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 Millennium ... Journal of Life

Monday November 13, 2000

I met with pops for lunch today. We ate at the Pagoda Restaurant, which is right in the hotel that he is staying at. The buffet is one of the better ones in town. Pops looks much worse than last time. He still has Parkinsonian symptoms. The right half of his face is partially paralyzed. He must use a Band Aid to keep his right eye open. There wasn't much to talk about. The quiet moments were awkward. After lunch, we sat in the hotel lobby and chatted for a while. Then, pops drove me back to town. I shook his hand and thanked him. It may be a year before I see him again.

Each day, I think about my parents. In my youth, I wanted to get as far away as possible from parental control. I will never regret moving back to Hawai'i or living at home with moms. I believe that I have been most fortunate to be able to do so. No amount of money or material possessions could substitute for this moment. I know it sounds kind of dumb and sappy. However, my parents are all that I really have in life. Not only can I understand who I am, but I can also see what the future holds for me.

I ran into one of the babes in my classes at the bus stop on my way to see pops. She had sent e-mail earlier to explain why she had a classmate deliver her assignment on Friday and that she has decided to stay in the class rather than take the easy option out. I was a little surprised. She is one of those babes that my buddy Bud would definitely classify as "dangerous." The babe who just had an abortion showed up today wearing an extremely skin-tight outfit. She is only 17 years old. Naturally, her ample wares were on display. It's not hard to see why she's dangerous, too. I agreed to extend the "option out" offer but with a "C" grade. We walked to the faculty computer room so I could have her sign the form. Pseudo-professor Emmett and Pseudo-professor Ralph were both there. I'm sure that they knew the drill. "You're a good man," she told me before she departed.

Tuesday November 14

Mr. Rogers has decided to end his long running children's show. I felt a little sad as I remember watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood with my bro. I was in my teens at the time but I actually enjoyed watching that and Sesame Street. In a way, Mr. Rogers has always been my role model. He personifies the kind of goodness that is sorrowfully missing from our society. Many people have poked fun at Mr. Rogers in a cynical and malicious way. That has always perturbed me. I recall several instances where I almost erupted in senseless violence in defense of Mr. Rogers. Why do I have a close affinity to the characterization of Mr. Rogers? Simple. As a monk, I recognized that Mr. Rogers (at least on the tube) places values on the spiritual quality of life. I don't mean to imply that Mr. Rogers had proselytized about fundamental religious doctrines. Rather, he called upon the intrinsic set of principles that are coded within all of us.

It is so easy to fall into temptation and then lead others astray as well. There are times that I doubt my own abilities as a monk. I am amazed by my own foolishness. I suppose that I now understand why I enjoy living at home with moms. It's a step back into the age of innocence. I am protected from the debauchery outside. And, I am able to meet my commitment to be a "good son," which is foremost. None of this has to do with any repressed feelings of inadequacy or any other form of quackery. I just want to live a good, clean life.

Wednesday November 15

An uneventful day, at best. This is the last week of the current term at the Asylum. I have done nothing except to sit around and talk with a few of the students about my life as a monk. Some of them probably believe that I have lost my mind. Who cares? I spent most of last night searching for free Palm IIIe applications. So far, I've only found one that may be slightly useful.

I have a couple of cans of cheap brewskis left from this past weekend. I'll spend the rest of the evening perusing my Nova Spirit and checking out some of the other Palm applications while I consume one of my cheap brewskis. It's chillin' in the freezer as we speak. Maybe it's time that I develop the Palm Chicken Choker application. Sheesh!

Thursday November 16

Chip, one of the other faculty at the Asylum, warned me that several students are discussing the ol' lavahead's "bad attitude." He seemed concerned. Frankly, it's not my attitude that is the problem. These useless locals need to look at themselves first. On second thought, I have been emotionally distressed for a few weeks and could easily erupt in senseless violence at any time. Perhaps the real reason I carry the Nova Spirit with me is that I may have to use upon myself.

I installed a Palm IIIe application that allows me to write notes directly on the screen. I also installed PalmLife, which is a small adaptation of Conroy's Game of Life (not to be confused with the board game). I'm not sure why computer nerds are allegedly fascinated by this game. I will be investigating it more fully in the days to come. Its simplistic nature does lend itself to the monk ways. I may eventually break down and pay for a spreadsheet program because that is about the most useful application I can think of. Since I don't have a spreadsheet running on my beloved notebook computer, I may seriously entertain this idea. The bottom line is that I am still frantically searching for a real purpose for my Palm IIIe, just as I am trying to find meaning in life. Everything is vanity.

Friday November 17

I have essentially done nothing all week, thanks in part to my lethargic students. I didn't mind at all because I had more time to ponder the disposition of my Palm IIIe. My classes at the university were extremely short. It started with my first class when the one dangerous babe wanted to leave early because she was cold. Not surprising considering the skimpy little outfit that baby was wearing. We've been in the same classroom for over two months. Everyone knows that the air conditioning is on full blast. Sheesh! So, I walked to Safeway to buy some Italian Sausage. I also ended up with a 12-pack of Keystone beer. That's my idea of impulse shopping.

Upon returning home, I made a greasy pasta dish for myself and sautéed some mushrooms and garlic in butter for moms. I'm droppin' back a few Keystones right now to cut some of the grease I just ate. I also installed an IR Sync freeware application on my Palm. I can now use the infrared port on my beloved notebook computer to synchronize it with the Palm. This feature was not available on the Palm IIIe. In my opinion, the use of the HotSync cradle is the most cumbersome feature, which I really despised. I am now more open to using my Palm for applications that require synchronization, including e-mail. Simple pleasures for simple monks.

Saturday November 18

The right rear tire of my six-four was completely flat this morning, much to my chagrin. Fortuntately, Mark helped me out and I was able to take the tire to a nearby service station. The nail has been in the tire for over four years. I just never got around to remedying the situation. Mark and I went shopping at Ala Moana in the interim. We ate lunch at the Panda Express in the Makai Food Court. Then, we just walked around like the countless other people who are locked in the consumerist milieu.

We ended up at Kahala Mall to kill more time at Barnes & Noble. We picked up the tire later and ended up buying a whole mess of cheap brewskis. After droppin' back quite a few cheap brewskis, it was time to call it a day. I'm sure that many people will be thankful that they have babes to spend time with, as opposed to the somewhat ludicrous monk lifestyle that the ol' lavahead leads. I really wouldn't trade this lifestyle for anything else. At times, I am inclined to believe that I am a loser. Locked in a monastic prison with nowhere to turn. That's the media blitz. I am where I belong. No babe would put up with this crap, which has been proven many times before. Just bring on the cheap brewskis. Everything else will fall into place.

Sunday November 19

More cheap brewskis. Big headache. The Palm IIIe and the Nova Spirit. This is my family. Who could ask for anything more? I spent a good portion of the day perusing my Palm IIIe for no apparent reason. I uninstalled the Game of Life. This is the kind of non-stop psychosis that I must endure. I will be returning to the salt mines tomorrow. Fortunately, the Asylum is between sessions. I have a few days to recuperate from the stupidity. I'll spend most of my time choking the chicken. Essentially, I will be looking for new Palm applications.

I have converted to Internet Explorer, although I am still using Netscape Composer to format the journal. I'm sure that Bill would be proud. Well, I am going to spend the rest of the evening on the Net. There are far too many hurdy-gurdy sites, eh? Just kidding! I just want something useful for the damned Palm! Sheesh!

Monday November 20

So far, I have lost over $3,500 since the stock market collapsed. That may not seem like much but it was most of my meager savings and retirement fund. I am essentially where I was over four years ago. Easy come, easy go, eh? I'm not exactly in the mood to expound on my usual stupidity, so I'll spend most of the evening looking for a free database application for my Palm IIIe. What I'd really like to do is drop back a whole 12-pack of Keystone. Cheap brewskis is all that I have.

Perhaps I should invoke a marathon session with Eliza, the Pocket Psychologist on my Palm. Choking the chicken. That's all I do, and I do it well. I cannot rely on much else. I am doomed to eventually live either on welfare or in a cardboard box along the freeway. There is no end to the torment dished out by the sinister kahuna. I have always been baffled about why I have been such easy prey. I have found that the trials and tribulations increase disproportionately whenever I decide to return to the monk ways. You have heard me lament this woeful fact before. However, take a look at the facts. Other people are engaged in all kinds of debauchery and skinnin' up babes right and left. They seem to be rewarded for this behavior. The ol' lavahead lives a quiet, mendicant existence. Yet, he is the one who is kicked when he's down.

Tuesday November 21

I only went to town to submit my syllabi for the next term to the Asylum administration and also to go to the gym. I used Phillip's "model" syllabi and left the generic placeholders (e.g., "insert your name here"). The outcome should be pretty hilarious. After all, Phillip is the "technology curriculum coordinator." He is paid to think, as opposed to myself. The IR Sync application has stopped working properly for some reason. So, I uninstalled it. Now I have to use the stupid cradle again. I found another free application called the Palmasutra. I'll be downloading and installing it tonight. It sounds somewhat debaucherous, so I may have to quickly uninstall it. After all, what do I need that kind of information for? It's not likely that the ol' lavahead will be doing da wild thing in the near future. I found a small database application last night called List. Small is an understatement because it has a maximum of two fields. There are no database functions per se. Yet, I really like it.

I have stopped carrying the Nova Spirit with me. It is now boxed up (similar to the Bose Acoustic Wave). I haven't perused since the weekend. The Talon Taser-like device has been neglected entirely. That's more wasted dough because of my typical over-reaction to common situations. Not to worry. The Nova Spirit will always be close at hand during the weekends. I have a few spare cans of Keystone in the fridge. Let's drop a few back now, shall we?

Wednesday November 22

The holiday weekend is finally upon us. Words cannot really express the joy that I feel, mainly because I have a break from the salt mines. I have spent a great deal of time in attempting to find something useful for the Palm IIIe. Nada. I have installed the JunglePort application again but it is essentially useless. The Palm device was meant to be an electronic organizer that can also run games. All of that "synchronizing" crap is just nonsense to make small-time losers feel important. The real problem, I suppose, is that I am a disgruntled computer nerd. I should be happy to have all of these nerd toys. After all, Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow. What is the matter with the ol' lavahead? Just because he can't fill the damned Palm with any useful information does not mean that the device itself is useless. It just means that the ol' lavahead is a mendicant nobody. Just call him Mr. Nobody.

Another problem is that, even though the ol' lavahead is a simpleton, he is not entertained by simple and stupid applications for very long. Cheap brewskis presently fill that need. Alas, it's time that I break out my beloved digital camera. Yep, when all else fails, break out yet another toy. Only the battery manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank. I'll be laughing all the way to the loony farm. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa!

Thanksgiving Day 2000

Well, I spent most of the day playing around with the JunglePort application on my Palm IIIe. It was fun while it lasted but now I have to wonder. Technically speaking, it's a great application. So, it's time to uninstall it. I'll be searching for useless games tonight. My Palm IIIe will become a Game Boy. I have no other use for it. I'm at a loss to put any names in the address book. I am a loner, so I know no one. I have so little to do and no appointments such that the other organizer functions are totally useless. Enough of that. After all, this is Thanksgiving Day.

Moms cooked up a feast today. The turkey was roasted in the kamado. My sister-in-law and nephew came by to chow down. Moms gave them most of the food to take home. My bro was conspicuously absent. I had a small dish of turkey scraps. Then, I sat in favorite chair and consumed the remainder of my cheap brewskis while moms entertained my sister-in-law. I said not a word. I'm too tired to play games with fools. For dinner, I made a nice heaping dish of Spaghetti.

In all honesty, I don't feel grateful for much. I was extremely thankful that I had a few cans of Keystone left so I could tolerate seeing my sister-in-law. Aside from wasting my day with my Palm IIIe, I came to realize that I have succeeded in becoming what I've always wanted to be. In my eyes, I'm just a monk. In the world's eyes, I'm a loser. Who really cares? I have also set out to alienate myself from everyone including most of my old friends, and I have succeeded beyond expectation. I have absolutely no need for companionship. Small talk once every few days is enough. The Master would be proud. I have followed diligently in his footsteps.

In the end, I am thankful that I am a nobody. I don't have to answer to anyone and soon I'll slip into permanent obscurity. I am extremely thankful that I have remained true to myself. I am ever so grateful that I discovered the most fundamental truth - I need no one. I don't need a babe, or a family for that matter. I am a family of one. My seed ends with me. Only this journal will serve as my legacy. Nothing more, nothing less.

Friday November 24

I found an interesting game called Space Trader for my Palm IIIe. I spent most of the day playing it. However, after the first few unsuccessful tries, I quickly reduced my learning curve. By late afternoon, the game was becoming predictable. Technically, the game could go on for a long time. I decided to mummify the situation, so I uninstalled it. The bottom line is that I never made it to the gym. I bought another 12-pack of cheap brewskis instead.

My thoughts are becoming incoherent as I search for answers that do not exist. I had another heaping dish of Spaghetti for dinner. It reminds me of my old days at the Roach Motel. Pasta with some cheap Ragu-like sauce. That is the epitome of simplicity. The Spaghetti went well with my cheap brewskis. Perhaps that humble meal is a symbol of the answer that I seek. I cannot tolerate complexity. Is that why I am constantly installing and uninstalling applications from both my beloved computer and my Palm IIIe. Why uninstall applications from the Palm when 97 percent of its memory is free? Is that implicit of my internal struggle?

What I really need to do is clean off my desk (figuratively) with the back of my arm, just as G did in that classic episode of Homicide. There's just too much clutter, it seems. In the meantime, all I do is sit in my beloved resin chair, cheap brewski in one hand, Nova Spirit in the other. Finally, I received the following e-mail:

"Thank you for an insight into your very entertaining life. I was very depressed recently, and reading through your journal both made me laugh and helped me carry on. But seriously, maybe you should give yourself a break, get a real job, and a girlfriend ... you obviously could if you let yourself ..."

I'm glad that LoserNet still serves some kind of purpose for wayward souls. It really warms the ol' lavahead's heart. There really is a lot to be thankful for. We'll be looking back at the Millennium and also reflecting on the years LoserNet has been in existence. Many thanks to you for staying on with us!

Saturday November 25

Space Trader is back! After a brief hiatus, I decided to resurrect it. I spent most of the day playing the game such that I have almost gone through a set of batteries. When I had no use for my Palm IIIe, the batteries lasted about four months. This set will have lasted less than three weeks. I will be on a quest to find another game for the Palm. Heck, I'm even contemplating the installation of Wolfenstein on my beloved notebook computer. Sheesh! Remember the days when I played marathon sessions of Wolf? Man, was that ever fun!

Since I don't own a tube, I am missing the world's number one source of entertainment. I also can't watch any hurdy-gurdies. Just kidding! However, there is a lot of time in the day to kill when one doesn't have a tube. We have become a society that primarily relies upon electronic media for diversion. Without the barrage of electronic devices (read: toys), we are bored stiff. As I have tried to separate myself from this electronic reality, I have also alienated myself from the general populace as I have nothing else to do but ponder life's incongruities. I rather doubt that I would do much on the Net if it weren't for LoserNet. Babes and money just come and go, but LoserNet is always here.

The new Millennium will actually begin in a few months, which also coincides with LoserNet's fifth consecutive year on the Net. The misadventures of the ol' lavahead have been chronicled for no particular purpose. LoserNet was actually founded because of some pacing idiot who lived above the ol' lavahead in the Roach Motel in Convalescent City. The only puzzling time was about two years ago, when the journal was in severe disarray. The sinister kahuna and its handmaiden almost destroyed LoserNet. If anything, I must give thanks that all turned out well. I owe a lot to many people, too numerous to name. The evil truth of that time is still locked up in the Mickey Mouse [UJ] archive, which is opened to the public only on special occasions.

I'm actually surprised that LoserNet outlasted the "competitor" (Semi-Existence of Bryan). He really wasn't a competitor, although both of us had the longest running journals at the time. There are many journals today, each meeting a certain genre. I've only enjoyed reading the latter and Anonder's Journal. A handful of good on-line journals bit the dust fairly quickly. It's a hard regimen to keep up. For me, the journal is all I have. It is my life.

Sunday November 26

I wasted most of the day playing Space Trader on my Palm IIIe. I also drank the remaining three cans of cheap brewskis. Big headache, mostly from staring at the minuscule screen on the Palm device. The batteries finally gave out. When I replaced the batteries, I also uninstalled Space Trader. I don't know why I'm fretting over the cost of those cheap Long's brand alkaline batteries. It certainly is insignificant compared with the interest alone that I pay every month for my loans.

I've got to find something else to do before I go berserk. I've thought about getting deeply involved in computer programming, perhaps developing an application. Did someone say Palm Chicken Choker? I have no other hobbies except the computer. I've become obsessed with the uselessness of my meager possessions. And, I've become extremely sedentary. I just wish that I was more committed to the gym.

Well, it's back to the salt mines tomorrow. I can't say that I am refreshed from this brief holiday. I'm not sure what I want anymore, short of a useful Palm application. Why don't I want to "fit in" this society? Why am I so eager to check out of this grand scale Roach Motel? Why is it so important to be a monk? Only The Master truly knows.

Monday November 27

I believe that I'm "in a funk" (as Steph, from the Convalescent City days, would say). Perhaps it's because of the upcoming holiday season. I don't observe any of the holidays, especially religious ones. As a monk, I know that each day of this mere pittance of existence is sacred. I suppose that there are many reasons to be "in a funk." For one thing, I will not make my financial goals this year mostly because of taxes. I've saved less this year than last year, even though I did not take a single trip to the mainland. I've also earned slightly more dough this year. It makes no sense. I can see why people go on spending sprees. There's no sense in saving anything because it will be whittled away by expenses and taxes.

I'm turning into a slob as well. I only go to the gym twice a week now. I make no effort to go to the gym on weekends, opting for cheap brewskis instead. I spent three days playing Space Trader, only to feel dumb that I wasted so much time on a game that I uninstalled. I installed Tank Commander last night, but quickly uninstalled it when I discovered that it zapped the life out of my new batteries in less than 30 minutes. Sheesh!

I should just install Wolfenstein. I discovered that there is a new version of Wolf available that runs in Windows. I will try to download it tonight. A good marathon session of Wolf may be just what the doctor ordered, eh? I suppose that the real answer is that my spirit has grown very weak. I've tried to embrace the more worldly pursuits, but none have been satisfying. I just can't seem to find pleasure in accumulating all kinds of useless junk. I also don't want to shell out any dough for anything. I've gotten used to the Net where so much is available for free. Life isn't that way. It's time to face the facts.

Tuesday November 28

The election fiasco is beginning to grate on my nerves. Never have I seen so much hypocrisy on display. Lawyers are crawling out of the woodwork like roaches. And, all throughout this battle, there has been the contradictory call for unity. It really is no wonder why there is so much cynicism in this society. We learn to speak from both sides of our mouths by patterning ourselves after these so-called role models. It's laughable at best. Speaking of roaches, I discovered that Roach is being promoted to Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Asylum. I was almost ready to deliver street pizza.

I installed Wolfenstein on two of the faculty computers. I played Wolf for about 30 minutes and relived the old days. I had also installed Wolf on my beloved notebook computer, but it didn't function well with the trackpad. So, I uninstalled it. I'll still be able to play Wolf at the university. Sheesh! I was happy to go to the gym today. I have got to commit myself to go to the gym more often, even if it means that I must go to the pathetic one in Koko Marina.

Today was the first day of classes at the Asylum. I've heard from a few students that I have reputation that precedes me, and it's not a good one. Who cares? Many of them are destined to end up at Burger King anyway. Which reminds me ... Whoppers are 99 cents again. Whoppers. Wolf. It's like old home week. Caroll has been trying to touch bases with the ol' lavahead, as well as Paul (former student). What next?

Ol' Lavahead Day

By some unusual circumstance, I ended up having lunch with the handmaiden at Palomino's. Actually, she took me there to celebrate Ol' Lavahead Day. I accepted the situation for what it was. Lunch was pleasant. I ordered the Grilled Opah in Gezpacho Sauce. Pretty good. We exchanged the usual platitudes and kept a polite distance from personal affairs. All things between us are in the past, and my only obligation is reciprocate in kind when necessary.

I received a call from the Dean at Chaminade. I have an offer to facilitate a class, but it will be on Saturdays at the Schofield Barracks satellite campus. I'm not sure if I'll take the offer since it is a fairly long drive for mediocre pay.

Rod called and left a B-day message. As you may recall, we have the same B-day. He always takes the day off to celebrate. I don't have that luxury. This was not really a special day. I did enjoy lunch with the handmaiden given the circumstances. I was just disappointed that I didn't receive my annual greeting from the Klingon Language Institute. Sheesh!

Thursday November 30

The ol' lavahead is another year older, but is he any wiser? I played Wolfenstein for about an hour today. I'm not exactly certain if this revamped version is working right. I may have to install the old DOS version that Tony had given me when I was in Oregon. Sheesh! One of my students brought his Dell notebook computer to campus yesterday. It's a $5,000 "desktop replacement." I was sufficiently impressed. I wish I could afford a computer like that. The ol' Fujitsu will be with me for a few more years, I'm afraid. And, what about my Palm IIIe? Should I reinstall Space Trader? Nah. Perhaps I should just use the Palm for what it was intended.

Friday December 1

This is the last month of Year 2000. Hard to believe, eh? Another year has gone by, and I am even further behind. One of my students invited me to a Quarters Party tonight. For those who may be wondering, Quarters is a drinking game. I was too tired to do anything. Once I return home, all I want to do is to vegetate in my favorite chair. Moms is preparing all kinds of food to cook in the kamado. That's a sure sign that my sister-in-law will be visiting this weekend. Wheeee!

What a life! Each day, I watch my modest investments shrink to nothing as the stock market plummets. Well, at least I bought the Nova Spirit beforehand. I wish that I could zap someone's cranium with it. No doubt, I'll spend most of the weekend contemplating the usefulness of the Palm IIIe. Cheap brewskis will be flowing like water as well. And, as usual, I'll spend most of my evenings on the Net. I suppose that I'll come to regret the amount of time I've wasted doing absolutely nothing. Yet, what is the alternative?

Saturday December 2

I reached the 25th level of Traffic before I uninstalled it from my Palm IIIe. Moms started cooking from early in the morning. So, I knew my sister-in-law and nephew would stop by in the afternoon. I quickly made a trip to Foodland in my beloved six-four. I bought a case of cheap brewskis. I spent the rest of the day in a stupor. Chips and salsa for lunch. Big headache.

This evening, I ran the full test with ScanDisk on my beloved notebook computer. It is about three years old and I have to keep an eye on the hard drive. I want the computer to last for at least two more years because I have no dough to replace it. The computer is my life. My next computer will be a true desktop replacement. It's a wise investment considering that it can also suffice as an entertainment center (i.e., play games, watch DVD movies, listen to audio CDs, etc.) such that it can literally be a K-Mart all-in-one. I won't even need the Bose Acoustic Wave. I'm glad that the new computers are much more powerful. It reduces the need to own more than one expensive toy. I am also glad that I'm a computer nerd. Say, that calls for another cheap brewski. Let us indulge now, shall we?

Sunday December 3

Another weekend has come and gone. Back to the salt mines tomorrow. It's the same old routine over and over again. In fact, it's reminiscent of the Chinese water torture. I was up late last night on the Web. I managed to catch up with the on-line versions some of my favorite magazines like the Atlantic Monthly, Utne Reader, and Salon. Did you know that Salon had an article about LoserNet? It's still in the archives.

I spent most of the day in a chronic stupor. I maintained that stupor by means of the cheap brewskis. Big headache. As each day passes, I am sealing my fate as a monk. It really doesn't seem to bother me. Otherwise, I'd be doing something about it, eh? My beloved Palm IIIe was at my side as well. It now suffices solely as an organizer and I'm damned happy about that. Thinking that the Palm could be anything more has almost brought about my demise.

Looking at all the ads in the newspaper today tempted me to go on a shopping spree. There are so many new toys and they are all on sale. Fortunately, I came to my senses. I have no need for any new toys. I will be saving for a new computer but that's at least two years down the road. Sheesh! In the meantime, I'll be just be here. After all, I'm the Keeper ... the Keeper of Lost Lives. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa!

Monday December 4

The salt mines are a necessary evil, I suppose. Not that I'm exactly slaving away. The "dangerous" babe was in class today, displaying her wares as usual. I'm happy that this is the last week of the term. All I want is a document reader for the Palm IIIe. I finally found one that's free. I have another use for the Palm that requires a document reader so I can read text files that I compose. More on that later. The Palm may pay for itself several times over if the text reader works without a glitch.

Moms has canceled the laser eye surgery, opting for a second opinion from another opthalmologist. Moms is turning seventy-nine in another month or so. These days, I get a little choked up when I think about this as well as my pathetic family dynamic (term used loosely). I have made my own bed concerning my financial situation. In retrospect, I should have planned ahead. My own prophesy has come true, as will my prophesy about the not-so-distant future. This is the first time that I have proactively moved in the right direction, even though I am often thwarted by the sinister kahuna. Alas, I have many regrets which do not seem to pass. I am doing penance for the folly of my ways. Will redemption ever come? Who is to say?

Tuesday December 5

Another uneventful day. I'm not complaining, mind you. I decided to uninstall Netscape Communicator this evening. It took a bit longer than expected because it wasn't a clean uninstall. I had to use CleanSweep to remove all traces of the application. Now I am using the dreaded FrontPage Express. It's actually a pretty good product except that it doesn't have a spell checker. It's pretty sad that I had to remove Communicator. I have been a Netscape fan for a long time but the last release was pathetic. I also installed the free document reader called iSilo onto the Palm device. It has a conversion utility so I can create my own documents. That's exactly what I needed. To add to the excitement, I bought a Whopper (my way, of course!) for lunch today. I haven't had a Whopper in over a month. There's nothing like a Whopper to make anyone's day!

Wednesday December 6

There are a few potentially "dangerous" babes in my classes at the Asylum. As a monk, I'm somewhat immune to them. I've seen Malia around here and there. We really don't talk much anymore. It is better that way, especially after the last few times when I felt as though I was being treated like a schoolboy gone bad. I find that I enjoy the company of guys more than of babes. The ambiance is extremely tense when babes are around. I don't believe that it has to do with "sexual energy." I sense animosity more than anything else.

I received an e-mail from Caroll. She has moved back to Santa Cruz and is working at a Ford dealership there. Life in the city was too stressful, she says. I can totally agree. I also received a letter from Toad's probation officer. The letter detailed the procedures I must follow in case Toad violates its probation. The crap never seems to end.

Thursday December 7

Another day, another dollar ... short. That's life in the fast lane. The day was uneventful until I ran into Pseudo-professor Lee. He was a professor for three months until he decided to return to the private sector. He is is teaching part-time and also doing consulting work on the side. I may become involved in a project with a major client. However, the details are sketchy. The firm is, of course, typical of local companies. I am beginning to realize that I should be capitalizing on the knowledge, albeit little, that I have. Most people are bewildered and scared of computer technology. That's why the computer nerds are exacting their revenge and raking in the dough.

In the meantime, I'll be slaving away in the salt mines. I'm not sure if I will be able to retire within three years as planned. For the average person, there are no incentives to retire especially when the issue boils down to who is paying for a health plan. For a while now, I've half-jokingly discussed working at Wal-Mart as a greeter. How practical is that? I'm better off continuing what I'm doing now. All in all, I'm just glad that I don't have to worry about babes. This was not exactly the kind of life I wanted to live. However, I'm a practical guy. I realize that I just don't fit into the world mosaic. Heck, all I want is to make it through the week. Sheesh!

Friday December 8

I have done little to keep in touch with any old friends. I am not exactly sure why I have forsaken these friendships. At one time, I placed great value upon them. I doubt that I have been a good friend to anyone in return. Many have probably felt that I have taken advantage of them. It is true that I have not done much to prove my worth as a friend. I've been broke and destitute for such a long time such that I am probably equated with a leech. What is friendship all about? From what I can tell, it mostly occurs when people are single and lonely. Friendships quickly go out the door once a "relationship" enters a person's life. I am at the stage where most of my old friends are not single. In all honesty, the whole situation is kind of stupid.

I also see my divergence with societal norms during this holiday season. Everyone is preoccupied with spending countless amounts of dough in an effort to gain redemption for past sins of the year. The "time of giving" is a consumerist frenzy which usually yields little satisfaction and certainly does nothing to instill faith in humanity. Guilt can be a powerful motivator. I have three cans of cheap brewskis left from last weekend. One is chillin' in the freezer as we speak. I may have only one cheap brewski or I might drop back all three. The harsh reality is that I continue to grope to find an identity in a world that only recognizes power and material worth. I cannot compete. The real power that I possess as a monk is my ability to recognize the intrinsic value of all life. If I forget this point, then I will become just like all of the other clones on the express bus. Walking zombies who leveraged to the hilt. It is better to step back and maintain objectivity. Any nagging doubts are most likely red flags. Internal dialog should never be sequestered. And, the cheap brewskis ... let it flow like water, I say! Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa!

Saturday December 9

I only drank two cheap brewskis last night. That left me with one can, of which I unceremoniously consumed this afternoon. I spent most of the day playing with my beloved notebook computer. I installed the freeware version of AceHTML last night. I am amazed at what a powerful application it is. What brought this on? Well, I discovered that the cheesy FrontPage Express application did not do what I wanted. There is no way to insert a non-breaking space, for example. AceHTML is a text-based editor, so that presents another problem. In some respects, I was better off with Netscape Composer. I am looking more toward the advanced features of AceHTML, although I've discovered that I really don't want to spend time learning anything. I already have the retirement frame of mind. That's probably why I don't think much about doctoral programs anymore.

I have already noticed that I don't fit in with my colleagues. I'm not an equal. It's fairly easy to tell especially when one is often never asked to join the group for lunch and so forth. I don't particularly care since I've also noted an increasing amount of vanity amongst faculty. There is an air of arrogance and self-importance. A sickening charade at best. There is no refuge for the ol' lavahead. Thank goodness he has his beloved notebook computer!

I spent most of the day in a comatose state in my favorite chair. I wanted to buy more cheap brewskis but I have spent about $40 per month on this pathetic diversion. For dinner, I made my all-time favorite, Loser Linguine (not to be confused with Stooge Tetrazini). That is, pasta topped with Italian Sausage, mushrooms and garlic sautéed in butter. And, a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. Finally, many belated thanks to Ulla (in Finland) for the B-day greeting and to the others who have written to the ol' lavahead.

Sunday December 10

The day was even longer without my cheap brewskis. Pacing was my only alternative. Yes, pacing. Not quite in the same fashion as Loser did when he became the star of The Loser Living Upstairs. Still, it's pacing nonetheless. I also did some yardboy chores. In between the pacing and the chores, I played with my beloved notebook computer. I have been extremely amazed by AceHTML. It's a great application. I surmise that I will obtain the professional version once I purchase a new computer. Today, I dabbled with Cascading Style Sheets. There is much to learn as I have fallen behind.

Rod called late this afternoon. He is in North Carolina right now because his father is in the hospital. Rod believes that he will have to move there as soon as he returns to Cali. That is probably a wise decision. I'm not exactly sure what condition his father is in, but it doesn't sound too promising. Well, if Rod moves to North Carolina, then I may have good reason to visit him. After all, I've never been to the East Coast.

Tomorrow, I return to the salt mines. However, I now have the afternoons off since the university is ending its current session. I'll be going to the gym every day. I also plan to start on a few projects that I have put off for a long time. For one thing, I need to prepare for the comprehensive exam for my second graduate degree that I never completed. And, there's only a few weeks before the end of the year. Time sure flies when one is livin' large, eh? If all else fails, try pacing!

To be continued ... Go to M.16

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