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10-23-00

Because I have an early class, I've developed a pattern of waking up for the class and then returning to sleep as soon as I get back from it. For some reason, this period of unconsciousness, which lasts from about 10am until noon, produces a wide variety of odd and/or hilarious dreams. The dream I had this morning falls under the "odd" category, as it was a movie called "Picasso." Bill Murray starred in a surprisingly serious turn as a man named Picasso, who, for whatever reason (the dream was admittedly rather vague in some parts), was working to stop a series of brutal murders committed by an unidentified man known only as the "Ground Stalker." But Picasso's psychological past raises an interesting question: Could he himself be this "Ground Stalker"--the very man he's trying to stop? While I don't want to give away the thrilling ending incase you happen to have the exact same dream, let me just say that "Picasso" is a shoe-in for this year's Annual Dream Awards. A lot of people didn't think Bill Murray could play a character who was such a diversion from his many comedic roles, but he did a marvelous job.

The only problem I have with this sleeping pattern of mine is that the class in between resting is always a blur to me later on. I try to look over my notes, but they make no sense whatsoever. Like, there'd be a diagram of the human ear, and then an arrow would point from that to the word "incongruent," which would, of course, be underline twice for no apparent reason. That would then be followed by a timeline of the history of the printing press, which would inevitably have no possible correlation to the class.

10-20-00

Due to a series of unexpected circumstances, I am now a volunteer for a program called "Read to Succeed," which helps teach kids how to read. Now, I know what youíre thinking: "But Eric, you hate children." Listen, itís kittens I hateónot children. Letís get our facts straight here, alright? Those little mewing kitties always stumbling around with bows in their hair, drinking milk from a little bowl. . . . Man, how can people stand those things? Bob Barkerís right: We need to control the pet population.

Actually, Iím kidding about hating kittensóIím only human, after all. But Iím not kidding about volunteering to tutor children, which might seems surprising. Frankly, Iím not even sure how I ended up in this position. Thatís weird.

Speaking of crime-fighting dogs, whatever happened to McGruff, the number-one crime-fighting dog there ever was? Back when he was taking a bite out of crime, kids would be too scared to break the law. "Hey, Jimmy, letís go steal some candy from Old Man Wilsonís place." Then Jimmy would be like, "Dude, are you kidding? With McGruff roaming the streets? Count me out." As I recall, I believe McGruff had an illegitimate puppy (in cartoon form) about five years ago and then slowly disappeared from the spotlight. Iíll tell you, though, he had one hell of a career.

10-15-00

On Friday I ushered at MSUís basketball arena for the first time. My two hours of formal usher training were put to the test as I stood around for three and a half hours and did absolutely nothing, making this the third consecutive job Iíve had where I donít have any kind of real purpose. The only way my next job is going to be any easier is if I am literally supposed to just stand around in a field or something all day. Meanwhile, at my job controlling parking for MSUís football games, Iíve decided that people really hate people who control parking at MSUís football games. Hell, Iíll see somebody across the street wearing the same little orange blazer I am and think, ďMan, look at that loser over there. Christ, what a loser. Iím glad Iím not like . . . wait a minute.Ē Yesterday, for instance, for about an hour after the football game, I had to force people coming out of some parking structure to turn right instead of left, like everybody apparently wanted to. People were like, ďOh my God! I need to pick my daughter up from ballet! I will kill you in your sleep!Ē Iíd say, ďListen, pal, I canít let you turn left. Youíre just going to have to go around the block.Ē Then theyíd be like, ďI will eat your future children! You do not know the meaning of pain! You will burn in the fiery pits of hell!Ē Apparently, my blazer does not resemble a symbol of authority, though I find more people listen to me when I chew gum. Iím thinking of getting some sunglassesóthen people would know to do what I say. ďRich, you better turn right like he says. The man has sunglasses for Peteís sake.Ē

Man, these recent Guestbook entries have become out-of-hand. And yet, there remains a question: Who is responsible for them? My moneyís on Bobbo (Abdullah the butcher).

10-9-00

A few months ago, I invented a recipe involving Vernors that's changed my life. I call it "Hot Vernors." While I cannot list all the complex steps to making this tasty beverage, as they include using space-aged "Microwave" technology, I will say that it requires one cup of Vernors brand soft drink, a heating source and a sense of adventure. The end result is a spicy, cider-esque drink fit for any chilly winter morning. Rumors suggest that Dr. Pepper can also be supplemented, creating a kind of "Hot Dr. Pepper," but I have not yet tested the viability of this.

I recently learned via a dictionary that "to spend a penny" means to urinate. For example, if one says, "Excuse me, I have to go spend a penny," it likely means that they are headed off to the bathroom. To me, this is fascinating slang, and Iíve been using it ever since.

Hey, whatever happened to those little smiley-faces created using grammatical symbols on the keyboard? Back in 1996, those things were all the rage. People were all, "Oh, thatís cool." And then theyíd hit you with a ":)" at the end, and youíd be all, "Wow, dude, you just smiled at me via a colon mark followed in kind by an end parenthesis sign!" And then youíd hit them up with a ";)" and theyíd be all, "No! Man, you freakiní winked at me! Dude! Itís like I can see your face on my computer!" I think what happened was that people tried to get too fancy. They were like, "OK, hereís Jesus wearing a baseball cap and juggling bowling pins," and theyíd proceed to list about 80 jumbled keyboard symbols. "Alright, now hereís a smiley-face that looks like a Civil War reenactment."

Now if youíll excuse me, I have to go spend a penny. ;)

10-3-00

A few days ago, I noticed something that I was appalled by. In East Lansing, there is no "Preview Channel"--or "TV Guide Channel" as it is now called--on the local cable providerís basic service. While I thought nothing of this at first, I slowly found that I could not reliably enjoy using a television without this convenient ever-scrolling service. In the old days, back when I took the channel for granted, I would think to myself, "Hey, I wonder whatís on channel, say, 66." I would then turn to the TV Guide Channel, which would now be revealing what was on channel 2, wait the short 7 hours it took for it to scroll up to 66, and later find out that some crap I didnít want to watch was on 66. But even though I didnít want to watch it, I knew what it was. And it was a glorious time.

Flash-forward to East Lansing. Sitting on my chair, one of the rare furniture items in my dorm room, I'll think to myself, "You know, I could really go for watching channel 37 (which happens to be BET up here), but I have no idea whatís on. So Iíll just simply turn to the TV Guide Channel and. . . ." Then I realize that there is no such channel here, and I am torn between throwing my remote and crying. This happens every time I try to watch TV, and it is a vicious cycle. For the TV Guide Channel is not just a reliable source of programs that are currently on. There is also a reliable clock on that channel which I used to use to set my clock-radio. And while you wait for your desired channel to scroll up, you get to watch entertaining commercials and informative previews in a tiny, tiny little box in the corner of the screen. But itís so much more than that. Sometimes, when the channel I was inquisitive about came up, I continued to watch the TV Guide Channel as it endlessly scrolled on and on, never-ending, always ready to divulge the secrets it held. And when it scrolled up to its own channel and revealed that "The TV Guide Channel" was currently showing the "TV Guide," I would feel a sense of well-being that no other channel can provide. I recommend that all of you who have the TV Guide Channel should cherish what you have, and watch it non-stop for days at a time.

Yesterday, this really, really seedy guy came by my dorm room with a little slip of paper with my name, Student ID number and a bunch of other information and asked me if I wanted to register to vote. All I had to do was sign my name, fill in my date of birth and then return the paper to the psycho and supposedly I was registered. I did as he asked, more out of fear than anything else, and so I guess I am now set to vote. My current plan to vote for the President who is most in favor of making the TV Guide Channel a mandatory service of all cable providers.