I woke up in a strange place

By Marc Heiden, since 1997.
See also: a novel about a monkey.

December 18, 1997 lost like this presents:
1997: A Year of Stuff, Things, and Other Miscellaneous Crap

Emotion of the Year: Contempt
Only the hippest knew the new sound and carried it with them wherever they went. Apathy? That's so 1994. Confused rage? Oh, please, I left that in the pocket of my old flannel shirts. No, this was the year of contempt. There was so much to look around that made you want to sneer but evoked no other clear, sensible reaction. Hanson, for example. Their existence (and the nauseating rapidity with which the news media embraced them - youth is not an excuse for mediocrity. whatever happened to practicing until you were ready?) was obviously an affront to anyone with a functioning mind, but what could you do about it? Seethe.

Overexposed News Story of the Year: The Budget Deficit
On and on they went. "Not enough money", they said. "Financial collapse imminent". Yeah, yeah, yeah. WHAT ABOUT DIANA, YOU PIGFUCKERS?!? SHE DIED! AND SHE DID CHARITY WORK SOMETIMES!!! This "money" thing is all that people talk about. Well, fuck that shit. When was the last time you saw "money" do a kind thing like appearing in a photograph with a poor person like Diana did? This money, it has no heart. Why should it receive attention that could have been otherwise given to a tragic, underreported incident like whatever the fuck it was that happened to Diana? She slipped in the bathtub or something, right?

NASA Conspiracy of the Year: Mars
They claim that they sent a "probe" to Mars and it took photos of the terrain there. What no one seems to notice is that these "photos" are quite a lot like much of the Adam West movie "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" (go ahead and look it up on the IMDB)! And people believe in this silly "Mars" myth! Get with it, people, "Mars" is a figment of Adam West's warped imagination. Can't NASA come up with a better lie to mask the existence of Planet X and its devious schemes just outside of the Earth's gravitational field? Standards are indeed slipping.

Food Item of the Year: Cookies
A cruel mistress indeed. Buy them in plastic containers from your local grocer's bakery, snatch up mass produced versions of them, even bake them yourselves. These grinning little ghouls retain their alluring power in whatever form they take. They psychically slap me from across the room, across time and space. "That drink of water was fine, but doesn't it need something else? Doesn't it...lack a certain something? A follow-up?" They linger in your mouth. They are small enough to be eaten in a bite or two, never quite large enough to satisfy you permanently...until it's too late, your stomach is full, and your sugar high has crashed like Kevin Costner's career as soon as "The Postman" is released. They always disappear in the end. But they're a few steps away...at all times...always one step too many, though...

Murder/Suicide Pact of the Year: the Notorious B.I.G. and Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Two people from very different backgrounds, brought together only by their obsession with ending hunger. Could there have been a love more poetic? Sadly, the world was not yet ready. When the world coldly rejected the musical consummation of their love, published under the name "Emerson, Lake, and Palmer", the tragic pair could take the cruelty and the misunderstanding no longer. When, people? How many more must die?

Record of the Year: The Length that a Human Being Can Hold His or Her Breath For
All of this air will be gone someday, you know. Ever look up? What's holding it in? Nothing!

Walking Nipple of the Year: Tom Beach
Few walking nipples in human history have done more to promote visibility of nipples than our award winner, Tom Beach. Tom is a brooding, enigmatic and eternally effervescent nipple. He walks amongst human beings spreading intrigue and IMDB credits. Keep up the good work, Tom!

there you go. the product of thirty minutes of hyper sleep-deprived meandering, er, reflections upon a year gone by. seriously? 1997: a pretty good year. as far as spaces in time go. lot of stuff created. lot more left to do. never relaxed. effortlessly justified incomprehensibility and dodged a rainstorm of bumpers. let's keep rocking and rolling, huh? awright, awright.

I'll be checking email over break. let's see a movie together, y'all. even if you're a complete stranger. let's go see second city. give me a cookie. please. just one more!

oh, hell.

this page is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Red Skelton who, in 1963, got up out of bed and successfully dressed himself approximately 364 times. we miss you, Red.

December 13, 1997 the radio and the mangojam pages have been updated - check them out.

today we slap on the 'R' rating, drop our pants and relieve all that theatrical tension that's been building for weeks now. 8 pm, Gregory Hall Theatre (112), $3. we did a brilliant job chalking the quad sidewalks, I think. "Potted Meat + Spicy Clamato: Sketch and Improv Comedy. 'We lead such bleak and tragic lives. Oh, won't somebody bring me some water?' - another satisfied customer!" I don't know exactly why I've been hyping this show so heavily on this here page because, as far as I know, the only people who read it are non-UIUCers. but so it goes. if I stopped doing things because they didn't make sense, then I'd be a very inactive person.

classes are over, finito, endo, no moreo, etc. I'll miss three out of the four. I actually had a dream that professor bordua from the one I won't miss did something nice for me, and I ran home to change my web page so that he wouldn't read me saying that he was a senile drooling old bat, but I was too late. for some reason, however, I think he thought it was funny. but the dream shifted right afterwards, so I'm not sure. "wack shit", I feel like solemnly intoing all of a sudden.

christmas looks to be good for movies. as a die-hard Titanic junkie and a Kate Winslet fan, I'm really looking forward to "Jackie Brown". "Amistad" has been getting surprisingly good reviews. the idea of "Scream 2" bores the shit out of me, but were it and its prequel not so chokingly overrated, I might feel differently. who knows. "Tomorrow Never Dies" is can't-miss fun because either it'll be good or it'll be terrible in a funny way. there's no inbetween with those Bond movies. oh, and that boat movie on december 19th, I wanna see that too, maybe.

ramen (like an old friend), cookies (a cruel mistress), sounding like Damon Albarn, rocking out with impunity, smooveness.
not being able to use all the milk before its expiration date, large video chains, poor time management.

December 9, 1997 discounting today, since all such strife has been concluded as of this writing, there are only three days of classes left here at Mr. Illiniwek's Chicken Shack. school-related stress continues to be conspicuously absent from my life, so the only real effect that this oncoming closure has had upon me is that I now have more time to dopily smile at all the snow outside. I wrote and handed in my final big monster paper of the semester yesterday and it was a truly loathsome piece of work, utterly uninspired in every way, but it did at least feaure more or less complete sentences and really that's all that counts.

the real estate company has already begun showing my apartment to prospective renters for next august, sometimes when I'm not even here. this irritates me. once again, though, I chose to be mature about it and have even decided to help the real estate agents out by leaving the little eyeballs from my halloween costume all over the place. they give the place a nice, home-y sort of feeling.

my life has improved immeasurably since I bought christmas lights on saturday night, for the record.

Potted Meat show this Saturday. it is, as all the hipsters say, the "bomb". trust me, this one is going to be very good. why would I lie to you? you can have five minutes free, and I'm only $3.99 a minute thereafter. have you given any thought to going into business for yourself? do you have unresolved feelings about someone in your past? do you have skin? see? I'm that good. I am the king of all psychics. roar. radio show went well this morning. I performed my first primitive vinyl mixing attempt on the air and a new high point of my broadcast career was reached when my shameless begging for cookies between songs was rewarded with actual cookies from a listener. thank you, lovely listener! as for the rest of you, well, you've got an entire week before the next time I'll be in need of cookies, so that's fair warning I think.

spongy bread, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, hand-eye coordination, portable wilderness, running water (hi, rob).
envelopes, the crap that collects on stoves underneath the burners, having been awake for a couple days straight and needing to hang on just one more to take a quiz.

December 1, 1997 this marks the second anniversary of the first appearance of a web page bearing my name. the first edition of "Outside the Asylum with Marc Heiden" appeared on the sunday night following thanksgiving of my freshman year. it was actually completed on the wednesday prior, but I had problems uploading it and could not finish before my RA kicked me out at 5 pm (leaving me to wander the streets of champaign for several hours, singing "Free As A Bird" to myself and waiting for a train). the first page predated frames, java, tables, and all that stuff that companies would have you believe is the future of the web. it did, however, have a bit of what the web should be about: rampant self-promot, er, creative content. the monkeys were there and so was the old flying pig (now retired). the ewok was as pissed off as ever. no backgrounds and about a third of it didn't actually work. it didn't even say "fuck" anywhere. man, we were primitive back then!

so, two years later, there is this. it is me and you are thee and we are all together. this thanksgiving was fairly tranquil in comparison to, well, other thanksgivings. (those who should know what I mean, do. for the rest of you, I have only the word "ninjas".) my mother decided to have dinner at a restaurant where I had a portabella mushroom, one of the two non-chicken entrees on the bloody menu, and I didn't much like it. the restaurant was infested with old people, and it made me feel dirty all over. because old people do that. there was, at least, corn bread in the bread basket. the rest of the vacation was predominantly concerned with cutting an accidental swathe of seizures wherever we went and watching "Dune" and having violent reactions to "Dune". Rory and I had a planning session for the final play in the Trilogy and Elton John unwittingly played right into our hands...

radio show tonight, the second airing of my very own show. 90.1 FM. don't stop the radioactivity. Potted Meat show on december 13th is shaping up to be really good. do not miss. now go put some clothes on.

non-empty fridge, being able to get out of bed in the morning, newly broken-in shoes.
exorbitant power bills, $17.99 for a single CD (hello, Borders) and they're the only ones who have it in stock.

I woke up in a strange place is the work of Marc Heiden, born in 1978, author of two books (Chicago, Hiroshima) and some plays, and an occasional photographer.

Often discussed:

Antarctica, Beelzetron, Books, Chicago, College, Communism, Food, Internet, Japan, Manute Bol, Monkeys and Apes, North Korea, Oregon Trail, Outer Space, Panda Porn, Politics, RabbiTech, Shakespeare, Sports, Texas.


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Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.