Make your own free website on Tripod.com

email: wickensworth@hotmail.com

"If I had a nickel for every time somebody said they'd be rich if they received a nickel every time something happened, I'd be rich."

1-01-04

Goodbye, Tripod! eKarjala can now be found here!

10-27-03

This is what my mom emailed me recently: "I was disappointed in your additions to your web site. If you can't write more than one line, don't bother. I can't even believe it." Well, I've decided that eKarjala will return soon, but it might be more differenter than ever. When will it return, you ask? The begining of January, I reply. As a matter of fact, let's say the very first of January. This is when eKarjala will return. And you know what? I'm fine with that. Until then, I may not update at all, or I may just update in single lines. So believe it. Please believe it, mom.

9-18-03

Alright, Eeyore, we're all sick of your goddamned moping. Put a gun to your head already.

Woah, where did that come from?

9-02-03

Hey, wait a minute! Tuna fish smells like cat food, it's the same price as cat food, and it comes in the exact same little tin as cat food. Wake up, people! We’re eating cat food here!

1-13-03

I just realized that, for all its magnificent glamour, Wheel of Fortune is basically just a glorified version of hangman.

10-20-02

I know it’s bad when every single one of my updates starts off by saying, “Oh my God, you guys, I’m sorry I haven’t updated in so long!” and then ends by proclaiming, “I promise I’ll update again soon!”—only to have the terrible cycle continue. It’s a good thing that I have a personal webpage and not a newspaper, because I think half of the editions’ front page would include the headline: “Oh my God, you guys, I totally forgot to report on the news today! You have no idea how much homework I’ve had to do lately! I promise there will be news tomorrow!!!!!111"        

In compliance with the philosophy of updating, I’ve created a new article entitled: “What Are All These Dumb Things I’ve Found in My Closet???

I promise I’ll update again soon!

8-18-02

A lot of buildings have emergency exits, which are like normal, practical exits, with one clever exception: You’re not allowed to use them. The only instance you’re allowed to use one of these amazing emergency exits is when there’s some sort of horrible disaster. I guess they’re worried that if you use an emergency exit when there isn’t an actual emergency, the door might not work correctly when there’s a fire or something. It’s as if they think you’re going to wear out the fucking door.

I don’t think these people understand how doors work. Doors aren’t like the chemical they use for fire extinguishers, which is finite and can be used up. Because of this, it makes sense to save fire extinguishers for when there’s a fire, and to not waste them just to spray your friends with as an hilarious practical joke. But doors can’t be used up. Nobody’s ever tried to leave a burning building and had to say to themselves, “Oh, great, this emergency exit is all gone! If only people hadn’t carelessly wasted it away when there wasn’t really a fire!” Doors don’t somehow disappear after you use them a few thousand times. Having an exit you can only use when there’s an emergency is like having a bed you can only use when you’re really exhausted, and the rest of the time you have to sleep on the floor.

The biggest reason I don’t like using the library at Michigan State is because literally 90% of the exits there are emergency exits. Whoever designed this building is convinced something terrible is going to happen to it. It's very frustrating having to walk five minutes out of my way just to use the special non-emergency exits. It's gotten to the point where I've started lighting bookcases on fire just so that I can get the hell out of there. 

6-21-02

I recently had to go to court to get sentenced for the now-infamous People of State of Michigan Vs. Eric Karjala case. I had thought my sentence would be little more than a slap on the wrist, but it turns out that it was more like a kick to the ass. One of the most special ed punishments I received was that I have to get randomly tested for drugs about once a week. This requires me to wake up at eight in the morning and drive out to Farmington, which currently ranks number one in eKarjala’s annual list of the ten most retarded cities in the world (followed closely by the nine nearest cities to Farmington). Last week I participated in my first drug test, and I found that they also made me take a breathalyzer test, in case I had decided to crack a few beers at seven in the goddamned morning.

For the drug test, they wanted me to pee in a cup, so I proceeded to go into the bathroom and shut the door. But the guy who was working there told me, “No, keep the door open. I need to make sure it’s actually your urine.” I was all, “What the hell are you talking about? How the fuck am I going to magically procure somebody else’s urine?” If they thought I was smuggling in a bag of pre-peed urine, they could have simply asked to check my pockets. But no, this guy’s job was to physically watch me pee. What Ivy League school did he attend to get involved with this line of work? There are homeless people who are overqualified for this profession.

The room I was peeing in had about fifty mirrors, so that he could see every single mathematical angle of my peeing performance. The pressure was clearly on. However, since I hadn’t drunk any liquids recently, I was only able to produce a minimal amount of urine. The Urine Guy literally reprimanded me about this. He said, “What are you doing? I can’t get a reading from this amount of urine. Throw that into the toilet and come back.”

Flash-forward thirty minutes later and I’m sitting in a parked car at a random Farmington gas station parking lot, waiting for the iced tea I had drunk to take effect. After I was confident I could pee a desirable amount, I drove back to the urine guy’s office and proceeded to unload a supply of urine fit for any king. He then takes it back into his office and has the nerve to tell me, with a completely straight face: “I’m sorry, this is too diluted. I can’t get a reading off of this. You must have drank to many liquids.”

Huh? Had I been transported to a bizarre fantasy world in which people could say something so retarded? Look man, if you’re not happy with my urine, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t really decide what’s on draft on any given day.

According to my sentencing, I will have to perform these tests on a random day of every week for an entire year. That means on any given day, I’m going to have to drop what I’m doing, drive out to Farmington, and piss in a cup. But it can’t just be any old piss—it has to be the perfect blend of piss that they demand. What makes this even more retarded is that they are charging me for these tests. Each time I take them, it will cost me about $20. But as for as I’m concerned, this is a service I’m providing them. People who know me know that my one policy in life is that if you want my urine, you’re going to have to pay me for it. When I used to go to my family doctor as a child and they wanted me to pee in a cup, in return they always handed me a cup full of animal crackers equal in mass to the amount of urine I had supplied them with. Where does Farmington get off charging me $20 for my own goddamned urine? What section of Consumer Reports is this bargain located at?

My exciting sentence doesn’t end with peeing into a cup, however. On June 25th I’m going to have to drive out to Novi to attend a “victim impact panel for drunk drivers” so that I can meet some of the victims who have been injured by drivers completely unlike myself. But wait, the fun doesn’t stop there! From July 18th to the 21st I’m going to have to attend a four day “Driver Intervention Program” at Hilton Garden Inn in Southfield Michigan. According to the information I’ve received, “I will not be allowed to leave the hotel or make any phone calls” at any time during these four days. So it’s kind of like prison, only you don’t get any phone calls and you have to pay $395 for it. So basically it’s a lot worse than prison.

In addition to these amazing punishments, I’ll have to pay over $600 in additional fines, be placed in probation for a year, and perform no less than 40 hours of community service by the 7th of September. If any of you people who live in Ann Arbor or the whereabouts (except Farmington) are affiliated with a legitimate non-profit organization, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to do some involuntary volunteer work. I’m totally serious about this. In fact, it would actually help me out. Simply email me for up to 40 free hours of non-profit work! It’s the bargain of a lifetime!

In other news, since I was feeling so down about the government which betrayed me, I decided to write a scathing critique of state flags in a segment I like to call The eKarjala State Flag Blowout! Take that, states!

6-7-02

It being summer like it is, I decided to get what is known as a summer job. After a painstaking job selection process, I selected the job of becoming a waiter at a place called Comedy Showcase, because they were literally the only organization in all of Ann Arbor which would hire me.

Becoming a waiter is a bad move by me, because I’m bad at acting friendly, I don’t listen well and I’m also a little clumsy. However, I do have a policy as a waiter which I think other waiters should aspire to, and that is to always hand people their checks face up. For some reason, most waiters assume that the amount you pay for your chicken Caesar salad must remain confidential, and they constantly hand back people's checks upside down. I think they feel that if they give you your check face up, the guy at the next table is going to be like, “Haha! You’re bill is $21.29! You little jerk!” But I really don’t think anybody cares what your tab is because it’s not sensitive information.

On another note, there’s now a new section to eKarjala from the people who brought you Archives: Letters. In today’s special edition, you will be treated to many delightful clipart images.

5-18-02

According to recent reports, I have not updated this site in awhile. I believe one of the reasons for this is because I’ve become embroiled in a legal scandal known only as “People of State of Michigan vs. Eric Karjala,” which has taken up quite a lot of my free time. When the court case began, I thought to myself, “Well surely the entire state isn’t against me on this one.” But when I showed up in court, every single resident of Michigan was there, most of them holding pitchforks and torches. The People of State of Michigan were clearly pissed off with me.

My tale of rebellious criminal activity originates last summer, when me and some of my chums were returning from a little place known as Canada. To make a long story short, we got pulled over in Farmington, Michigan for speeding, and, to make a short story even shorter, I was soon whisked away to a detainment cell. Prior to entering this cell, they forced me to empty my pockets, the contents of which included a comb. This was so that I couldn’t comb my hair while in the cell. They also took away my wallet, so that I couldn’t somehow construct a bomb using my Blockbuster video card and some Subway stamps, which had been my original plan. And in one last final act of humiliation, they inexplicably made me take off my shoes. I think this was because they suspected that if I tapped my shoes together three times, I could have summoned a magical wizard who would have helped me escape.

One might ask what I did to deserve these hours in the cell. One might answer that when they pulled me over for speeding, they gave me a breathalyzer test and I scored a .03 BAC. If you follow alcohol, this is approximately what you get when you sit across from a hobo on a public bus. There is no physical way a .03 BAC could affect somebody’s driving ability unless you are a kitten, and kittens shouldn’t really be driving in the first place. However, because I was 19 and a minor, this amount was enough to get me in trouble in accordance with Michigan’s Zero Tolerance policy. This policy means that, no matter what you do, they have no tolerance for it. They should create an A Little Bit of Tolerance policy, because I think having zero tolerance is pretty immature.

As it was, however, I was forced to attend what is known as a “pretrial.” This consists of you sitting on a chair in the hallway while your attorney and your prosecutor make jokes with each other in a separate room which you’re not allowed to enter. Sine they’ve all bumped into each other so often in the legal circuit, all the attorneys are good friends with all the prosecutors, and they aren’t really too concerned with what ends up happening to you. In my case, my attorney eventually told me to just plead guilty, which I did about a month ago. The People of State of Michigan had finally won, and townsfolk throughout the state immediately began celebrating their victory against me. Damn you, People of State of Michigan!

3-21-02

I just realized that my entire sense of morality is based exclusively upon a bunch of insane, illogical fables and fairy tales that I heard while growing up. Some of these might help explain why I’m so retarded.

The tortoise and the hare

This is the epic story of some sort of bizarre animal Olympics in which a turtle and a rabbit are racing each other. Everybody expects the rabbit to win, but the shit hits the fan when he decides to take a nap right before the finish line. The turtle eventually passes him and crosses the finish line first, winning the respect of the entire animal kingdom and establishing turtles as one of the fastest land animals around.

Moral: I think the moral of this story is supposed to be that slow and steady wins the race, but the only reason the turtle wins is because the rabbit took a fucking nap. There is no way to apply this to real life.

The boy who cried wolf: When a village discovers that their sheep are endangered of being eaten by a wolf, they make the decision to have the precocious, wise-cracking town trouble-maker guard them. Ever the comedian, this kid thinks that it would be a hilarious gag to say that there is a wolf when there really isn’t. Although he is proven correct, the town becomes pissed off at him, especially when he does it a second time. Since this town is full of mental retards, they elect to continue employing this cruel, completely unreliable wretch as their sheep-watcher. The twist is this: When a wolf really does come, nobody listens to the boy, because they think he is up to his old tricks. In the version I’m accustomed to, the wolf is content with just eating the sheep, but I was recently informed that the boy also gets eaten, which was very sad to me, and made me cry for two days.  

Moral: If you don’t tell the truth, you will probably die. Also, it might be a good idea to run a quick background check on who you hire to safeguard your town from wolves.

The three little pigs

There’s a wolf cavorting around pigtown, and he wants some bacon. Since most wolves have the magical ability to blow down buildings, this wolf decides to blow down a bunch of pigs’ houses (I don’t know why these pigs are living in houses). One of the pigs is autistic, and he makes his house out of straw, while another pig makes his out of wood, because I guess he wants to live in a cabin. The wolf blows both of these houses down, but he can’t blow down the third pig’s home, because he has built his out of bricks.

Moral: If your house is in jeopardy of being blown down by a wolf, you should probably hire somebody to be on the lookout. To avoid further problems, please refer to the previous story.  

2-10-02

There is nothing more depressing than watching a film made in the past which takes place in a future that has already happened. You can go out to Blockbuster Video right now and rent movies that take place in the distant future of 1998, and they’ll show how everybody is going to be cruising the streets in hoverboards and flying to Mars in private rockets. But making a movie that takes place a few years or so into the future and depicting such an advanced society is a lot like making a movie set back in 1990 and having everybody wearing top hats and driving Model Ts to their jobs at the monocle factory.

I recently watched a ludicrous movie called Strange Days, which was made in 1995 and takes place in 1999. In this magical future world of four years from when the movie came out, everybody has VR headsets, gas is $3 a gallon and widescreen TVs are in all the homes. I watched this movie and I was like, what kind of mental retard would assume that in four years technology would have advanced to the fucking VR headset level? Who’s the Nostradamus who decided that everybody would go out to Best Buy and buy a widescreen TV right after they left the theater? I’m no film director, but it doesn’t take Miss Cleo to realize that society probably wouldn’t have changed that much in only four years.

The worst part about movies that take place in the future is that the only things that have actually changed in real life remain exactly how they were when the film was made: hair styles and computers. In Alien, for example, everybody is flying around in outer space and making robots, but when they need to boot up their computer, it’s some sort of retarded Atari which takes up half of the entire ship. Good job, Alien, you successfully predicted that technology would improve in every area except the one area where it actually improved in. I’m not sure when Alien was supposed to take place, but it’s probably 1986 or something like that. Because that’s just the type of shit the film industry would try to pull.

1-24-02

My roommate Diego is from Ecuador, which is possibly why he prefaces every sentence with the phrase, “We have a saying in Ecuador.” For example he might say, “We have a saying in Ecuador: Please pass me the remote control.” Then I’ll say, “Diego, I really don’t think that’s a saying in Ecuador,” and he’ll get mad and say, “Eric, quit being such a bitch.” If you are skeptical of whether this is actually a typical conversation between me and Diego, you have obviously never seen us converse before. Our room is like a constant sitcom, only there’s a lot of swearing and hurt feelings, and nobody ever learns a valuable lesson.

Don’t get me wrong, when Diego is not embarrassing me in front of company or giving me instructions in the form of a series of incomprehensible whistles and hand gestures, he is a very good roommate. The problem is that he is continuously embarrassing me in front of company and giving me instructions in the form of a series of incomprehensible whistles and hand gestures. Still, I’ve always contested that Diego is very wise and mysterious. Nobody can comprehend the true nature of Diego.

In other news, you may have noticed that I removed the guestbook from this site. This is because, without a guestbook, I can now say such things as “I secretly want to see A Walk To Remember” without getting publicly humiliated on my own website. So if you kids have a question or comment you want me to hear, you can simply email it to me and I will respond to it on this site in a segment I ingeniously like to call “Mail.” But please do not email me just to make fun of me for wanting to see A Walk To Remember. It’s really not that big of a deal!

1-20-02

According to recent statistics, about 80% of all people who read eKarjala think it’s the worst thing to ever happen. These people absolutely hate this site, and they have made it their life's business to make sure that I know this fact. Here is a typical day in one of these peoples’ lives:

11:13 AM Wakes up and checks eKarjala, hitting refresh periodically incase I update while they’re visiting

12:45 PM Signs guestbook to write, “I can’t believe I just wasted my time to sign this guestbook. This site really sucks!”

1:05 PM Checks guestbook to see if anybody has responded to comment 

3:49 PM Makes joke to self about how stupid my last update was

5:00 PM Poetry hour

6:07 PM Rereads entire eKarjala archives

8:10 PM Prepares and consumes microwave burrito

8:31 PM Calls burrito manufacturer to complain that burrito tasted like crap and was a waste of time to eat

8:47 PM Drives to Kroger's to purchase two dozen additional burritos

10:58 PM Signs guestbook to make fun of how other people wasted their time signing the guestbook

12:52 AM Lights candles in Wickensworth altar located adjacent to bed

3:12 AM Checks to see if eKarjala has been updated.

3:32 AM Wishes their parents loved them

4:02 AM Falls asleep in a little ball in the corner of their room 

1-15-02

My classes are always really boring, which has forced me to discover several entertaining actives that can be performed while my teachers yak on and on about Islam or whatever the hell they like to talk about (I think it’s usually about Islam). Some of my favorites classroom activities are as follows:

Mental Tetris

This is a lot like regular Tetris, only instead of a Gameboy dictating what blocks you receive, you leave it up to your imagination. The weird part is that when I play Mental Tetris, you’d think that I’d give myself some useable shapes, but I really don’t. I always get one of those retarded mutant blocks that you can never find a place for, when all I really want is some goddamned lines. This usually leads to me punching myself in the head and shouting, “I want lines! Give me lines!” before I realize that I’m disrupting class. Then I quiet back down and begin a new game.

Crossword Puzzles

The irony about these things is that you’re doing them while a teacher is lecturing to you about things that could potentially be applied for future crossword puzzle usage. So the more crossword puzzles you do, the worse you get at them. I really don’t like crossword puzzles that much, because their clues are always something like, “24 Down: speaks lemon turtle?” Somehow, even though most of these clues could never make any human sense, I still feel like an idiot for not knowing the answer.

Doodling

This is a favorite activity of mine, despite the fact that I have the handwriting coordination of a six year old with arthritis. Usually I’ll draw a star or a three dimensional box or a combination of the two, but since I’m completely zoned out while I doodle, I never really know what surprising things my subconscious will have created. For example, just today I looked over my history notes and discovered that I had written “Satan is grand!” over and over again with my own blood. Fascinating!

Twirling Pencils

Often called “The Sport of Kings” in its native Europe, pencil twirling has a long and storied history. Since I’ve only recently began my personal career, I remain somewhat of a novice. However, one day I hope to be as good as the professionals, who can twirl a pencil in their hand at speeds of up to twenty miles per hour, then flip it into the air, perform a cartwheel, and catch it in their mouths. Incidentally, I’ve become very proficient at “mental twirling pencils.”

Watching Other People Take Notes

This is another favorite activity of mine. I find that people’s note taking habits are very fascinating, and monitoring their progress is thus an enjoyable way for me to fill up a class period. Sometimes I’ll even take notes on their note taking. “The girl in the red shit is underlining a term. Now she’s drawing some sort arrow. Wait—what’s this? Could it be? Yes! She’s using a highlighter! I don’t believe it!” I should add that I’ve found “mental watching other people take notes” isn’t as fun as one might think it is.

12-20-01

The most rewarding part about having my own site is definitely all the negative criticism I get in my guestbook. This is what I most enjoy about the World Wide Internet. In the real world, when you are wearing a t-shirt that people don’t like, nobody comes up to you and says, “Hey, asshole! That t-shirt is much uglier than the one you wore yesterday! What’s wrong with you?” Here, however, everybody is very excited about letting you know how much they dislike your website. For example, here is what somebody recently wrote in my guestbook: “This page used to be funny, but now it is truly lacking. What happened??” That is a very good question, and I appreciate that they took time out of their day to ask it. What happened was that people began to criticize the direction of eKarjala, and this sent me down a spiraling path into depression and sadness. Consequently, now I can no longer laugh, or know what it is to make others laugh. Also, now I can no longer truly love other people. And I’m not eating right anymore. Thanks for the question!

I really can’t figure out how a website like this can garner criticism. I mean, if you bother having an opinion about whether or not a personal site hosted by Tripod is getting less enjoyable, you really need to reexamine your priorities. For example, in the time it takes you to insult me on my guestbook, you could have fed a homeless man a sandwich, or bought me a sandwich, or took me and the homeless guy both out for sandwiches, which you would have treated us to because it’s the holidays and it’s the season of giving me sandwiches. I would have probably selected some sort of chicken sandwich, while the homeless gentleman would have likely preferred some sort of steak sandwich. Actually, I just lost my train of thought because I began thinking about sandwiches and now I’m really hungry. But I believe my point is simply like this: If you want to sign my guestbook, please feel free to take me out for sandwiches afterward.

12-10-01

The annual holiday known as Merry Christmastime is fast approaching, and I am in jolly spirits in anticipation of all the promised fig pudding. From what I know about Christmas, it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and it involves the myth of Santa Claus going from roof to roof to give presents to all of the good boys and girls (i.e., those who are not Jews). Santa Claus is probably Jesus’ fat, nutty uncles or something like that. I think somebody should give Santa Claus the following present: a fucking razor. To me, with his beard he looks like a hobo who found a big ass red suit in a dumpster and then stole a magical sled. Which may in fact be his actual origin; again, I really don’t know much about the history of Christmas.

I believe that there is a Christmas legend that has something to do with oranges, because my parents used to put an orange in me and my sibling’s stockings every year. My mom used to explain something or other about wise men or wandering in deserts or some shit, and how oranges related to that, but I never really paid attention. In retrospect, it’s likely that she made up the legend about oranges in order to gyp the kids out of extra stocking space. So to be honest, I’m not sure if oranges really have anything to do with Christmas. They probably don’t. This is probably another one of my parents’ lies. Just like that one about how you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.

When I was a very young lad, before I had fully caught onto my parents’ filthy lies about Santa Claus existing, there used to be many childhood theories amongst my peers regarding how Santa Claus managed to deliver all of those presents to all of the children. Some kids wondered how he got to every house in the world in one night, while others were more intrigued with how he managed to stuff his fat ass down a chimney. The answers to these questions usually came down to one of two possible scenarios: time-traveling or magic powder. Alternatively, some kids believed in the Multiple Santa Claus Theory (MSCT), which stated that there were thousands of independently operating Clauses working around the globe on Christmas eve, and that they were assisted by tiny, tiny people known as elves (or midgets, to be politically correct). Then we realized that our parents were really giving us the presents, and, sad and heartbroken, we learned never to trust anybody ever again. And that is the story of Christmas.

12-04-01

This site has recently surpassed the 10,000 hit mark, which can be attributed to its ability to attract the crucial “Random Person” demographic. These are people of an indeterminate age, gender and purpose who visit this site and often sign the guestbook with the most random messages humanely possible. Back in 2000, people used to sign the guestbook and simply say normal guestbook things, like “Hello Eric, I know you from school. Oh well, I don’t know what to say. Peace out.” It was a nice little guestbook system; they typed some shit, I read it, and we all went home at the end of the day and got on with our lives. Eventually, however, the guestbook turned into a strange and mysterious creature, and instead of tipping their hats to inside jokes that we shared, guestbook patrons began making up inside jokes that I didn’t really even understand. Oh, sure, I played along—I pretended to know who these people were and what they were talking about. But gradually the messages got more and more bizarre, until I began forgetting whose guestbook I was even reading. I would say, “Damn, whoever owns this guestbook must be one fucked up kid to be getting all of this nonsense. I’d hate to be this … ‘eKarjala’ guy.” Then about twenty minutes later I would realize that I was the owner of the guestbook, and I would be sent into a deadly spiral of confusion and betrayal. “National Socialism? Sunglasses at night? What the hell are these people talking about? What’s happening to me?”

These guestbook messages, however, make far more sense than the comments my English professors leave on my analytical papers. Apparently, there is a policy that all English professors must repeatedly bash their hands with a hammer before they grade students’ papers, so that all of their ensuing notes are impossible to read. Here is an actual excerpt (as best as I can decipher) from my professor's critique of a recent analytical paper I turned in: “A ver sard papir! How9w, ib lafer some of tower oven pg. 4, where mystopl, etc. Soeal sape!” Thanks, teacher, that clears a lot up for me. I know that asking these professors to print perfectly legibly would be too much to ask, because after all I am only paying tens of thousands of dollars to put up with this bullshit, but could they at least pretend like they’re writing neatly? Or was I absent on the day the professor passed out the fucking decoder ring?

11-27-01

Thanksgiving break has come and gone, and now everybody’s back here at school doing whatever the hell else people do at school (I believe they go on Ferris wheels and buy cotton candy, but I might be thinking of carnivals). For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Thanksgiving is a holiday which celebrates the anniversary of when Christopher Columbus flew down on his miraculous golden boat and made fast friends with the local savages (or Native Americans, as we call the savages today). Then Christopher Columbus created a time machine into the present to direct the film version of Harry Potter, which can currently be seen in theaters around the nation. I haven’t seen it yet, but I know it has something to do with Coca-Cola and worshipping cults.

On an unrelated topic , I would like to purchase the soundtrack to my alarm clock. It is by far the best sound that science has created. Sometimes I’ll set my alarm clock for a minute into the future just so I can hear the melodic sound of it going off. “Beep-beep! Beep-beeeeeep! BEEEEEEEEP!!!!” The rough translation of this sound into English is, “Hey asshole, guess what? It’s time to wake up, you little bastard! You’re such a bastard!” Hey thanks a lot, alarm clock. One day I’m going to get revenge on my alarm clock by randomly sneaking up on it and bashing it with my hand. “Hey alarm clock! Wake the hell up! Oh, wait, what’s that? You don’t like being woken up? That’s what I thought. You little bastard.”

Some people try to trick themselves into getting to class on time by setting their clocks a few minutes ahead, as if they are going to somehow fool themselves into thinking that it’s 8:30 when they know damned well that it’s only 8:25. So they just think to themselves, “Oh, well my alarm clock is fast, so really I have an extra five minutes,” and then they end up arriving at class the same time they would have anyway. So now not only are they late, they also had to do arithmetic.

I don’t think that people should lie to themselves about what time it is by setting their clocks ahead. If you get into the habit of doing that, you’re going to start lowering your gas tank gage to make it seem like you need gas when you really don’t, and changing your bathroom scale to make it seem like you need to lose weight when you really don’t. And then pretty soon you’re going to be living in a magical fantasy world where everything is skewed by your own fanatical perception, and you’re going to stop eating and sleeping and you’re going to just keep compulsively setting your clocks ahead more and more into the future. Setting your clocks five minutes ahead is the path to failure. You really just have to be true to yourself.

11-13-01

The Mario Kart 64 Robbery of 2001 has reached an inexplicable resolution. On this past Monday afternoon, the game, as well as the three controllers that had also been taken, mysteriously showed up in a plastic bag on one of my friend’s futon—exactly one week after it had been stolen. I still don’t know who the criminal was, but I do know that Mario Kart is back, and for once in my life, I nearly feel complete. All the Spanish-speaking kids who live in my hall will be ecstatic as soon as they learn that they get to play the game once again. Some of them had been becoming noticeably depressed. Everyday their eyes would get very hopeful and they would ask, “Eric, is … is el Mario Kart back?” I can’t wait to see the joy in their eyes when I tell them that it is. By the way, a special thank you goes out to everybody out there who has wished Mario Kart a safe recovery. That means a lot to me in the face of this horrible hate crime.

On another topic, taking a shower in a community bathroom is tricky business. For one thing, you have to wear pool shoes or waterproof sandals or something, because it is generally assumed that there is an inch-thick layer of gonorrhea encrusting the shower floor. For another thing, in my wing of Landon Hall there are only three showers: the one that’s freezing cold, the one that has no pressure and the legendary Third Shower, which is the Goldilocks “just right” shower that everybody yearns for. This turns the practice of taking a shower into a competitive game of musical chairs. But even the Third Shower has moments of inconsistency, because all community bathroom showers must legally provide a temperature roller-coaster thrill ride of excitement. If somebody takes a quick sip of water from a drinking fountain on the other side of campus, your shower could potentially turn into either a blazing downpour of liquid fire or an icy artic blast comparable to chewing Dentyne Ice™ brand chewing gum. When somebody goes so far as to flush a nearby toilet or use a neighboring shower, it’s anybody’s guess as to what your water temperature is going to be. MSU has a very bad pluming situation, and I’m pretty sure that all of the water here originates from the Red Cedar River. This could explain why tap water on campus tastes like ass. No wonder vending machines have the audacity to charge $1.25 for a bottle of water. Everybody wants to buy some non-ass water.

11-8-01

Tragically, somebody has stolen Mario Kart 64 from my dorm room. This is easily the worst thing that has ever happened to me, and I have spent the last four days trying to track down the criminal mastermind who could have done such a thing. So far I’ve narrowed the list down to the following people: everybody except myself. And sometimes late at night, I lay in my bed and I wonder if it was possible that I could have taken it after all. Because who’s to say that, in a fevered moment of panic, I couldn’t have destroyed Mario Kart on my own in a violent effort to sabotage my chances at ever living a happy life? I mean, how well do I even know myself?

Some might say that video games are a waste of time, but Mario Kart was enjoyed by everybody in the entire dorm. It brought together people of different genders, different races and different ethnicities (except the Turkish people, who weren’t allowed to play from day one). Through collecting nonsensical treasures in bizarre landscapes and then shooting them at other people, Mario Kart taught us that, underneath, we were all the same after all. It also taught us the meaning of Christmas and the true value of friendship, and that true love couldn’t be bought or sold. Finally, it taught us the true meaning of Hanukkah, which had something to do with candles if memory serves me correctly.

Living in a dorm without Mario Kart is a lot like living in a world without kittens. Sure, sure, it’s not necessary to have them around, but it sure as hell couldn’t hurt. Mario Kart and kittens are a few of my favorite things.

Incidentally, I’d like to give a special shout out to Miss Vanessa Kensington, who stormed into my dorm room one night at two in the morning and argued with my Ecuadorian roommate for about fifteen minutes in a fit of drunken delirium. That was definitely great and hilarious. Thanks for reading, fellow Marion forum member! Stay cool.

10-30-01

Tomorrow is Halloween, which if I recall correctly commemorates the anniversary of when Jesus dressed up as a Pokemon creature and received candy from all of his neighborhood friends. Basically, Halloween celebrates the concept of making kids dress up as terrible monsters and letting them eat hundreds of Snickers bars which they receive from trespassing in random elderly peoples’ houses. There is also some kind of tradition about pumpkins, but I don’t really know what the hell those are supposed to symbolize. I think that whatever lunatic designed Halloween just said, “fuck it, it’s almost November and we have a lot of pumpkins. You can’t really do anything with pumpkins. Let’s just carve these bastards.” It’s the same thing with Thanksgiving. “Eh, we still got a few pumpkins left over. Hell, let’s make a pie.”

Another thing about Halloween is that it is full of many spooks and surprises such as skeletons, witches and ghouls! It is a very exciting time of the year indeed! Let's all celebrate!

10-24-01

Now I’m not going to criticize my professor's lesson plans--I’ll leave that for Satan. But I must say that I no longer feel excited and energized about earning points for completing assignments and taking tests in my classes, because I finally realized that I don’t know what the hell a point even is. Like what’s the unit of a point? What kind of scale are we talking about here? Professors are always like, “Well, you better do well on this paper, because it’s worth fifty points,” but it’s like, so what? Am I supposed to be impressed by this figure? “Oh, heavens to Betsy, fifty points! Fifty fucking points! That’s way more points than ten or twenty!” Really, though, what the hell am I going to do with fifty points? Do I receive valuable coupons upon receiving a set number of them? Are they redeemable for prizes? Hell no. All you get to do is feel bad about the points that you didn’t earn. But you know what? I’m sick of going on these insane educational scavenger hunts to collect these things. I’m going to tell my professors that they can keep their precious points, and that I’ll give them a few points of my own if they want to go ahead and kiss my ass.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions about the owl at the top of this page, please click here for a revealing interview.

10-17-01

Hey, immune system! How are you doing there, pal? Oh, cool, that’s good to hear. Yeah, I was just wanting to let you know that you can feel free to chip in every once in awhile and stop letting these retarded antigens or whatever swim around in my body and make me feel like junk. I’m not going to point fingers or anything, but I’m sure as hell not the one who’s supposed to be in charge of preventing this type of shit. Let me give you a hint: Next time you see a virus coming into my body, please just boot it out. He’s not your friend. Don’t fall for his sneaky virus tricks.

What the hell is up with viruses and bacteria, anyway? What are they hoping to have happen? Are they trying to kill people? Is that their game? I’m sorry to say this, but that’s not very cool. Viruses are the meanest little creatures ever. Everyday they’re like, “Oh, look at me, I’m a little virus! I think I’m going to go fuck with somebody’s immune system now for no reason. I want everybody to feel sad because it makes me feel like a big man.” Viruses have very low self-esteem. If I ever get my hands on a virus, I’m going to strangle that little bastard.

I think I speak for all the human race when I say that I didn’t evolve for millions of years just to get a soar throat and a pounding headache. What have immune systems been learning for all of these years? Wake up, immune systems! Do your fucking jobs!

10-07-01

So today at Meijer this old woman totally scored an insult off me. I mean, she burned me. See, due to a variety of factors that I won’t go into, I had been looking for some corn nuts, and so I was like, “Where the hell is the nut aisle?” Big mistake. This random woman who's walking by quips, “Whatever aisle you’re in,” and then starts laughing like a maniac. All I could think to say was, “Awww! That was mean!” I should have insulted her back, but that would have just brought me down to her level. God, only I could get burned by an old woman.

One thing that struck me as being interesting at Meijer was how the back of all the cereal boxes insulted my intelligence. Where the fuck does Kellogg’s get off assuming that only children read the back of their boxes? Personally, whenever I eat cereal, I always feel obligated to read the back of the box during the entire course of my consumption. I believe that this is a normal human compulsion, and approximately half of all the information I know in life is from what I’ve culled from these boxes. None of it is of any use; mostly I’ve learned how to help retarded squirrels find their acorns by completing mazes, or about how to help leprechauns solve some sort of word search puzzle to find missing marshmallows. This is a huge waste, because I swear to Christ that if they included physics equations on the back of Honey Bunches of Oats, I’d have been able to build a rocket ship by now. This leads to my question: Are kids really the only ones who eat cereal? I’ll have to check the statistics on that, but I don’t think so. And if it turns out that they are indeed not, I’d like to know why the hell all the activities on cereal boxes are targeted toward them. No offence to children, but mazes and word searches are kind of easy. Children must be stupid.

Hey, I’d understand if it was only the more sugary and colorful cereals that had this problem, but you could purchase a cereal that nobody under fifty-five years old would ever contemplate eating, like some sort of nasty-ass oat bran flake deal, and the back of the box would still say, “Oh! Please help the magical bunny get to the forest by completing the bran flake maze of mystery!” Fuck you, bran flake maze of mystery. Tell me something interesting.

This problem extends beyond cereal, contaminating the entire snack food industry. The back of the current Ritz Bits Sandwhich crackers box challenges you to “help the filling find the crackers!” by completing a maze. Thanks a lot Nabisco, you’ve successfully assumed that I’m a quizzical retard who is stimulated by a pathetic maze. Or am I to believe that only six-year olds eat Ritz Bits Sandwhich crackers? That’s bullshit, because I saw some guy eating Ritz Bits Sandwhich crackers the other day, and he was about seventy.

OK, I completely made that up, but I did so to make a point: People of all ages enjoy cereal and crackers, and it’s high time they got to truly enjoy the packaging.

9-26-01

The other day I ushered an event at the Breslin Center called Women of Faith, which was where a bunch of different women sang Christian songs and performed Christian stand-up comedy (I didn’t get any of the jokes because my parents forgot to teach me to be religious). To attend this concert, you had to be a woman and you had to be Christian, and I believe you also had to have a hair style from the 80’s and be at least forty-five years old. It was also recommended that you were easily confused with finding a seat according to a basic numbering system, which made my job much more difficult. But I didn’t care—when I’m ushering, I blank out and stop thinking about anything other than doing what I’m supposed to do. It’s called being in the “Usher Zone” by some, and I had been feeling it strongly on this day in particular. They put me at the fast-paced floor seating area, but I was still fully prepared to do my job, which is to stand up and wear ridiculous clothing. I was prepared to usher like a madman.

The Production Staff, meanwhile, had their own agenda. These are the guys who, among other things, pick the camera shots for the giant four-sided Jumbo Tron monitor in the middle of the arena, and they often show random members of the audience’s reaction so that the audience can feel special. But on this day, right before the concert officially began, they decided to show me ushering as some sort of Production Staff joke. Immediately, the ten thousand-plus middle-aged Christian women in attendance erupted into laughter and gave off simulated cheers, because I was one of only a few dozen males in the entire building, and because ushers are dressed up like monkeys. I instinctively rolled my eyes before I realized that over ten thousand people could see me, and then I began pretending to laugh. “Haha, that’s really funny! I’m trying to do my goddamned job, but instead I have to put up with this bullshit! Haha!” Then, after they still continued shooting me, I began shaking my head in impatience. “Alright, you’re filming me. Everyone gets the fucking joke.” Then they began flashing the sentence “He’s Single!!!” on the monitor, and the audience’s response rose to new heights of enjoyment—all at my expense. Isn’t there some sort of sin against this type of shit? “Thou shalt not laugh at ushers, because they’re just trying to do their fucking jobs.” I believe that’s referenced in the New Testament quite clearly.

When the camera team finally decided to stop putting my face on all the monitors, I tried going back to doing my job, but now all the women were giving me peculiar looks. As if that wasn’t enough, they put me on the monitors again later in the day. What the hell is wrong with the Production Staff? Ushers aren’t supposed to be filmed, they’re supposed to usher. Whatever happened to that?

You know, it’s a good thing I don’t have a job where I get humiliated in front of ten thousand people while getting paid only six dollars an hour. Oh wait, I do have that. Jesus Christ.

9-23-01

My litte sister recently signed my guestbook jokingly asking me if I had been taking tips from Jerry Seinfeld lately, and this reminded me of something. In my life, there is only one thing I can truly count on: At 2:30am every night, a crazy student will perform his impersonation of Jerry Seinfeld as loud as possible from a window somewhere on the third floor of my Residence Hall. It’s insane how not kidding I am. And he’s very punctual—you could set your watch to this guy. “Oh, there goes the crazy Jerry Seinfeld guy. It must be 2:30 in the fucking morning again.”

Usually he’ll just say, “Who are these people?” at the top of his voice over and over again, but sometimes he’ll mix it up a bit. “What’s the deal with corn nuts? Is it a corn, or is it a nut? What’s the deal with corn nuts? Who are these people?” Since it’s 2:30 in the morning, you’d think that I’d get really pissed off, but I can’t help but laugh. I mean, on the one hand, I’m prevented from going to sleep and will consequently end up being tired come class time the next day, but on the other hand, this guy is doing a goddamned impression of Jerry Seinfeld for no reason. That’s too weird to piss me off.

On an unrelated thought, the greatest part about used text books is following the markings of the book’s previous owners. It’s always the same story: The first chapter will have been neatly overlaid with multicolored highlighters, a rainbow of studiousness, with detailed notes in the paragraph margins and the answers to the chapter’s summary questions completely penciled out. Then all of a sudden, halfway through chapter two, the book becomes cleansed of any educational graffiti whatsoever, as if the student just went, “Alright, fuck this.” Then on page fifty or so, there’s usually an indecipherable message that causes me to stop reading the book and begin a long and unrewarding mental quest to attempt to figure out what the hell they’re talking about. “‘Victor’s cat needs 28%’? What the hell does that mean? What’s the deal with that? Who are these people?”

9-14-01

You always hear of people saying how they once secretly used a double-headed quarter to rig a coin flip, but here’s what I’ve always wanted to know: Where the fuck do you get a double-headed quarter? I mean, has anybody ever actually seen one of these mutant coins? And why don’t double-tailed quarters ever get any play? And who the hell is making these things? A retarded currency-plant worker, or just some random guy who knows how to manufacture coins? If I had the ability to manufacture realistic-looking two-headed coins, I’d probably just start producing regular quarters instead and then spend them. But this guy’s like, “Hey, I know how to make real currency! Now I could either produce an infinite amount of money and buy anything I wanted to, or make a few novelty double-headed quarters and play an hilarious prank on my friend. Double-headed quarters it is!”

In sleeping news, I recently had a loft bed put into my dorm room, because loft beds raise a person’s self-esteem. The problem with this loft is that the bottom of it is just short of being tall enough for me to stand up under, and as a result I’m continuously knocking my head against it. Within the first two minutes of it being finished, I literally banged my head on it about a hundred and fifty times. Another problem is that the ladder it came with is rickety and unusable, and so instead of using it I have to climb up on desks and chairs. Every night is a risky and challenging ascension of danger. Then when I wake up I can look forward to having to make an early-morning plunge to the ground some six and a half feet below, wherein I almost always collapse onto my knees from the impact. From there I must painfully crawl to my toothbrush in a pathetic display of loft bed abuse. And that’s pretty much how I start my day.

9-06-01

Michigan State has discovered a way to transform its students’ rudimentary walks to class into a challenging diversion by placing a series of rotating sprinklers near some of the sidewalks. For example, where traveling to my math class would normally be a ho-hum five-minute practice in monotony, it is now an intense battle of skill and timing. If I misjudge one of the constantly-revolving sprinklers by even a few seconds, I’m certain to get soaking wet. Thanks a lot MSU, I really appreciate having to go through this fucking obstacle course every time I go to math class. If it’s not too much trouble, could you also include some walls of flames for me to go through? And don’t be afraid to let a few hungry tigers loose. The more challenging my trip to class, the better.

Changing pace a little bit, do we really need music CD’s to have interlude tracks? Is there really an interlude demand that I’m not aware of? I’ve never heard of somebody saying, “Hey, check out my new CD. Track eleven is my favorite—it’s a thirty-second faux answering machine message! I love listening to that thing. Oh, and check out track eight—it’s a fifteen-second inside joke that I don’t get! It’s too bad they interrupt all these great interlude tracks with music.” The honest truth is that interlude tracks are whack.

9-03-01

I understand that Scissors can beat Paper and I get how Rock can beat Scissors, but there's no fucking way Paper could beat Rock. Apparently, Paper is supposed to magically "wrap around" Rock, leaving it immobile. Why the hell can’t Paper do this to Scissors? No, never mind Scissors, why can’t Paper do this to people? Why aren’t sheets of college-ruled notebook paper constantly smothering students as they attempt to take notes in class? I’ll tell you why: because Paper can’t beat anybody. A rock would tear that shit up in about a minute.

Whenever I play Rock/Paper/Scissors, I always choose Rock. When somebody claims to have beaten me with their Paper, I punch them in the face with my already-clenched fist. I’ll say, “Oh, shit, man, I’m sorry, I thought Paper would protect you. Asshole.”

On another topic, I’m not sure when my Guestbook turned into a forum to discuss Adam Kangas, but I have recently added a Message Board to this site for things like that. So if you want to share the latest Adam Kangas news or even ask me a special question, feel free to use it.