Friday November 1, 1996
Did you survive Sinister Force Day? I hope so.
Prior to becoming a monk, I used to go trick-or-treating (no, not around
da hood). One year, I went dressed up as a babe. One of the "Monday Night
in Santa Monica" gang, Cathy, did the wardrobe and makeup. Then, I hit
the town with Jill and Vivian (swim team people). Several guys asked me
to dance at the Flats (Where dreams come true). That's the most action
I ever had! Sheesh! I also figured that if I could fool a few drunk guys,
then I should see if I meet the real test. I decided to use the babe's
restroom. On my way in there, I passed a babe dressed as a guy. We looked
at each other and laughed. She was going into the guy's restroom. Sheesh!
Another year, my homey Mike (from the Del Rio Research Center) and I went
dressed up as a couple of vatos. We ended up going to the big costume
party at the gym (before the gym "owner" took over). We also entered the
costume contest and came in third place. Afterwards, we went to the Grad.
People stayed away from us because they thought that we were real vatos.
Alas, those were the days.
Saturday November 2
I spent most of the day attempting to tie up loose
ends. Actually, I may have frayed the ends. I called a certain loan outfit
(which will remain nameless) to check on my deferment. I was told that
the promissory note that I submitted would not suffice. Guess which nameless
outfit specifically requested that note? I now need to obtain an affidavit
from a financial officer. So, I tried to contact the appropriate office
by phone. After listening to three minutes of the voice menu, I was told
that no one was available because everyone was in a meeting. Why is it
that the absolute last option on these voice menu systems is always the
most important item? Why does the voice speak in a slow, laborious fashion
when I am calling long distance? Baby spent the day at her friend's new store.
She apparently was losing it because this was the grand opening. Baby's
daughter joined me on a couple of errands since baby was running late.
I needed to get more documents in the mail. Later in the evening, I attempted
to watch Homicide in the clubhouse gym, knowing full well that it
was after hours. Well, I managed to watch about five minutes before a staff
guy came to lock up. Oh well, that is the story of my life. Thwarted at
every turn. Denied at every instance. Sheesh!
Fodgers and doughnuts! You know the drill. Although
the sun was out, I was not exactly in good spirits. The loan deferment
fiasco has taken its toll on my sanity. I have also discarded the idea
of going to Cali next week. I really want to return to Hawai'i already.
I am fatigued and demoralized, and all I really want is some Lau Lau. I
sent off my last package to Hawai'i. Essentially, I am ready to depart
at any time.
Sunday November 3
I have not played Wolfenstein in over a
week. That's how demoralized I have been. All I have been thinking about
is buying new RAM for my beloved computer. Never mind that my dork glasses
are so old and scratched up that I can barely see through the lenses. I
need more RAM! Once a computer nerd, always a computer nerd. I went down
to the clubhouse to watch Pacific Blue. I did a little bit of a
workout, too. I was not really in the mood to see another series from Cali.
Only The Bull lives a life like that. Sheesh! The closest anything on the
tube has come to resembling my lifestyle was when there was coverage of
the LA riots.
Fodgers and doughnuts! Need I say more? The rains
started up again today. To complicate matters further, I have been going
a little stir crazy lately. I feel as though I have lost control of my
life. The loan situation has caused me much grief, but little did I know
that I would be further pushed to the edge of sanity.
Monday November 4
| The sinister
force has wielded its ugly head again! I drove over to the Post Office
to drop an important letter off. The substance of the letter, of course,
had to do with my on-going problems in Cali. On the way back, my six-four
died abruptly in traffic along Murray Blvd. Fortunately, I was able to
coast to the side of the road. I did have to push it to get it as close
to the curb as possible. Then, I walked to a 7-11 store to call baby. Baby
brought my Auto Club card and I called for a tow truck. I was surprised
at how fast the tow truck arrived. I don't know what the problem is, but
it looks like the carb. Ironically, I shipped my tools off to Hawai'i just
yesterday. If things like this happened less frequently, I would be less
inclined to believe in the existence of the sinister force. I can only
expect the worst and most expensive scenario. However, rest assured, I
won't be making tea time in Convalescent City. I have noticed that things
are really going haywire as I approach the second anniversary of my sobriety.
I recollect that I was tested last year, too. Sometimes I wonder if the
sinister force's real name is King Cobra. Well, hey! Don't let the smooth
taste fool ya! Well, at least I got to watch Star Trek: Voyager
tonight. There were space monks in this episode! Captain Janeway learned
an important lesson. Rather than rushing around seeking answers, she should
have sat down and had tea time with the old space monks. Yowza!
Sometimes I wonder if the sinister force's real name is King Cobra.
My six-four has let me down. At least that's the
way I felt until I realized that it has been at my side through many of
my misadventures. I decided to use a process of elimination. Armed with
only baby's screwdriver and pliers, I removed the line before the fuel
filter. I cranked the engine over. Gas spewed all over the place. Too bad
I wasn't smokin'! I then performed surgery on the carburetor. I carefully
removed the linkages and took the top of the body off. The fuel bowl was
completely dry. It looks like the culprit is either a bad filter, a stuck
needle valve, or both. Tomorrow, I will attempt to complete the surgery.
Hopefully, all will go well.
Tuesday November 5
These setbacks have a way of taking a real toll
on my sanity. However, once I embark on the project, I usually can find
a viable solution. In a way, that reminds me of last night's episode of
Star Trek: Voyager. Captain Janeway was led through a ritual which
she had fashioned in her own mind. The challenges were her own. She was
put into the room with the three monks. She scoffed at them when the three
duffers wanted her to sit and chat. In the end, they were actually the
spirits she had originally sought out. Sometimes the answers we seek are
much simpler than the solutions we expect. Perhaps that is why I desire
to go home. I am eager to get on with what I need to do. I am also simultaneously
seeking out the simplicity that has eluded me for so long. Will I find
the one or the other? I do not know.
worked on my beloved six-four for most of the day. When I took the carburetor
apart, I inadvertently screwed up the accelerator pump. After an hour of
fiddling with it, I got it all back together. My six-four started the first
time! However, when I drove it around, I discovered that there was a significant
flat spot in the acceleration. I did manage to get a Whopper (my way, of
course!) to help soothe my nerves. Baby and I had Whoppers for lunch yesterday,
too. There really is nothing like a Whopper to cheer one up, especially
when one is having a bad day, no less a bad life. Baby had to go to a meeting,
so I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my six-four. The carb is
definitely on its last leg. Hopefully, it will last long enough to make
it to the docks to be shipped. Baby's friend came by after dinner, and he and baby
talked about skiing and snowboarding. I had to break out my computer since
I am not into sports of any kind. Well, hey! I'm a computer nerd!
Wednesday November 6
I hope to have my business on the mainland completed
very soon. If I am ambitious, I can be done within a week. Granted, that
prediction precluded any intervention by the sinister force. I need to
make my plane reservations soon, since I will be flying during the peak
of vacation travel. I have been trying to imagine what my new life
in Hawai'i will be like. I wonder how long it will take me to become demoralized
when I can't find a job, especially in my fragile mental state. Right now,
I am just banking on the Hawai'ian-style philosophy to be my saving grace.
I called around to see how much it will cost to
ship my six-four to Honolulu. So far, Matson had the lowest rate at $807
(sans insurance). However, Matson only ships out of Seattle or San
Francisco, and check-in is conveniently scheduled during the middle of
the week. Do you think that the sinister force is at play again? Now, I
could ship my six-four out of Portland, if I want to pay an additional
$1000 or so. Well, so much for more RAM for my beloved computer. Kick a
man when he's down! Have you noticed that it just doesn't pay to try pinch
pennies? It just doesn't matter because some duffer (Paul Hogan term) will
squeeze it out of you one way or another. The moral of the story is to
spend money like crazy and declare bankruptcy every seven years. Who cares?
Everyone else is doing the same! Do unto others before they do unto you.
Thursday November 7
Baby had some errands to do, so I was left to my
own devices. I asked baby to bring back some Whoppers for lunch. Even having
a Whopper my way did little to ease the unsettling feeling I have had in
my stomach. Later, baby had to run out again to brew some beer for her friend's
B-day party later this month. I stayed in and cleaned the keyboard on my
Life seems to just pass me by when I am on-line
using Telnet. I sometimes have to wait up to five minutes for one character
to be transmitted back to my beloved AIX account in Convalescent City.
I only have myself to blame, I suppose ... I stole that line from Q in
the very last episode of Star Trek: TNG.
Friday November 8
Bonnie called me last night. This was the first
time I have talked to her since she moved to Lompoc. She sounded good,
and she seemed very happy with her new job. She also wanted to tell me
about a job opening. She will be sending me the information. Would I consider
moving to Lompoc? I don't know. It isn't at all like Denton, is it? Caroll
left a message and also sent me e-mail yesterday, so I called her after
talking with Bonnie. She tried to persuade me to fly to Cali so I can make
tea time with a certain nameless individual. Well, if my mood improves,
I may fly into San Jose in a week or so and drive down to Convalescent
City with her. Caroll was in a bad way over her own situation. I could
hear the frustration in her voice. I think she is also hoping that she,
Bonnie and I can a final reunion before I leave the mainland.
I received confirmation that a financial officer
sent an affidavit to the loan people. So, I called the loan people. The
deferment went through! I have been given a short reprieve. Now, will I
piddle away this opportunity or do something constructive? I can see myself
kickin' it and ending up in the same dilemma again. It seems that human
nature predisposes us to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
For example, people who become deathly ill realize their mortality but,
upon recovery, that concept is easily forgotten. Well, at least I was able
to watch Star Trek: DSN tonight. A great episode with Kirk and Spock
in a time warp extravaganza!
The sun was shining and it was warm. I decided
to take advantage of this opportunity. I took the carburetor apart again.
This time, I carefully aligned the metering rods. I couldn't see anything
else wrong. I reassembled the carb and started up my six-four. I took it
for a short spin around the parking lot. It ran almost perfectly! It looks
like my six-four is ready to make the big trip home.
Saturday November 9
I went along with baby on some errands because
her afternoon appointments were canceled. Baby and I stopped at the Goodwill
store. She saw a purse that she wanted but decided not to get it. We then
went to Egghead Software and Trader Joe's. Baby changed her mind about
the purse, so we went back to Goodwill. It was gone. She was bummed out.
We also went to the gym for the first time in two weeks. I'm not sure if
I can get back into the gym scene. I'm getting too old for that. Sheesh!
Why do I need to work out? I'm a computer nerd. Around here, all everybody
is talking about is skiing. Baby mentioned once that her main reason for
staying in Oregon is to ski. Well, maybe she should stay here. Heck, I
know many people who move somewhere specifically to engage in their preferred
sport(s). That's why I'm moving to Hawai'i. Yep, Hawai'i is home to the
Olympic Windows Solitaire team! Have you ever noticed how people all talk
like pros when they discuss their sports? Everyone is an Olympian. Perhaps
I just don't understand. You see, I don't engage in any kind of sports
or physical activity. I really cannot relate. Maybe someone can fill the
ol' lavahead in.
Fodgers and doughnuts! That made my day. However,
I have noticed that I have been a little tense lately. I cannot pinpoint
the source of my anxiety. In my fragile mental state, that could be anything.
Perhaps I should administer Dr. Psycho's PsychoInventory
on myself. Ho boy! I went along with baby on another search for the elusive
blue purse. Nothing. We then went to the gym for a short workout before
dinner. Chicken has been the main course for dinner for days now. I bought
a whole mess of chicken for some reason. I think I need to get back to
basics ... Bush's baked beans. Too much meat and poultry cannot be good
for one's body. Not so with Bush's baked beans, nature's own healthy meal!
Sunday November 10
I also put in more time on my beloved computer.
Institute is about ready to fold. It just cannot compete with other similar
institutions such as the one baby works for (which shall remain nameless).
Lord knows, if it's a loser, you can count on me being there. That's why
I'm a part of LoserNet. Love it, or lose it!
I have been debating pros and cons of flying to
Cali. I am apprehensive of being persuaded to move back down to Convalescent
City for three more months to complete some unfinished business. It wouldn't
take much to convince me. In fact, Caroll almost succeeded. My gut feeling
says that I avoid making the trip. What do you think? The question might
be rhetorical, but what is fascinating to me is to be able to pose this
question to an audience comprised of people I have never met. Ah, that's
the beauty of the Net!
After a refreshing cup of Fodgers and a mouthful
Institute. Sometimes I tend to forget that I'm on borrowed time and that
I do not really live here. I have yet to contemplate the ramifications
of my departure. Uncertainty is the mystery of life and it can either afford
a challenge or a burden depending upon the circumstance. Many events could
transpire in the next seven months. Perhaps that is why I am dragging my
feet. However, my fragile mental state is doing little to help the situation.
I cannot overstate that I've been tense and hypersensitive toward everything.
I could blame it all on the high content of the cheap robusta beans in
Fodgers coffee. I could also blame it on the rock-hard granola I bought
Monday November 11
Baby was supposed to go over to her friend's store, but
that fell through. So, I went along with her to the fabric store and unwittingly
engaged in the search for the elusive blue purse. Baby found one that she
liked at Ross but later discovered that it was not made of leather. The
search continues. Ho boy! We did a short workout at the gym. I was hoping
to catch Star Trek: Voyager in the tube lounge during sets, however
that was not meant to be. The workouts at the gym have not helped my overall
outlook. I wonder if I should join a gym in Hawai'i. The consequences are
clear if I don't. I will become even more puny. Getting old seems to be
such a losing battle.
I booked my six-four for shipping via Matson.
All I need to do now is drive it up to Seattle. I'm not exactly sure but
I sense that no one is really looking forward to my return to Hawai'i.
I will be totally broke and will only create a burden for everyone else.
I anticipate that everything will go haywire once I get there. Anything
can and will go wrong if it hasn't already, and that does not preclude
the possibility that what has already gone awry will not do so again. When
I move to Hawai'i, I will be out of harm's way insofar as sinister force
is concerned but I'm sure that the sinister kahuna will take over.
Moms mentioned that I should move to Arizona because there are jobs there.
Then, why exactly am I moving to Hawai'i? Sometimes it is easy to see why
I have been a monk for so long. I don't belong in society. I am a menace
to society. Moms also said that it rained hard last week, causing a cold
spell in the mid-70s. Good Lord! That's almost a heat wave back in Convalescent
Tuesday November 12
I spent the rest of the day on the computer doing
for the elusive blue purse. Once again, it was an unsuccessful day. Baby
was not in good spirits when she returned. As it were, the real issue lay
with the ol' lavahead. I must admit that I have been in a bad way recently,
and I have not been very attentive to baby's needs. I have also been terribly
fatigued because of all the nonsense. That is not a great excuse, I know.
I seem to have a tendency to shut everything down when I am inundated with
crap. That is why I spend so much time working on my beloved computer.
It is about the only thing I have any control over. I know that baby is
not excited about my departure. I have told her not to think about it until
the time comes in order to preempt any unpleasant feelings. However, I
seem to be major perpetrator. Sheesh!
I woke up and sat on the couch making assorted
old man sounds (clearing throat, grunting, etc.) before I called the Auto
Club (also my insurance company) to look into shipping insurance for my
six-four. I also wanted to see if I could extend my coverage to include
Hawai'i because my Cali insurance premium is very low. Wishful thinking,
I know. I waited a few hours for an agent to call back, but no one did.
I have to reconsider commuting to Cali once again. I can do tea time, take
care of the insurance fiasco, get a haircut from Ray, see the dentist,
and get together with the old gym gang. Just a thought. Anyway, I was in
a bad way, so I did not try to call the Auto Club again. Instead, I went
along with baby to Trader Joe's and to Ross so she could return the vinyl
blue purse. We also went to GI Joe's to recycle my old motor oil. I tried
to do some computer work later, but I was not in the mood.
Wednesday November 13
Baby had some problems with e-mail. It was probably
the mail server. She was at the point of losin' it. We have both been somewhat
tense lately. We need to chill. Big John sent up a whole mess of mail to
me. One was my car insurance renewal. Is the sinister force around here
somewhere? I also received a brochure from Matson that detailed what I
need to do once my six-four arrives in Honolulu. The sinister kahuna
apparently is eagerly awaiting my arrival. I must have my six-four documented,
tested and insured in Hawai'i within ten days of its arrival. What if I
don't get there within that time? Is my six-four going to take itself to
the DMV? Sheesh!
called it quits. It was unable to compete in the real world, just like
me! Baby has been busy organizing her friend's big B-day soirée. The ol' lavahead's
B-day is also this month. Yep, I'll probably break out a stale English
muffin and try to squeeze 40-plus candles on it. Sheesh! We went to the
Auto Club this morning, and I made my airline reservations. I will be leaving
for the islands on December 9th. I called the Auto Club in Convalescent
City and finally got to talk to an insurance person. The latest in this
on-going saga of stupidity is that I can increase coverage for my six-four
prior to its departure from the mainland, but I will need to drive my six-four
down to Convalescent City to be inspected. I was also informed that my
Cali coverage may not be enough to have the vehicle released from port
in Hawai'i. Since my policy will expire on December 4th, I am now in a
quandary. How can I obtain Hawai'i car insurance while my six-four and
I are in Oregon?
Thursday November 14
the sinister kahuna was busy toying with me from afar, his brother
(the sinister force) was lurking about and waiting for the tag (as in tag
team). On my way to the Auto Club, I discovered that my six-four was running
rough because of a very audible vacuum leak. I tried to find the elusive
leak but to no avail. Does it seem like it's time for me to part with my
six-four? There was nothing left for me to do but play Wolfenstein.
I felt better instantly. Baby had a meeting at The Habit, and both her
daughter and I went along. Baby bought me a cup of coffee while I sat and
read Net magazines. The Habit also provides 20 minutes of on-line time
with every beverage purchase, so I used that time to attempt to Telnet
to my beloved AIX account. As you can readily guess, the whole system was
down for some unknown reason. This would have been an opportune time for
me to explode into an uncontrollable violent rage. Can you imagine me running
amuck and heaving computer terminals over the beverage bar? Well, it is
a good thing that I am a man of peace.
||Can you imagine me
running amuck and heaving computer terminals over the beverage bar?
The Convalescent City Auto Club called me back
to verify my street address. Since I don't live in the Roach Motel anymore,
I had to provide another address. This was necessary to keep my car insurance
from being canceled. All this did was add insult to injury. Perhaps I should
send a Molotov Toilet Duck to the office. Most likely, I will just cancel
both my Auto Club membership and my car insurance. If your hand betrays
you, cut it off ... if your eye deceives you, pull it out! I worked on
my six-four again. but I was still not able to isolate the vacuum leak.
To humiliate me even further, baby's daughter slaughtered me in a game
called Risk. Maybe I should put an end to this charade by concocting a
Molotov Toilet Duck for me and my six-four.
Friday November 15
My monk haircut has grown out completely, and
I look like a total derelict. Of course, with the way the sinister force
has been toying with me vicariously through my six-four, I may not need
to visit Butch again. I'll just pull my hair out! I called my bro last
night to see if he had any ideas concerning the car insurance fiasco. It
looks like I will be making a lot of long distance calls to Hawai'i to
get quotes. So far, I estimate that I will be spending $1,200 in the next
few weeks to transport myself and my six-four to the shores of Waikiki.
And, that's not including the $800 or so in car insurance I will have to
fork out. Moms has indicated that she cannot help me out, so I will be
running on empty when I eventually arrive there. The Auto Club (Oregon
office) called this morning to confirm payment for my airline tickets.
I also paid for baby's flight to Hawai'i this Spring. Although the $500
tickets will strap my so-called budget considerably, I believe that it
was a necessary expenditure. Baby will need to see and experience the kama'aina
lifestyle before she can make a qualified decision to move there. She can
consider that my B-day present to her. My only hope is that, when queried
about it, she will at least give me attribution.
Saturday November 16
I forgot one other expenditure ... a new Net provider.
I wonder if LoserNet will acclimate well to the islands. For that matter,
will I acclimate well to the islands? LoserNet has been steadily losing
readership. Woe is me and LoserNet! Oftentimes, I wonder if all of this
is worth much. Let's face it, LoserNet just cannot compete with most other
sites, which, by the way, have much superior content. Sheesh! I might as
well put LoserNet out of its misery now and save myself the embarrassment
of defeat later.
muffins and chocolate chip cookies! Now, that's the way to start a morning!
I watched the Saturday morning cartoons with the kids. The kids left to
play in the computer room. I stayed and watched The Tick. This is
a great cartoon! You know where I'll be next Saturday. I didn't do much
else today. I put in some token computer time after the kids got tired
of trying to hack the computer to see where I hid the Doom files.
Mostly, I was imagining myself back in Hawai'i. I placed myself in several
possible scenarios and tried to visualize what I would be doing. I am still
a little apprehensive about how family relations will work out. After all,
I have not lived at home for over 24 years. Stupid as it may seem, I just
wish I could instantly materialize there with my six-four. That is a much
better option than breaking down halfway to Seattle when the sinister force
decides to cause the leaky vacuum line in my six-four to explode.
Sunday November 17
I still have much to do in preparation for my trip.
I only have a safety margin of about $100 that will need to last me until
I leave. Half of that will be needed to pay for shipping my six-five on
the plane. I have come to grips with the humiliation of returning home
a destitute loser. Now, I will have to deal with the humiliation of being
hard-core unemployable. I can't say that all of this has put me in a jovial
mood. I wish I could do something fun like designing sites similar to LoserNet.
Wishful thinking. All I really need to do is concentrate on perfecting
my burger flippin' technique. Sheesh!
I staggered down to the clubhouse this morning
for Fodgers, muffins, and cookies. I don't know why but I have been very
fatigued lately. I have had trouble sleeping as well as getting up. Baby
and her daughter had to visit some friends today, so I was left to my own
devices. Sometimes I wonder why baby wanted me to stay here for so long.
We are both financially strapped and our repertoire of activities is limited.
When baby has other things to do, I only have Windows Solitaire to keep
myself company. Today, however, I implemented a configuration menu for
the clubhouse computer using the MS-DOS menu commands. What a true computer
nerd I am! I have exactly three weeks left in Oregon. I know, I promised
myself that I would not count down the days.
Monday November 18
I have continued to peruse the classifieds that
moms sends weekly. I have been entertaining the idea of applying for jobs
that I know I don't qualify for, such as CEO or something like that. I
applied for an appointed Federal Marshall position a few years ago. I even
got a signed slam letter from Senator Barbara Boxer! If I had been appointed,
I would have been the Marshall for Central Cali (da 'hood). It's a good
thing I didn't make it because heads would have been rolling all over the
place. Just kidding!
I got absolutely nothing done, but that is to
be expected when one is in a fragile mental state. I went along with baby
on her errands. She has been coordinating her friend's gala B-day soirée
that will happen this Friday. Baby dropped me off at Circuit City while
she checked on party supplies. I spent the whole time in the computer section.
That comes as no surprise, eh? I was demoralized when I saw all the new
notebook computers. It will be a long time before I will be able to purchase
a new one. The ol' lavahead's B-day is next Friday. There will be no soirée.
I may not even find a stale English muffin to put candles on. My homey
Rod and I used to celebrate our birthday (same day) watching Cops
and America's Most Wanted while droppin' back 40-dogs of King Cobra.
Don't let the smooth taste fool ya! I miss those days. I just don't miss
the drinking binges.
Tuesday November 19
The rain turned to snow by evening. Baby was elated,
no doubt because ski season is just around the corner. By the way, if I
hear any more ski stories or any more about the new high-speed lift, I
may just go ballistic. Right now, my main concern is being able to limp
into Seattle with my pathetic six-four before road closures occur. Two
weeks ago, I knew I was pushing the envelope of prudence by staying here
this long. Somehow, I knew something like this would happen. The sinister
force just cannot have enough fun at my expense. I have only myself to
blame, I suppose.
I received a letter from Big John. He encountered
more nonsense concerning my loan situation while acting as my proxy. I
couldn't believe what I was reading. The face of stone almost cracked.
I am just happy that I wasn't there. It could have easily escalated into
a drunken, heathen orgy of rage. Big John has done quite a bit to help
the ol' lavahead out back in Convalescent City. I hope that I can return
the favor someday. Sometimes I wonder if I am as good a friend to others
as they are to me.
I bet you could tell that I was a little tense
yesterday, eh? All I can say is that through rain, sleet or snow, I always
maintain my vow to wear shorts. Of course, I won't be able to keep that
vow when I become gainfully employed. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaa! There's something
terribly wrong with that picture. Me? Gainfully employed? Yeah, right.
I may eventually end up being employed, but not gainfully. Exploited would
be more like it. No wonder I'm tense. Sheesh!
Wednesday November 20
Snow still covered the ground this morning, Interstate
5 was closed, and I was true to form by wearing my shorts. I went along
with baby when she ran some errands. She had to order the food for her friend's
big soirée. When we came back, I cleared the snow off of the stairs
and the landing with a broom and dustpan. Can you tell that I'm from Cali?
I was actually tense most of the day. That is probably why I've been so
fatigued. The whole problem now seems to rest with my six-four. Why am
I spending so much time and money, and putting in so much effort to ship
my six-four to Hawai'i? It's beginning to look as if I made a brain donation
I honestly believe that I shot myself in the foot
by extending my stay. I have absolutely nothing to do except kill time
in the computer room. Maybe I should download Duke Nukem! The weather
cleared up a little, and the snow has begun to melt. That was little consolation
because I do not know what the weather will be like next Tuesday when I
drive up to Seattle in my poor six-four. Baby had more arrangements to
make for her friend's big soirée, so she was out most of the day. I
found enough loose change to buy a Whopper (my way, of course), so I drove
to Burger King in my six-four. I barely made it there. My six-four either
stalled or surged in the middle of traffic. The vacuum leak was whistlin'
away all the while. I tried to find the leak when I returned but the noise
ceased immediately after I parked. I'm glad that I didn't have a hammer,
or I would have put a stop to the whistlin' right away. Sheesh!
Thursday November 21
I decided to call a few insurance companies to
obtain quotes. I like to spread out my fun over the week. So far, the best
quote was double my Cali premium. Mass transit is looking better all the
time! Baby had to bottle up the beer she brewed up last week for her friend's
soirée. I was left to my own devices for the evening. Fortunately,
it is Star Trek: Voyager night. Hopefully, I will get to watch it
in the clubhouse while I do a mediocre workout. After that, I'll just be
waiting for Saturday to roll around so I can watch The Tick!
I had a crazy dream last night. I was a derelict,
but not just any run-of-the-mill derelict. I was a computer nerd derelict.
And, I was panhandling for RAM. Sheesh! Baby spent the day making final
arrangements for her friend's big soirée tomorrow. I spent my time at
the computer, of course. I have been putting off getting a haircut, although
I need one bad. I have a coupon to save $3 at the clip joint that Butch
works at, but I just cannot seem to justify a Flowbee haircut at any price.
I got another insurance quote today from an approved Auto Club carrier.
It was high, and I would also need to keep my Auto Club membership. Baha!
Ha! Ha! Haaa! It's time the Auto Club and I went our separate ways.
Friday November 22
I found out that the LoserNet feedback form has
not been transmitting the sender's name and e-mail fields. I have received
a number of nice comments but I have no idea who they are from. Which brain
donor at LoserNet designed that form anyway? At least I have Star Trek:
Voyager to distract me from all this nonsense. In a way, I am lost
in a metaphorical Delta quadrant of my own.
Saturday November 23
|I spent most of last night debating whether I
should get a Flowbee haircut from Butch or not. In the 11th hour, I finally
decided against it. Baby took me to see Star Trek: First Contact
today. This was my early B-day present and it was very enjoyable. We then
ate at Crazy Chef Sato's for lunch. Baby had to continue with the preparations
for her friend's big soirée, so I spent the rest of the afternoon trying
to cut my hair with my electric razor. What a putz I am! Baby came back
for a short time to get ready for the party. She also surprised me with
yet another present ... RAM for my beloved computer! You will never see
a happier computer nerd. Anyway, baby left for the party. I decided not
to go because the people there all know each other. I don't want to stand
around with a cup of water in my hand, because we all know how unexciting
I am. I went down to the clubhouse to watch Unsolved Mysteries and
get in a mediocre workout.
||I spent the rest
of the afternoon trying to cut my hair with my electric razor.
The Auto Club travel agent called to tell me that
my airline ticket is in. I will pick it up next week. I still have to pay
an additional $45 for my six-five (mountain bike) when I check in. I wonder
why I'm bothering to bring it with me. Where will I be able to "get vertical"
with it? There's no place to ride except out by Kaena Point. Yeah, I'll
probably be meandering along and end up getting shot by a half-crazed pakalolo
I ran down to the clubhouse early for some Fodgers.
There was only one doughnut left and The Tick was not on the tube.
Later, I tried to obtain a carburetor rebuild kit. I needed a number off
the carb. I have to remove the carb from the intake manifold before I can
even see it. I certainly cannot remove the carb with a pair of pliers.
Obviously, the sinister force is still pulling the strings around here.
Well, at least I have extra RAM now!
Sunday November 24
I have not pondered much about the inevitable day
of my departure, which is only two weeks away. The days will certainly
pass quickly. I feel an odd camaraderie with the Traveler, another personage
from Star Trek: TNG. I have been without home for several months
now. Baby made me a part of her household in the interim and gave me a
place to rest my weary head. In retrospect, we have both come a long way
since the ordeal at Cannon Beach last Summer. I am surprised that we gotten
along as well as we have. There are still tense moments, but these may
be a product of mostly environmental antecedents. It will be strange to
part ways again. I wouldn't go so far as to call this next chapter an adventure.
For all intents and purposes, I will still be sitting here at the dining
room table with my legs crossed, pecking away at my computer keyboard ...
well, at least in spirit. I don't want us to be sad but I know we will
be. Such are the wages of real life.
Once again, I staggered down to the clubhouse
for Fodgers and doughnuts. I was extremely fatigued, mainly because of
the situation with my six-four. I happened to see a big Schuck's (Kragen
back in Cali) insert in the Sunday Oregonian. That inspired me to
tackle the carburetor today. Baby took me to Schuck's. The line for the
parts counter was long, so we walked next door to Baxter Auto. The guy
at the parts counter was helpful, and so I bought the rebuild kit there
along with a crescent wrench to remove the fuel line. We went back to Schuck's
and I purchased a 52-piece socket set for $10. Quality was obviously not
an issue. I was ready for action! When I opened the hood of my six-four,
I discovered that I only needed a 7/16" box wrench. There was no way I
could even get a socket on the bolts. So, we were off to Schuck's again.
I exchanged the cheesy tool set for a wrench. Well, at least I got change
back! I then removed the carb while baby was out running errands. I was
almost done with the rebuild when she returned. We took a short break to
go to the gym. I had a hard time concentrating on my mediocre workout because
I was completing the rebuild in my head. When I finished rebuilding the
carb, I realized that I had missed Star Trek: DSN. Oh well. I will
put the carb back in tomorrow. Hopefully, my six-four will be running fine
before the big trip to Seattle on Tuesday.
Monday November 25
I put the carburetor back in. My six-four started
up fine, but it ran horribly. I finally tweaked the carb enough to make
it idle. When I took it for a test run, I heard the whistlin' again. The
vacuum leak was still there! I needed a break from this trauma. So, baby
and I went to pick up our airline tickets. My ticket (singular, as in one-way)
was there but no one could find baby's tickets. I was sure that my buddy,
the sinister force, was behind it all. Fortunately, our travel agent came
back from lunch right then and found them. With that settled, I continued
working on my six-four. I tried the WD-40 trick in an attempt to find the
leak. When the WD-40 is sucked in, it makes the engine speed up. Simple
enough. I sprayed it about liberally, but all it did was make an oily mess.
I never found the leak. My six-four seems to be running adequately enough,
though. It will be making the trip to Seattle tomorrow no matter what.
Tuesday November 26
The reality of my departure was made inherently
clear when I was given my ticket. I am probably more reactive because I
am fatigued. I am really beginning to wonder what I am going to do once
I get to Hawai'i. In fact, I won't even have access to my beloved AIX account.
These journals may come to an abrupt end. I'm not even in the mood to play
the job hunt game. What I need is peace and quiet. I don't want to hear
questions like, "What have you been doing for the last forty or so years?"
Well, I haven't been doing a damned thing! Perhaps it is all attributable
to guilt. I should have more to say for myself but I don't. Well, hey!
I'm a non-entity!
Sometimes I wonder why I do the stupid things
that I do. Today, I drove my beloved six-four to Seattle. Never mind that
it was barely running yesterday. I almost aborted the trip because of a
dream I had last night. My homey John from Modesto and an old aerobics
instructor friend, Kim, starred in it. The gist of the dream had to do
with leaving Oregon although it took place in Convalescent City. Kim was
attempting to persuade me not to leave. Kim, by the way, was someone I
thought would never leave Convalescent City. She had it goin' on, but one
day she just decided to pack it in and move. I looked upon the dream as
a bad omen. The dream made me wonder about a lot of things. Although I
have given baby her airline tickets to visit three months from now, who
can say what will happen between now and then? Perhaps I am being a little
fatalistic. All I know is that it will be very difficult to say good-bye.
I still try not to think about December 9th. Perhaps, if I am still unemployed
(very likely) during February or May, I will try to fly up here to visit
again. This, most likely, will not happen but the hope at least gives me
Wednesday November 27
My six-four made it to Seattle without any problems.
It seemed to be running fine, although there was that whistlin' from the
vacuum leak and some pinging (probably from the ethanol in the gas). We
got lost twice, mainly because of my own ineptness. Finally, we arrived
at Matson. The office was closed for lunch, so we went to Burger King for
Whoppers, our way. Somehow, it just was not a festive affair. After lunch,
we returned to Matson. I was sad to leave my poor six-four in that dismal
storage lot. It will be there until Sunday. If all goes well, it will arrive
in Hawai'i about the same time that I do.
I tried to download Duke Nukem twice last
night but I was thwarted by the FTP server. The file was just too large.
There must be some kind of time-out. If that is the case, why even bother
FTPing anything? The rain started up again today. Baby had an appointment
in the afternoon. When she returned, we went to Trader Joe's and to Egghead
Software. I don't know why but I always have fun at Egghead. Is it because
I am a computer nerd, you think? I watched Star Trek: Voyager in
the clubhouse while doing a moderate workout. This week's episode featured
Q, no doubt one of the more flamboyant characters of the series. Arrogant
as he is, Q always proves to be a humorous and witty entity. Sometimes
I wonder if I have been watching Star Trek far too long. I won't
start worrying until I find myself searching costume shops for Spock ears.
I had yet another crazy dream last night. I was
rebuilding my carburetor with the assistance of the cartoon cast of Rocko's
Modern Life. Sheesh! I played Windows Solitaire on my computer for
most of today. I also reflected on life in general. Alas, we didn't have
turkey for dinner. However, ambiance for the sake of ambiance is not really
necessary for me to give thanks for the course my life has taken. It does
seem odd, though, that we allocate only one day out of 365 to actually
give thanks for anything. This seems to be an inherent characteristic of
human nature. We take things for granted most of the time, and then we
offer only a modicum of gratitude to satisfy our conscience. Hopefully,
the spirit of appreciation will continue to permeate throughout our lifetime.
Friday November 29
I think the LoserNet forms problem has finally
been solved. I would still like to thank all who wrote in and inadvertently
became anonymous. Also, many thanks to email@example.com
and SteveMc@ix.netcom.com for sending early B-day greetings to the
ol' lavahead. I can only wonder if I will hear from the Klingon Institute
this year. Happy Thanksgiving Day from all of us at LoserNet!
Today was the ol' lavahead's birthday, and it
was nice and quiet. Baby gave the ol' lavahead another present ... a Star
Trek: TNG mouse and mousepad! Sadly, it was a serial mouse, which won't
work on my computer. We will try to find the bus version next week. Can
you imagine what an handsome addition that mouse would make to my beloved
notebook computer? Baby also made a special Lasagna dinner, which was delicious.
I didn't want her to do anything special because that is not necessary.
After all, I am merely a non-entity. Wait! The Klingon Institute sent B-day
greetings ... "Quchjaj qoSlIj. DuQuchmoH neH jajvam 'e' wItulbej." Hey,
thanks again, Worf!
Saturday November 30
The days are passing by quickly. I should be able
to tie up any last-minute business before Wednesday. Baby's birthday is
next Friday. I've already presented her with the plane tickets, so maybe
we will go out and get a nice dinner somewhere. I have been apprehensive
about my departure for some time, but now I look upon it with guarded anticipation.
I am very excited about baby's visit this Spring break. I want to show
her my home and have her meet my family. This will give her a better idea
of the kama'aina lifestyle. I'm sure that she will enjoy her stay
at least as much as The Bull did last year. We have much more to plan out.
In some respects, the next three months will be very long. Yet, in other
ways, I know that time will pass by too quickly once again.
I have been waiting all week to see The Tick
but it was not on again. What is going on here? At least I had Fodgers
and doughnuts to placate myself. Baby went to help out her friend at her store.
Apparently, the Duke Nukem CD was left in the computer there. If I had
gone with baby, I would have been able to play Duke Nukem. I forgot
to mention that I tried to download Duke for the third time but the transfer
stopped midway again. When will I ever learn? Baby and I went to the gym
later in the afternoon. I cannot believe how much I struggled to complete
my minuscule workout. I have become a weakling. Well, hey! That goes without
saying ... I'm a computer nerd! I don't need to bench press a ton of iron
to be able to operate a mouse anyway.
Sunday December 1, 1996
I was happy to receive a letter from Big John.
You know, he has been one of the few friends to keep in touch. I have not
heard from most of my other friends, even though I have dropped them a
line. I actually hear more from my virtual homeys. Of course, I have been
derelict in my duty to respond by e-mail. I could blame that on my pathetic
Telnet client. I guess I am only thinking about that because I realized
that I will not know anyone in Hawai'i. It will take a while to establish
new friendships. I'll have the rest of my life to do just that.
I woke up late, but I did not miss out on Fodgers
and doughnuts, thank goodness. I wasted most of the day doing nothing,
as usual. I even played Wolfenstein, although I neglected to save
the game. We went to the gym later in the afternoon. Frank, one of the
aerobics instructors, talked to me for a bit about Hawai'i. He spent a
number of years in the islands before moving to Oregon ten years ago. When
I talk about Hawai'i with other people, I get more homesick. I especially
miss the islands when the discussion turns to island food. Ho boy!
Monday December 2
I am not feeling particularly despondent about
my departure next week. I thought that I would feel quite a bit of anxiety
by now. I am looking forward to being home. This will be the first time
that I have actually unpacked my suitcase since the alleged stalking incident
five years ago. Perhaps I am getting a little ahead of myself. I am sure
that other issues will come up once I am there. I will never fully be comfortable
until I have my own place (that I actually own). In Hawai'i, that is an
almost unrealizable dream. Well, the best thing to do is to take one step
at a time. I am already inundated by the tasks at hand, and I can only
sit and wait for now.
I have had increasingly vivid dreams every night.
Well, the dreams are vivid enough to make my ears ring, but I cannot remember
much about the content. Sheesh! Baby and I went to Burger King for lunch.
Whoppers, our way, of course! I don't know why, but my Whopper tasted extremely
good today. Baby and I had another misunderstanding last night. We resolved
it fairly quickly. I think we are acutely aware of our limited time left
Tuesday December 3
I mailed off my last package to Hawai'i. Whatever
is left, I will be taking with me on the plane. I called moms to let her
know when I was coming in. I know that she does not have an answering machine.
I wanted to purchase one and bring it back. Moms doesn't want me to put
an answering machine on her phone line. How else will I get a message from
potential employers? I cannot argue with moms since that is her home. Now,
I will need to look for a cellular provider. Baby, her daughter and I went
to Egghead Software this evening. They played with some software. I spent
some time looking at a magazine which listed Net service providers (ISPs).
I am looking for a new ISP in Hawai'i. I was demoralized when I saw that
I could be paying close to $30 per month for access. Does it look like
I am made of dough? I am not sure whether my future job at Burger King
will enable me to afford all of these luxuries.
went along with baby to Circuit City so she could return the Star Trek
mouse. We also found out that there were no bus-type versions available.
A very sad situation indeed. I signed up with a new insurance company for
my six-four. Then, I played Wolfenstein for the rest of the day.
What else could I do after forking out a lot of dough for car insurance?
We had Bush's Chili Magic for dinner. I like the Chili Magic, but it really
is not the same as the plain ol' Bush's baked beans. After all, the Festival
of the Baked Beans is nothing without it.
Wednesday December 4
After dinner, baby, her daughter and I went to
Egghead Software again. I am glad to see that everyone is getting into
the computer nerd spirit. Other people go to the movies ... we go to Egghead
and play with all the demonstration software. Well, hey! At least it's
free! I also saw the big Duke Nukem display there. That inspired
me to attempt yet another download of Duke. As usual, I was toyed with
by the sinister force. I tried three times, and each time I was thwarted.
Now, I ask, is it that important to have Duke Nukem?
weather made a turn for the worse. It rained most of the day. Baby and
I stepped out to run a minimum of errands. Later, we went to the clubhouse
to watch Rocko's Modern Life. After dinner, we went back down to
the clubhouse to watch Star Trek: Voyager. Tonight's episode was
excellent, and it was the first time Ensign Harry Kim had the starring
role. As you can see, not much is going on here as I wind things down.
I spend a lot of time in the day engrossed in thought about my new life
in Hawai'i. I have been putting myself in every possible scenario. My favorite
scenario is when moms gets fed up with the ol' lavahead because he can't
seem to find a job. In a way, my life will make Chris Elliot's sitcom,
Get a Life!, seem like a documentary. Sheesh!
Thursday December 5
I don't know if anybody remembers my short-lived
entry into the publishing world. Well, I may actually make a comeback.
I plan to peddle The Loser Living Upstairs soon, while baby will
continue editing the novel that we collaborated on. I also have a new project
that is perfectly mindless enough to be an adventure series on the tube.
I only hope that we can get back on track with these projects because this
has been something I have wanted to accomplish for a long time. Perhaps
baby and I made a logistical error by spending all this time together.
Frankly, we did very little work on the novel in the last few months. If
we had persevered through that time, we probably would just be receiving
our first slam letter right now. Ho boy! As with anything else, only time
There was not much to do today. Baby and I stayed
in since it was pouring down rain outside. We ate Trader Joe's granola
for lunch. I took baby and her daughter to dinner at Lin's China Jade.
It was a farewell dinner of sorts. I really wasn't in the mood for the
dinner, though. It made me keenly aware of how many days I have left here.
Before dinner, I spent some time looking over my voluminous works from
The Loser Living Upstairs through the Keeper of Lost Lives
series. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I made it through those
times relatively unscathed. I actually did a spell check on the whole journal,
and I spent several hours FTPing the proofed files. I don't know why I
was wasting precious time doing that, especially since LoserNet's time
may also be numbered.
Friday December 6
I had a chance to reflect on my so-called life
over the past few days. Reading the old journals helped to jog my memory.
I have lived two distinctly different lives this year. Now, I am about
to pass into yet another within a few days. There is a still part of me
left in Convalescent City. I have gone through many adventures there. After
six months in Oregon, I will leave here with a heavy heart, too. My existence
is a strange one, albeit obscure. Sometimes I just wish I was in Hawai'i
already and, at other times, I feel as though I am making a big mistake.
I am sure that it will all hit me like a ton of bricks the minute I step
on the plane.
I had a strange dream last night, which left me
exhausted. I only remember one part in which someone was being pummeled
while submerged in a yellow slime. I may have been the person doing the
pummeling. Kevin called this evening to say farewell ahead of time. We
talked for quite a while. It was Kevin who reminded me that we had only
met this Summer. The conversation made me realize the value of LoserNet
because it has been instrumental in making several new homeys. In fact,
I would not be in the Northwest if it was not for LoserNet. Baby went to
the gym while I talked with Kevin. I went down to the clubhouse and did
a mediocre workout while I watched the tube. I think I am becoming a tube
fanatic. I need to buy a 32-inch Sony along with a DSS satellite dish.
Saturday December 7
Baby's birthday was today and many of her friends
and family called to wish her well. She also received a few presents in
the last few days. Baby's friend came by later in the evening to wish her
well, too. They talked while I played with my beloved computer and ate Trader
Joe's granola. I didn't mind since they are renewing their friendship after a
brief and painful hiatus. Guys call that "bonding," by the way. I had a scary
thought. Does the x-ray machine at the airport wreak havoc on computer's hard
drive? Can you tell that I am worried about my beloved computer? Lord have mercy!
I woke up with a sore throat and congestion, and
I was extremely groggy. It looks like I have a cold. I have not been sick
for a long time. Baby and I had another misunderstanding last night. I
believe that we are both a lot more tense than we are letting on. I am
looking less forward to my departure as the hours count down to Monday.
I have accomplished very little of what I wanted to get done. I can only
wonder if things will change once I am in Hawai'i. You know, there was
absolutely no reason why I could not have done everything (including looking
for a job in Hawai'i) from here. With the advent of wireless communications
and the Net, one would be hard-pressed to find suitable excuses. Say, isn't
Burger King on the Web? I also had a lot of time to complete my manuscript
submissions. Instead, I piddled away valuable time by practicing my old
man noises. Sheesh!
Sunday December 8
This will be my last Fodgers and doughnuts weekend,
at least for a while. I didn't actually enjoy the festivities, partly because
I am sick. Baby and I went to her friend's store in Sellwood. This was the first
time that I saw it. I also played Duke Nukem on the store's computer.
The processor was not fast enough for the game. There was no mouse driver,
so I had to use the keyboard. Frankly, I am not at all certain now what
all the hype was about. I cannot believe that I spent so much time trying
to download Duke. Baby and I did a short workout in the clubhouse. Then,
we spent the rest of the night sitting on the couch drinking hot water.
Well, hey! I'm an old guy! I am feeling claustrophobic again and I know
why it is happening. Sometimes I have to wonder if I am in full possession
of my faculties.
Fodgers, doughnuts and Rocko's Modern Life!
What a way to end my stay here! Baby and I did not do much today. What
is there really to do? We went to Egghead Software, but I was not in the
mood for any nerd stuff. Later, we went to the gym for one last workout
together. And, we did some mediocre cardio in the clubhouse and watched
Star Trek: DSN. I also called home. My sister-in-law will meet me
at the airport in Honolulu tomorrow. My bro said that he'll restore my
monk haircut. Moms mentioned that my six-four is already there. It looks
like all my Toilet Ducks are lined up in a row.
And The Keeper Keeps On Going And Going ...
I have been more observant of my surroundings in
these last few days. I guess I want to remember what this place looks like
since I have called it my home now for over five months, albeit a temporary
one. Perhaps I have been here too long. I have already been making some
contingency plans. For example, I may fly back to Portland in a month or
two if I get the opportunity. Therefore, I am leaving my favorite pair
of shoes here. If I can take care of all the mundane stuff, send out some
résumés, and prepare my manuscript submissions, then I can
take a little time off while I wait for replies (read: slam letters). All
I'll need is an ISP and a cellular phone. Sheesh! I spent the rest of the
evening packing what little I have. My journal, my computer, my six-four,
my six-five and I will continue on into the new life. I can only hope that
everything will turn out okay, not just for me but also for baby. Many
thanks, too, to all my virtual homeys who provided a lot of support. I'll
see y'all in Hawai'i!
The Keeper finally makes the big move home, but
the uncertainty continues to build. Add the sinister kahuna to the
mix and ... Ho boy! Follow The Keeper as he discovers Paradise
The Keeper of Lost Lives: Absolute Value Equals Zero
42-Year-Old Virgin ... Tralfaz
Baby ... Herself
And a cast of thousands!
© Copyright 1996 by the 42-Year-Old Virgin
LoserNettm Love It, or Lose It.