like to think that romance should bring on more joy than pain. From what I can tell, romance is a just an elaborate ruse to make people as miserable as possible. So, I'll sit here and wait for baby to show up. We all know that she never will. Oddly, that makes me extremely happy because I will never ever have to play that sick game in the name of romance again. The Millennium is a homecoming for me. I am becoming comfortable with my singularity and I have no desire to change that. Yes, you say, but what about da wild thing? I'll just buy a DVD player and a whole mess of hurdy-gurdies. Same thing anyway, sans the mind games. Sheesh!

I am still extremely fatigued. I haven't slept well in a long time. This past week was especially bad. I have no idea why something is subconsciously bothering me. I did the yardboy chores in the rain with an electric WeedWhacker this afternoon. Perhaps I have a desire to be electrocuted. There is no logic or reason behind my actions. As I wrote this, I kept looking at my dream babe. Baby is really the kind of babe I need. After all, if I am going to be dumped, I might as well be dumped by a dream babe. Yowza! Another strange call on my beloved cell phone. The number was in the Punaho'u area. The reverse directory search yielded nothing. Strange things.

Sunday December 12

After further thought, I've decided that I need to find a more realistic dream babe (photo at left). Oh baby! Of course, baby is still way out of the ol' lavahead's league. Well heck, it doesn't matter. I'm only dreaming anyway. There is no way that a babe like that would even want to be seen with the ol' lavahead. It would be a social embarrassment. The only kind of babe that the ol' lavahead could possibly attract is one who is extremely desperate, half-crazed, and wears shades all the time.

Babes often wonder why guys go crazy over them. Well, let's see now. For the most part, the male physique is not exactly aesthetically pleasing. Little wonder that there are few hurdy-gurdy sites that feature guys in the buff. Babes do not really care to view pictures of guys displaying their Vienna Sausages, beer guts, or unsightly derriéres. It's just not that entertaining. Very few guys have that well-chiseled Adonis look. It takes many hours in the gym and a fortune in "bulk building" supplements to sculpt the perfect physique. Yet, it turns out that the whole program may all be in vain. Babes tend to check out guys from the neck up. Ironically, that's where most guys fall short. The ol' lavahead is no exception. Pathetic hairstyle that is rarely groomed. Once-a-week shaving to yield the look of dereliction. Complexion to match the coarsest cinder block. Then, there is the matter of the shades. Babes want to see a guy's eyes. The most effective deterrent to meeting babes is to wear the shades. Babes will never approach or talk to a guy who constantly wears shades. The combination of facial stubble and the shades has about the same effectiveness of a porcupine. Remember when Moe (of the Three Stooges) used to call Larry, "Porcupine"? Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaa!

I had to indulge in the fire water again. You know, if I actually had to choose between the last two dream babes, who do you think I would choose? Believe it or not, I really like today's dream babe. Baby is slightly thick but I would be all over her like a cheap suit. What a babe! Man, it's a good thing I'm a monk. I don't even think about babes anymore. I'm just a boy in the army. Well, the good news is that the gym is opening up a branch here in Hawai'i Kai next month. I'll be going to the gym instead of sitting here getting hammered. I wonder if I can meet a babe like my new favorite babe. Just kidding! I'm a damned monk!

Monday December 13

As I stood at the crosswalk waiting for the light to change, I felt a hand upon my shoulder. I glanced behind me to see the handmaiden. There was someone else lurking in the background. I suspect that it was the handmaiden's co-worker and ally. I am becoming more aware of who the players of this pathetic chronicle have been and what a sap I was to even have thought that anyone would side with me. This has been substantiated in the [UJ] archive.

"How are you doing?" the handmaiden asked in an extremely animated fashion.

"Okay," I replied in a monotone voice, being as dull and terse as possible.

"I saw your mom the other day. She was looking good," almost too joyful to be believable. "How's she doing?"

"Okay," I said. The light changed at that moment so I just walked on, not even looking back.

Many people have told me that the best revenge is to show the other person that one is living well. That's what the handmaiden is attempting to do to me. The sages have warned me before. The handmaiden is trying to remind me of her power. She has no power over the ol' lavahead. Strangely, I received another series of odd phone calls later in the afternoon.

Last week, I caught a student in a flagrant violation of academic policy concerning plagiarism. I could have ruined his academic career. He said that he committed this act of stupidity because he thought my class was a joke. So, I asked him to submit a paper explaining what he meant. It is a scathing document in which he points his finger at the ol' lavahead. Self-righteous jackass. Somebody get me a Keystone!

Tuesday December 14

I had a power lunch (Bass Ale) at Murphy's with Malia, one of my students. She cleared up a few things concerning Sherie, the one student who was still causing me major problems up until recently. As I suspected, she had launched a massive vendetta and smear campaign against the ol' lavahead.

"The level and degree to which she carried this out was similar to what a scorned lover would do," I said.

"Well, maybe she had a thing for you and you didn't know it," Malia said.

Sherie apparently had an altercation with another faculty member and is handling the situation in a similar way. From what I understand, she was asked to leave the campus just a few weeks ago. Now, she wants to pursue some kind of litigation against the business college.

Maybe I need to find a nice Asian babe (see photo at right). Oh baby! Man, that could really get the magma flowing! As Mike (from the days of the Del Rio Research Center) used to say, "I'm attracted to all women." If I wasn't a monk, I'd have to agree wholeheartedly. I'm glad that I've come to know my place once again. My lot in life can be summed up in one word. Sacrifice. I'm the proverbial sacrificial anode. Perhaps I should offer up some sacrificial Keystone for my redemption. Sheesh!

My cell phone rang several times again today. It was the same number as yesterday. The call actually originated somewhere downtown. The reverse directory did not yield any results. However, I suspect I know who it is.

Wednesday December 15

Yet more stupidity from another student. A local in her forties, no less. The dumb bimbo came into my class this morning. Not only did she disrupt the class, she also wasted my valuable lecture time with her pleas for a grade change. It was sickening display of sniveling. She claimed that she "deserved an A" in the class because "everyone else got an A." Her work was substandard and much of it was never submitted. As this went on and on, I told her to get the paperwork and fill it in. She actually did that. I just wonder why the office gave her a faculty form. She filled in the form improperly, of course. I just signed it and turned it in. It will probably get rejected. If not, it's not my problem. The grade is not going to help her keep a job. I've gone over proper protocol with these idiots over and over again. Let 'em have what they want. Most locals are not going to make it anyway. They are like little kids. That's why they are all destined to be minimum wage slaves or welfare recipients. They are mostly clueless that there is a bigger world out there and that world has already engulfed Hawai'i. I have no more time to waste on the masses. I will concentrate on the few that have the potential and drive to succeed. I will nurture them and place them with mentors if I cannot fill that need. There is an urgency here in Hawai'i. Those who want to be losers will remain that way. And, I'm not talking about LoserNet losers. I am talking about the people who will remain in the gutter of poverty and dysfunction because they chose to. Sick as it may seem, it's a safe haven for most of them. I am working on revamping my academic policies. It's called the Tucker Initiative. Well, hey! They asked for it, so they're going to get it! Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!

Did you notice that most of the problems I've had in academics are with babes? Odd, isn't it? Babes are always causing me trouble. And, they are the ones who continuously play games with me or try to get me to grant them favors all the time. That's why I have to wear the shades. I have to keep them guessing. Guys don't know it but a babe can see a guy's soul through his eyes. He then becomes extremely vulnerable. A guy could do the same thing if he looked into a babe's eyes. Instead, most guys are trying to look elsewhere, if you know what I mean, so they never see a babe's soul. In the end, it really is the guy's fault for being enticed. He enticed himself. Well, hey! What guy wouldn't be enticed by babes? Especially the ones now featured in the pages of the journal. Sheesh!

Thursday December 16

I'm running on empty. I have been so tired that I can barely think. I really need this upcoming vacation. My annual evaluation at the business college was this morning. Someone sat in on my class to evaluate my style. The request for grade change (from the stupidity yesterday) didn't go through, just as I thought. I proctored a final exam for one of my colleagues. Some of my students were in the class. I actually felt a little more alive after the gym. However, I was extremely fatigued again within an hour. Malia gave me a little package of gifts this morning. It had a coffee cup, cookies, and a gingerbread man with shades. I'll put a picture of it in the LavaheadCam later. As I walking to the bus stop, one of my former students saw me carrying the little gift package.

"Early present?" he asked.

"One of my students gave this to me," I replied.

"She must have an A," he said, bursting out in laughter.

Sometimes it's fun impersonating a professor. Now, some viewer mail. About my plagiarizing brain donor buddy, Mike (w45@dacor.net) wrote:

Clicked over to the 'essay' and was left gasping from viewing as to what passes for a student in university these days. Suffice it to say the dummy has no concept of grammar, syntax, or punctuation. I would bet you a roll in the hay with that last babe you teased us with that John couldn't make change from a nickel for a piece of penny candy if his life depended on it.

Concerning my inclination to the loser's life, Kevin (in LA) wrote:

You are trying to fail. You always try to fail. You insist, for example, that you are invisible to women when you frequently report that attractive women show interest in you. Why do you do this? Why do you want to fail?  Do you want to elicit sympathy from women? If that's the case, forget it. The last thing you need is some codependent, clingy woman shadowing you. And for God's sake, man, get a grip and LOSE that beer already, willya??? You are so intelligent and so well educated, it's just a crying shame that you're killing yourself with that crap.

And the K (immersivedesign@mindspring.com) said:

Man what a pathetic paper!  I am, of course, referring to the one you made the student caught plagiarizing materials write.  This individual has, at best the grammatical skills of about a 9th grader.  I was writing better papers than that in middle school. You'd be doing this chump a favor by getting him booted out of school and started on his future career as a "sanitation engineer" early so that by his late 40's he might promote to director of sanitation engineering for a local high school or possibly a medium sized gym.

Caroll called and left a message that she may be visiting Hawai'i for a few days in January. And, it looks like my trip to the Pacific Northwest is going to include a jaunt to Seattle. Sounds like an adventure, eh? So, I'm going to take it easy next week. I hope to be refreshed before I leave next Saturday.

Friday December 17

I have decided to set up the Virtual Harem (see Lavahead Express) separately. Of course, we'll throw a few babes in the journal every now and then for inspiration. The archive will be available through the Lavahead Express. After all, I'm a staunch monk now. I don't need to worry about babes anymore. However, I found some interesting information on MSNBC. Columnist Jennifer Kornreich is on staff to offer advice to men who are involved with the wrong women. This is a first! The on-line column is called Sexploration. A guy wrote in to complain about that common plight of the "nice guy." Kornreich opined:

I do know that many, many people — of both genders — respond to reverse psychology. Such people believe that they enjoy “challenges” (which they mistakenly believe is the initial pursuit of a new partner, rather than the real work involved in maintaining a relationship), and they invest a lot of time and tears chasing people who cause them far more anxiety and grief than pleasure. So yes, it's possible that many women would feel that you're too nice and not exciting enough for them. But I don't know that you should spend your time fretting over the loss of such a self-destructive segment of the population. It's kind of irrelevant, unless you're not particularly choosy. You should concentrate on finding one of the relatively few people out there who is truly right for you.

I hate to be a holiday-season Scrooge, but my view of most people's abilities to have relationships of the sort I deem enviable is not very generous. I mean, if we're making generalizations, I think it's safe to say that most people are incredibly dysfunctional and unhealthy (hence this column). Why would you try to become less nice (since I assume this is something you are considering)?

Another guy wrote about his babe's alleged infidelity. The scandalous ho' conspicuously left the details of where the romantic rendezvous was to take place. Although it doesn't quite apply to my situation with the handmaiden, I believe that the general underlying premise of motive is clear:

[She] is a malicious, twisted person, that's why. She is so incapable of expressing her anger towards you in a healthy way that she is retaliating against whatever she perceives you've done to her (whether real or imagined) in the cruelest way possible. This little bequest, left in the wake of your union, is nothing less than a punch in the face — a message that she has harbors such ire and such contempt for your feelings that all she can do to “get even” (For what? Who knows? Maybe you cheated on her; maybe you forgot to take out the garbage) is to rub your nose in the knowledge of the replacement she's found for you, and she is only sorry she can't send you the videotape of their tryst.

But by leaving you the exact whereabouts and time, I think it's safe to say that [she] — on top of being a vengeful harridan — is one big drama queen who might've savored the prospect of you showing up at the appointed time to duke it out with this other zhlub. Wow, isn't she important: two men feuding over her.

Harridan? Drama queen? Sounds familiar. I am still extremely fatigued. My vacation has commenced. I need some rest. A lot of rest. My nerves are shot.

Saturday December 18

I had made a silent vow to myself to stay off of the Keystone. That went right out the door by noon. However, I managed to finish calculating grades and I also did some yardboy chores. I drove my six-four to Kahala Mall after dinner so I could do my usual routine at Barnes & Noble. At the last minute, I decided not to take my computer. So, I drank coffee and read magazines. I am trying to wean myself of my beloved notebook computer. I spend far too much time on the computer as it is. And, it's not like I'm making big bank by doing so. I'm just piddling around.

Which reminds me ... how about that Ol' Lavahead Virtual Harem, huh? Last night, I had a dream that I was a hurdy-gurdy star and I was doing da wild thing with Jenna Jameson. I didn't want to wake up. Sheesh! Maybe I have a subconscious fixation on babes. Certainly unbecoming of a monk, I might add. Why can't I wean myself of babes? Well, actually I have. I am fully entrenched in the monk lifestyle. I am now only grappling with issues of mendicancy. For example, why do I need a BMW Z3? I have spent hours locked in an internal debate about this. Is it a substitute for babes? Is my non-existent dough burning a hole in my pocket?

Sunday December 19

I spent the weekend in a drunken stupor. Big headache. It is as if I cannot cope anymore. Cope with what? The sad part is that my mind is never sedated to the point that I want it to be. My motor control and coordination become somewhat impaired. However, my inner mind is fully sober. As I bumble around like a fool, barely able to control my physical self, I become enraged. Why? Deep, violent anger is what I desire. I am pushing myself to the point where I will erupt in senseless violence at any time. I know this to be true now. I want the cops to show up and fill me full of lead. Take me out of my misery, as it were. Even as I sit here, I can see that anything could set me off. Right now, RealPlayer is driving me closer to that point. It's a piece of [dung]. Just like Windows, Navigator, and all the other half-ass crap that barely works.

What really is the point of my existence? A half-baked journal? Massive debt that will barely be repaid in a lifetime? A lonely monk's existence in which my only pleasure is chokin' the chicken? It makes absolutely no sense. I'm at a dangerous juncture because the fire water is now adversely affecting me. My thought processes are askew. As I sober up from my drunken stupor, I find that I am even more prone to violence. The reason? I feel stupid for wasting a whole day by being in a stupor. To the casual observer, this whole process seems inane. Yet, this is the world I am locked into now. To obfuscate matters, I am an eunuch. Let me point out one other example of sheer stupidity and irony. Do you see the babe in the photo (at left)? That's how the babes come dressed for class or office hours at the university. It is as if the sinister kahuna has orchestrated my demise at every turn. My life is a sitcom. If it was a show on the tube, I'd probably have given Seinfeld a run for the money. Yet, to live this life is another story. I mean, how many people would want to live out Jerry's sitcom life for real? It's too neurotic. Believe me, I know. Neurosis is my middle name. Sheesh!

I bought a small carrying case for my beloved digital camera. Yep, I'm a slave to my possessions. That's why I wanted a cheaper camera than the one I bought. I didn't mention that I fell on my face in the middle of Hotel Street about a week ago. Of course, it was due to the cheap dress shoes I bought at Mervyn's. My backpack (with my cell phone and camera in it) slammed into the pavement. I'm fortunate that both still work. With the way the babes dress for school, I'm surprised that my mind still works.

Monday December 20

Moms asked me if I wanted to go to Ala Moana with her and have lunch at Shirokiya. So, moms and I took the bus to Ala Moana. We both sat together in the back of the bus. It reminded me of the days when I was just a kid. We had bento lunches at Shirokiya amidst crowds of rude people. If anyone had even come close to running into moms, I would have pummeled the fool. We walked around Ala Moana after lunch. Perhaps I needed this experience to reacquaint myself with my purpose for being in Hawai'i. Ever since the situation with the handmaiden, I've been a little inconsiderate of moms. And, I have been indirectly holding moms accountable for some of my problems. Yet, I am a very fortunate soul. Today was the first time I've talked with moms in depth for a long time. I discovered that she is blind in one eye for reasons that still elude me. I also found out that my bro has glaucoma.

I went downtown after lunch. I was still a little dismayed by my personal discovery. I don't have a whole lot of time to enjoy moms' company. I have to appreciate that time while I have it. Now, that brings me to an issue that may appear stupid. I believe that I need to buy a Z3 soon. The six-four is a great car for a kid but it not something that is comfortable for moms. I can't see moms taking the bus everywhere at her age. I have to be able to take her places in some reasonable comfort. And, if I am going to buy a car, then I should get one that I want. Perhaps I can compromise. Instead of a new Z3, I can purchase one that is just a couple of years old. Naturally, with my financial situation the way it is, I am merely speculating. I'll own a Z3 just about the time that I have turned the Virtual Harem into a real one. It ain't ever gonna happen! Sheesh! Well, it's a good thing I have a big bag of Mau'i potato chips. No Keystone tonight! Can you believe it?

Tuesday December 21

Can you see moms riding in the Z3? I have not been able to relax even though I am on vacation. I have slept longer every night but I am still fatigued. It's hard for me to relax because I have nothing to do in my spare time. Well, hey! I have no dough! Vacations also remind me of my time of reckoning. Those nine months of unemployment almost made my mind snap. Therefore, I have a lot of guilt about idle time. I should have found a seasonal job earning minimum wage. I could have added some dough to the Z3 fund. Sheesh!

I ran into Bruce yesterday. He went on a one-day drinking binge that cost him close to $1,000 because his life was out of control. I cannot really relate his story here but I can sympathize with his plight. The sad part is that Bruce was always the one to urge me to get off of the fire water. Bruce wanted to go to Mango's but I politely refused.

I've thought a lot about moms since our lunch yesterday. Most of my thoughts bring tears to my eyes. I had reason to stay on the mainland for so long. Most of it was selfish. I wanted independence. I've had to humble myself when I returned home. Moms' old-fashioned ways get on my nerves but it is a product of the impoverished plantation lifestyle and culture of my grandparents. Moms will not change her ways. She will always look to me as the older son. I have a role, albeit antiquated, that she still envisions. For the time being, as I am a monk, I can play that role. It is a small sacrifice. Our parents will only be with us for so long. And, it is much healthier for them to be with family rather than barely exist in a convalescent home.

Wednesday December 22

As I drank my morning coffee, I heard someone outside trimming some plants. I looked outside and saw moms trimming the neighbor's overgrown bushes by hand. And, in the rain, no less. I quickly went outside and broke out the electric trimmer. It took me only a few minutes to trim the bushes. I was fortunate not to be electrocuted. This made me realize even more so why I am here. I'm not sure whether my bro knew exactly the amount of strain his family put on moms when they lived here. Moms cooked an enormous meal every night. She woke up early and made breakfast for everyone and packed a lunch for my bro. She did four loads of laundry twice a week. In the first few years, my bro's family lived with moms for free. In the last two years (out of at least eight), they paid a paltry $400 per month. They had stuff stored in every room including the small bedroom that moms lived in. Moms was already in her seventies at the time.

I wish I could make life easier for moms. However, that would require a lot of dough. So, I do what I can. I owe my parents a lot because they helped me during tough times. I know that moms has always worried about me during my 27-year stay in Cali. I could easily cast all of that aside as trivial. Lord knows I had done so during the years I was gone. Perhaps it is my remorse that keeps me here. I don't take advantage of moms. I do what I can to make things comfortable. I have taken over as many of the chores as possible. That's all I can do.

Many thanks to all who have sent holiday greetings to the ol' lavahead including Annabelle (in the Netherlands), Paul (in Minnesota), and Annie (in New Jersey). And, thanks to Tiina and Rihela (in Finland) for the very humorous greetings. E-mail replies from the ol' lavahead are somewhat slow due to his fragile mental state.

Thursday December 23

I spent the morning doing some yardboy chores just as I had planned. Yet, I felt like I wasted the day. That left me with no other option except the Keystone. Five hours later, big headache. Needless to say, I felt dumb and dumber. I also felt guilty for not going to the gym even though I knew that I did not want to spend over two hours in commuting time just to work out for a half hour. All of this even after I learned that I have secured a class to teach at the community college. Many of my colleagues have tried to get in and failed. Competition is high because the community colleges are part of the University of Hawai'i system. So, provided the world still exists in a few weeks, I'll be teaching at three campuses. My course load by mid-January will be nine classes. Unheard of! My total income will be $125 per month. I'm better off at Burger king, I know. Sheesh!

I spoke with Caroll today. She is doing well. Last month, she was the top salesperson for her dealership. She made more dough last month than she's ever made in any other position. She's also going to help me locate a Z3. Whether new or used, I'll get it at 10 percent above invoice. I placed the six-four in the Net classifieds as a trial run. We'll see what happens. I should also put the Bose Acoustic Wave in the Net classifieds as well as this piece of [dung] computer.

Only one more day before I'm off to Portland. I am seriously thinking about flying to San Francisco for a couple of days as well, the reason being that I do not anticipate flying to the mainland in Spring. I am already fatigued and I haven't even left yet.

Friday December 24

Detestable resin chair. Keystone. Big headache. Need I say more? That's a summary of my day as well as my life. I did more yardboy chores and I ended up doing some painting as well. All I really wanted to do today was to order a big pizza. Why didn't I? No dough. Man, there sure are some babes in the Virtual Harem, eh? Why can't I be skinnin' up babes like that? I'm a monk, that's why!

Well, the damned "blue screen of death" occurred again while I was sending some e-mail. Frankly, I'm sick of this piece of [dung] computer and that [copulating] Windows. In my inebriated state, my tolerance for sub-standard crap is very low. Actually, what am I talking about? I'm a sub-standard kind-of-a-guy. Why else would I drink Keystone by the gallons?

Tomorrow is the big day. I'm outta here sans computer. It will be nice to have a change of scenery. Many thanks to all my virtual homeys for making this a great year. I wanted to say that just in case the world comes to an end before I return to Hawai'i. Special thanks to Lizbeth (author of Cruel Love) for providing a lot of insight to the ol' lavahead over the past few weeks. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to visit her in Australia one day. Wouldn't that be an adventure? My real goal is visit all of my virtual homeys. They may all get tired of the pathetic ol' lavahead. I should probably just stay here and scour the Net for more babes to put in the Virtual Harem. Sheesh!

Saturday December 25

I know this sounds extremely wimpy but I pretty much cried myself to sleep last night. Perhaps it remorse over how I have handled the situation with moms in the past few months. Or, maybe I've come realize my purpose. I'm here to spend time with moms. Sometimes we forget what the elderly must go through. And, we become impatient. I have been such a fool. There is more that I need to do to help moms out. Even the small things count. Moms and I left at the same time this morning. We both took the bus. She went to my bro's place for lunch. I continued on to the airport. I took a picture of us sitting in the back of the bus. Just riding the bus with moms has been a humbling experience for me. I was once again reminded of when I rode the bus with moms as a kid. It's not an experience that many of us take the time to do. I'm now very happy that I'm able to do so.

The flight to Portland took longer than I expected. Perhaps it was because I had apprehensions about returning to Oregon. I certainly do not want to be reminded of anything that has to do with the handmaiden. Fortunately, the plane was only half-full. So, I did not have to contend with the masses of idiots who always coincidentally fly on the same day that I do. Sheesh! Barbara met me at the airport. I can't even explain about how nice it is to be greeted by a familiar face. By the time we got in to her place, it was already 11pm. I helped restore her computer to Net-ready status again after a bad ADSL experience. Don't you just hate those? We did manage to check airfare to Cali. Round trip is $230! Say what? So, the adventure begins.

Sunday December 26

The weather in Portland has been extremely nice. Blue skies, if you can believe it! However, it's been damned cold. Barbara and I went for a little tour which included a trip to Beaverton. From the freeway, I could see the old gym that the handmaiden and I used to go to. We shopped for a few items at the Fred Meyer store there. Yes, that's the same Fred Meyer from the days of old. It brought back a lot of fond memories. Was it all real or was it Memorex? Who is to say? We also took a drive out toward the Columbia Gorge but it was too cold to get out of the car, no less sightsee. So, we drove out to Jantzen Beach to do some nerd shopping. I got a deal on digital film for my beloved digital camera. Barbara bought some software. Later, we ate dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant.

I managed to find a really good deal on airfare ($114 round trip) to San Jose. However, I was not able to get in touch with my buddy John. So, I called Caroll and talked to her. Tentatively, I have decided to fly down to Cali tomorrow. I'll rent a car for the day and drive back up to San Francisco to connect with Caroll. Then, I'll just hope that I can meet up with John. I am very certain that I will not be returning to the mainland for at least a year, so I want to visit a few more of my close friends. Will that even be possible?

Monday December 27

I decided not to go to Cali this morning because the whole itinerary sounded too fatiguing to me. I am already stressed out. John called later in the morning and left a message but I was not able to contact him. I left another message and made yet another reservation to fly to San Jose just in case. I walked down to the Starbuck's just a few to have my morning coffee. I was practically a cryogenics project by the time I got there. I spent a couple of hours thawing out with coffee before venturing back. Barbara came home early from work. She had errands to run so I went along with her. Later, we walked down to the Nob Hill area to look around. I hadn't noticed earlier but the hospital that the handmaiden and I had gone to visit Byron (after his heart surgery) was right up the street. Later, Barbara showed me how to make pizza from scratch. The pizzas were delicious! I finally got a hold of John in San Jose. He is going to be out of town on a hunting trip so the jaunt to Cali is off. Paul is due in late tomorrow night on his way to Seattle.

So many thoughts from the past have been racing through my head. I am facing more of my demons head-on. Even in my discussions with Barbara, I realized that I was revealing more of those demons which continue to haunt me. Perhaps this was the reality check I needed, as Barbara had told me in e-mail before I left Hawai'i. I am becoming more comfortable, albeit slowly, with this part of my past. The whole experience has been strange. Sleep has once again become an alien concept to me. Aside from the past, I am worried about the future. Heck, what am I talking about? The future is already here. The real question is ... will I be able to wean myself of the Keystone once and for all?

One thing is certain. I am ready to return to Hawai'i for good. That is my home. I have already established a constructive agenda yet I am attempting to derail myself. I have already identified and met many of the critical success factors. Therefore, failure is now a matter of choice. That choice is solely mine.

Tuesday December 28

Another beautiful day in Portland. Barbara left for Cali on a business trip. I walked to Starbuck's again for my morning coffee. Caroll called me on my beloved cell phone when I was there. She was a little disappointed that I wasn't flying to Cali. I spent the rest of the day walking around the Nob Hill area. It didn't seem to be as cold as yesterday. There were a multitude of knick-knack shops since this area seems to be more of a tourist trap. I couldn't even find a Taco Bell. Sheesh! I was also the only person walking around in short pants. I have seen a lot of Z3s around. Why does anyone need a convertible in Oregon?

I have had a lot of time to think. That's usually when things get dangerous. I have finally realized how the handmaiden played me like a fiddle to get where she wanted to be. I was a stepping stone. I have also come to see that I don't have it that bad. If I am clever enough, I can orchestrate my own recovery from the debilitating effects of the handmaiden and the economic slump in Hawai'i. I could reach a level of success that meets my needs as long as I don't look back or compare myself to others. It's too easy to become discouraged when looking back at the many wasted years. Many of my friends have helped me immensely. I have that advantage over many people in Hawai'i. You see, the tenacity to succeed does not come from associating with people who have only lived in an isolated island scenario. I can now see why so many locals are going nowhere. They have no reference point. I have a reference point because I know people who have overcome many obstacles. Were it not for that factor alone, I'd be on welfare right now. We learn from others and, if we use that knowledge properly, we can avoid many pitfalls.

Believe it or not, I have learned that I can succeed. Not with babes, I might clarify. I will delineate at a later date when all is clear, if you know what I mean. There is a level of clandestine information that must remain so for a while. My downfall may occur if I believe that I must prove success to others. That is another demon I must face. I have workable goals. I just don't believe in them. On face value, they seem materialistic. Yet, life is made up of only two components. One is spiritualistic. The other is materialistic. A true monk would know the proper balance between the two. Success and happiness occurs at that point.

Wednesday December 29

Paul came by much earlier than expected last night. He didn't want to stay in Portland any longer than necessary, so we were off to Seattle. We ate at Bad Albert's across from the harbor. Over dinner, we caught up on each other's lives. Paul wasn't feeling too well. He tried to cram in too much fun during the holidays and I believe it caught up with him. This morning, Paul didn't feel much better. We ate breakfast at the Salmon Bay Café and somehow managed to go to a variety of places like Barnes & Noble near the University of Washington. Paul seemed to be feeling worse, so we decided that it was best if I departed for Portland. I was supposed to leave this evening but I would have arrived at an unreasonable hour. So, Paul and I went out to Pepé's for Mexican food. Before calling it a night, we checked on a variety of ways out of Seattle. Airfare was outrageous. Amtrak was reasonable but I decided against that option. Since the skies have turned overcast, I didn't think I would get much sightseeing in. That left my favorite mode of transportation. Yep, the Greyhound bus. There's nothing like sitting in the back with all of the ex-cons. Usually, it's like a big party. Of course, that may only apply to Cali.

I stayed with Paul on his boat during this time. I am amazed at how he has managed to survive through the last cold Winter in Seattle. The living space is cramped even for a monk. However, his ingenuity has made it possible for him to enjoy all the creature comforts in that limited space. I don't know if I could live that way. I am a bloody landlubber, I suppose. Well, hey! I need a BMW Z3!

Thursday December 30

I was on the Greyhound bus by 8am. Sorry, no ex-cons on this trip. However, the bus was completely full. I sat way in the back as usual. Oddly, most of the passengers got off in Tacoma, just 30 minutes south of Seattle. The rest of the ride was enjoyable with one exception. Some clown decided to take a major dump and, as I was sitting next to the lavatory, I was privy to savor the aromatic fumes. Which went well with the cheap pizza I ordered at one of the stops. What was I expecting anyway? This is not the Mensa crowd we're talking about. It's a rolling brain donation!

Barbara picked me up in Portland. She dropped me off at her place and went back to work. I walked toward Nob Hill but I stopped in for my morning coffee after 2pm at the world famous Marsee's Baking store. The coffee and muffin were delicious. There were a few babes in there, although I didn't even notice them as I am a monk. Later, Barbara and I walked back to Nob Hill for dinner at the McMenimin's Blue Moon Café. It brought back memories of the time the handmaiden and I had lunch at the McMenimin's Cornelius Pass Roadhouse. I broke down and had a pale ale. Naturally, that required us to go to the Crackerjack's Pub for another round. That's how the good folks in Portland stay warm in the Winter, I'm told. So, always do as the natives do. Sheesh!

The ol' lavahead wanted to enter the New Millennium with a bang so he listed himself in the Love@AOL personals. It's a must see. I guarantee you that no one will reply. Only an extremely desperate, half-crazed, and near-sighted babe might respond. I also submitted the LavaheadCam splash screen photo to augment the listing.

New Year's Eve 1999

The end of of the world as we know it may come in just a few hours. Let's recap the day just in case. Barbara and I went to the gym this morning. She decided to join the same gym that I belong to. The Portland branch is fairly large, about the size of a warehouse. There were quite a few babes in there today, not that I noticed. Well, hey! I'm a monk! Barbara mentioned later that she observed a couple of the babes checking out the ol' lavahead's physique. Not so! I figured that they either never saw an oversized cranium before or they may have thought I was a stalker. Later, we drove out to Jantzen Beach again to shop at K-Mart. Sam-e was on sale but apparently someone decided to stock up on it because it was sold out. Well, the effects of the Millennium may require Sam-e. Sheesh!

Barbara's friend John arrived via Greyhound late this afternoon. He took a quick nap while Barbara and I went out to appropriate any necessary supplies in case the world collapses at midnight. After that, we hit the town for the Millennium celebration. We had reservations at the Marakesh Restaurant in Nob Hill. It's a Moroccan place. When we arrived, the joint was packed. We finally got a table and sat on the floor. The meal was excellent even though we had to eat it with our hands. There were babes everywhere although I was hard-pressed to even notice. Wine was flowing like water. We drank the Moroccan version of the "Hammer" like tomorrow may never come. We decided to call it an early evening to avoid any possibility of encounters with Millennium psychos. We watched Pirates of Silicon Valley and, again, the wine flowed like water. At midnight, we stepped out onto the balcony to watch the festivities. Not much happened here in Portland, sad to say. The world is still intact. What was all the hype about? I had already read that everything went well in New Zealand and Australia. There were only minor glitches in the UK. Well, we've made it to the Year 2000. All of us at LoserNet wish you the best. Happy New Millennium! Hau'oli Makahiki Ho'u!

To be continued ... Go to M.02

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