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4-26-01

Next week is Finals Week—or Sweeps Week, as I like to call it—and for a lot of people that means three things: studying, studying and studying! Personally, however, I’ve never been hip to this whole studying tactic. Instead, I always opt to come to class on the day of the final completely unprepared and then—and only then—do I break out my patented secret: a panel of four of the most renowned guessers who live inside my head. I read a multiple-choice question and then the four of them interpret the tricky double meanings each answer possesses, analyze the merit of each choice based solely on wording and then, finally, compute the statistical probability of whether an ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘D’ or the tricky ‘E’ is most likely to be the correct response based on previous guesses (“Sir, we’ve just answered ‘B’ twice in a row—there’s no way they’re hitting us up for a third ‘B’). For the first few questions, this method usually works fine. However, by around the 6th or 7th question, a split decision almost always arises—it’s either two vs. two or, in some rare cases, 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 vs. 1. These split decisions are usually followed by a ten-minute battle of internal fisticuffs, after which many panelists are too injured to continue guessing. I then must recruit some Spanish-speaking expert guessers, which always leads me down the path to confusion, as I don’t speak Spanish, and neither do any of the other panelists. They’ll say, “Did you say the answer is ‘C’ or ‘Si’? And quit using complex verbs, Carlos. We can’t understand you.” Having Spanish-speaking panelists is probably the reason approximately one third of my write-in answers are written in Spanish. More importantly, it’s probably the reason I usually do poorly on tests. I mean, how can I consult a guessing expert who lives inside my head if he can’t speak my language? Give me a break. So, basically, I’m either going to have to start studying like everybody else or simply learn Spanish.

I won’t be sure if this post makes any sense or not until tomorrow, because I haven’t gotten any sleep in the last 30 cubic hours. (Scholar’s Note: One cubic hour equals time * the Residence Interval (RI) of floods in Arizona * the % hypertextuality—which is almost always 100.) Fortunately, in only 218.7 cubic hours, I will be done with Sweeps Week. That’s a relief, because Sweeps Week is awful waffle.

4-21-01

Somebody pulled the fire alarm Thursday night at about four in the morning, and so everyone had to go outside and wait for the imaginary fire to be put out. Nobody’s sure who pulled the alarm, but I highly suspect it was Jerry Seinfeld, because who else could be capable of just fantastic wit? Pulling the fire alarm when there is no actual fire is an absolutely brilliant social commentary. I mean, think about it: Whether they wanted to sleep or not, everybody had to go outside at 4am and wait around. That’s comedy, man. Unless … wait a minute, pulling the fire alarm when there is no fire isn’t funny at all. In fact, it’s kind of the trademark of an asshole. The irony is that, if it turns out the Christians are right about the afterlife, the person who pulled the fire alarm is going to burn in hell.

Speaking of religion, the film Hollow Man is really stupid. I say “speaking of religion” because the characters kept making references to “playing God.” He turned invisible. How the hell is that playing God? If you’re cloning things, people could make an argument that you’re playing God. If you’re tinkering with genetics in future children, alright, fine, people could remark that you’re playing God there, too. But if you simply become invisible to the naked eye, that’s not playing freakin’ God—that’s just turning invisible. Nobody thinks that any God created existence by turning invisible. You just can’t make existences that way.

4-18-01

Looking for a fun way to increase your risk of dying every day by about 2,000%? I recommended Rollerblading. Personally, even though I’ve had my Rollerblades for years, I’ve managed to almost die every single time I’ve ever used them. The problem lies in their design: they’re shoes with wheels on them. This makes it impossible to stay balanced or stop on command. You are not allowed to dictate where you go with these things—you merely make suggestions. Sometimes my Rollerblades don’t feel like stopping at my classes, so I just kind of ride it out and see where they’re taking me. Usually it’s to a busy intersection, or to Canada, or to a busy intersection in Canada. This often leads to memorable adventures, but it rarely leads to me getting to class on time.

Oh, sure, you might see people on in-line skates who look like they’re in control, but it’s all a facade. These people are merely pretending to be elegant, when in reality they are fearing for their lives. I know. I’ve been there.

On another topic, there has been an incredible amount of ants running around my dorm room lately. Since there’s not really anything to eat, all they are able to consume are their dead friends. After they do that, they usually run around some more and look for a place to die, whereupon other ants eats them. Somehow, they’ve managed to survive all of this, and in fact they seem to be multiplying. I don’t know where they’re coming from, but they’re getting really annoying. This morning, for example, I woke up early because one of the ants had bit my goddamn leg. He bit my leg! Excuse me for trying to sleep in my own freaking bed. What, did he think he would kill me? There’s no way a little ant could have killed something that’s about eight hundred thousands times bigger than he was. Man, ants are so stupid. It’s a miracle they’ve survived as a species as long as they have. What’s they’re secret? They never know where they’re going, they only eat the dead bodies of their family, and they’re constantly trying to kill animals that are way bigger than they are. And think about it: If you were the queen of an ant colony, you would send out your smartest ants to scavenge for food. This means that the ants we see are the most clever ants alive, and that somewhere down in that little anthill are ants who don’t even know how to run around in a circle looking for dead insects to eat. And how long have ants been around? Forever. Maybe this whole “science” thing humans are working on isn’t the answer. Maybe we should mindlessly run around and try to bite wild bears on their legs. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

4-12-01

Due to circumstances beyond my control (laziness), I am now in a position where I must write no less than six analytical essays over the course of these last four weeks of school. Thankfully, for some of the essays due in his class, my English professor helped everyone out with some pointers in an engaging piece of email he sent. “These are all texts,” he wrote, “that have a distinct hypertextuality about them: does this mirror how we read?” You see, sometimes he forgets things, like when he forgot that “Hypertextuality” is not a word. He’s from Canada, though—maybe that’s a word in Canada. All I know is that I looked the word up in 20 different dictionaries and they all just shrugged back at me, adding, “As far as we can tell, that’s just one of those words retarded people say to sound like they’re talking about something important.” I said, “Oh come on, you’re just being hypertextual.”

Here’s a quick recipe for insanity I developed: stay up all night reading a book written by Jean Baudrillard (a name pronounced using about a third of the actual letters) called America and then write an essay on it. Here is an actual sentence from the text: “Akin to the nostalgia for living forms that haunts geometry.” If you’re wondering, no, I didn’t take that sentence out of context. It was written out of context. It doesn’t relate to anything, and it is impossible to make sense out of, let alone write an essay on.

So to combat this problem of having to read books that were written by authors who randomly banged their heads on a keyboard, I have developed several surefire tips for writing analytical papers:

--Randomly locate an obscure word in the dictionary that nobody has every heard of. Next, stick the prefix “quasi” in front of it and the suffix “ism” at the end of it and include it in your thesis. Make sure that the resulting sentence doesn’t make any sense.

--Call lots of things paradoxes. Bonus: call the fact that something is a paradox a paradox in and of itself.

--Use old-English words like “therefore” and “thus" until your essay reads like an old Shakespearean play.

--Instead of using periods, commas or the letter ‘k’, use semicolons. They make you sound smart; semicolons are fresh.

--Say that the book you read had a lot of “hypertextuality.”

--Start every single paragraph with the word “ultimately.”

Using only a few of these tips, here is an example of a sentence you could make: “Ultimately, the quasi-calcitrationisms of Baudrillard’s America lead to a paradoxical hypertextuality.” What does this sentence mean? Hell if I know. The beauty lies in the fact that your professor wouldn’t know either, but would pretend like he did in order to sound smart. No professor will ever say, “Wait a minute, this sentence is just a bunch of meaningless literary buzzwords randomly strung together,” because this is exactly how English professors talk themselves. In this way, they’re very hypertextualized.

4-8-01

When they began making an all berry Cap’n Crunch, I was sure Jesus Christ would intervene. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, all berries? Seriously, guys, don’t you think you’re over doing it?” That many berries just seems unhealthy. They don’t make an all-marshmallow Lucky Charms for a very good reason: You would die after eating a single bowl. But if a bowl full of Cap’n Crunch’s berries isn’t bad for you, why couldn’t they have done that ten years ago? Why did they hold back on us? Was the world not ready for all berries until now?

I’m retarded, so I decided that it would be a good idea to spend five minutes of my life visiting the Cap’n Crunch website for some more information. However, upon going there, I discovered that you have to register a Cap’n Crunch.com account to access the “exclusive cool areas.” Why? According to their registration page, “For security reasons.” They might have been kidding about that explanation, but I couldn’t tell—these Cap’n Crunch.com people are pretty subtle. So after a long internal debate, I decided that it wasn’t worth registering in order to access the exclusive cool areas (including the questionably named “Fun Zone”), so I instead went to their “Support” section, where I was shocked to discover the answers to every question I have ever asked in my life. For example, question #3 is: “After years of adventuring, why isn't the Cap'n an Admiral yet?” Their answer:

"It is a little known fact that the Cap'n WAS an Admiral at one time. After a tremendous outpouring from his fans, the Quaker Oats Company decided to promote the Cap'n. But Admiral Crunch quickly became bored with his desk job at Crunch Headquarters. And after a small mishap with the Crunch Berrie and Crunch Biscuit machine (at the hands of two recently promoted new co-Cap'ns) he decided that he was truly the best one suited for the role as the Cap'n. He soon requested his old position again, and he went back to being the best Cap'n that Crunch Headquarters has ever had. He is much happier now!"

I had no idea that the Cap’n had so much history behind him, but this answer just raises more questions. What was this “small mishap” they refer to? What is a Crunch Biscuit machine? Who were these two new co-Cap’ns? These queries are all answered in the response to question #4: “Where did 'Oops! All Berries' come from?”

"Despite popular belief, 'Oops! All Berries' did not come from an incident at Crunch Headquarters with some mischievous kids. This flavor actually stemmed out of the Capn's promotion to Admiral. When the Cap'n was promoted, the Quaker Oats Company had to find new Capn's to fill the positions vacated by the newly promoted Admiral Crunch. During training at Crunch Headquarters, two new Capn's--Cap'n Scrinch and Cap'n Munch--were trying to learn how to man the Crunch Berrie and Crunch Biscuit mixing machine that put the two flavors together in the Crunch Berries boxes. While trying to impress Admiral Crunch, they fought over the control handles, breaking them, and creating Cereal Boxes with JUST Berries. Thankfully, the Admiral had his Art Department slap together a box front for the new cereal, which is now enjoyed by millions."

I guess that answers my question about why they waited until recently for an all berry Cap’n Crunch. Wait a minute, no it doesn’t, that was the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Can you believe somebody actually got paid to write that down? “Hi, what do you do for a living?” “Well, I’m the guy who invents Cap’n Crunch’s storied history. Remember the Soggies? That’s right—I created them.”

I think I just figured out what I want to do for a living.

4-3-01

Is it possible to have a Monopoly-themed lunch? According to the West Circle cafeterias, yes, it is. I don’t know how they did it either, because the board game Monopoly is in no way affiliated with food. One of the cafeteria attendants was even serving food behind a make-shift jail. It was kind of funny, but more than that, it was really sad. That person gets paid next to minimum wage to serve food through fake prison bars, and all because of the cafeteria’s sick desire to confuse everyone.

What is with themed meals, anyway? “Welcome to Landon cafeteria! Today is Spring Day!” Oh, Spring Day, eh? Is that why I’m paying over $1200 to eat at a crappy cafeteria? For special table clothes? “Hey, welcome to Landon cafeteria! Today is Construction Zone Day!” Construction Zone Day? What the hell does that even mean? I don’t understand! How does that relate do anything? If they insist on having themed meals, though, I have a suggestion: Edible Food Day. If they really wanted, they could even throw in some wacky hats to make it Edible Food and Wacky Hat Day. That way, everybody would win.

On another note, back when Tripod took Slacker Wannabes down, I emailed them and asked why. Recently, long after I stopped caring, they sent me this message:

Hello Eric,

Your web page was removed for Remote Loading, the practice of storing files in your member directory for access from other domains.

This practice is wasteful of our resources and inhibits the service levels that Lycos members with actual homepages can receive. As a result, your account was removed.

Remote Loading is specified as a violation in the Terms of Service that you agreed upon at the time that you registered with Lycos:

i) Use of a Member Web Page as storage for remote loading, or as a door or signpost to another home page.

For more information regarding our policies about Remote Loading, please go to the following link: http://help.lycos.com/LycosHelp/help/watchdog/htdocs/lycos_watchdog_2_help.htm

I’m not a big fan of computers, so I had no idea what Remote Loading was until they sent this. The funniest thing about them saying that I Remote Loaded or whatever was that I clearly didn’t, as I don’t have any other non-Tripod domains with which to access my member directory with. But, whatever, I don’t really care anymore. You win, Tripod—I Remote Loaded, and you caught me.

My favorite part about their message is when the say, “This practice is wasteful of our resources and inhibits the service levels that Lycos members with actual homepages can receive,” which cleverly suggests that my site was not an “actual homepage.” They’re like, “Hey, why don’t you get an actual homepage? I’m sick of you goddamned kids and your fake homepages.” I bet you there’s a part of their Terms of Service that’s like:

2b-17) A Tripod member shall herein not register a Tripod Member Directory for use with a false homepage, or a homepage that is not otherwise real in all capacities. False homepages are to be removed immediately and without notification, as agreed upon in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In conclusion, Tripod is insane.

4-1-01

I’ve figured out the problem with most of my classes: my professors are all complete idiots. Oh, I’m sure they’re nice people and everything, but they’re just so stupid. I swear to God not one of them can figure out how to operate the light switch panels. Every single time we watch a video in any of my classes, it takes them at least ten minutes to figure out how to turn on enough lights for us to take notes and stay awake, but not so much that the video becomes difficult to see. They fumble around forever before calling their semi-retarded TA’s over, who always eventually settle on the worst possible combination, such as having the light nearest to the screen turned on and all of the other lights turned off, so that we can’t see what’s going on or take notes. And the microphone system? Forget about it. If they actually manage to turn on their microphone on a given day, within minutes they’ll be an ear-churning squeaking sound, and then the professor will start looking around the room real quickly, as if to say, “Who’s doing that? What’s going on?” Well I don’t know, maybe you’re speaking too close into the mike for the 48th consecutive time in a goddamned row. I wouldn’t be mad with all of this, but these are supposed to be smart people. I don’t understand what’s wrong with them. How is it that they are teaching at the college level when they can’t operate a VCR or focus a projector? And how come they can’t learn how to do these things after 30 years of teaching? I’m sorry, but I can’t learn anthropology from somebody who can’t operate any technology that was created after 1973.

Incidentally, MSU lost their Final Four basketball game to Arizona, which I think means that students who attend Arizona University are, on average, better at playing basketball than people who attend Michigan State. The good news is that if Duke ends up beating Arizona, I’ll receive no less than $10 in MadCash thanks to a Pepsi bottle cap promotion. I’m not sure what MadCash is, or what one can purchase with it, but I’m pretty sure that this would be the greatest thing I have ever won.