I woke up in a strange place

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

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May 25, 1998

SEND ME YOUR OREGON TRAIL STORIES. a recent email from not elvis inspired me to compile these - the childhood (and beyond) experiences that many had with Oregon Trail, the joy that awaited in nearly grade school computer lab for our generation. tell me about what you did when you played. it can be anything - what did you name the members of your party? were you a banker or a farmer? what did you do while on the trail? did you hunt? and, everyone's favorite bit, what went on your party's tombstones? email them to me in whatever form you like and when I have enough I'll put them online. this goes for all of you. come on, don't put it off! you don't owe me anything but you do owe this page so give something back, will you?

I had to sell my soul to do it (how long it will be gone remains to be seen), but suddenly I find myself with a new car three months ahead of even the most optimistic forecasts. because I need to work this summer in order to be able to partake in indulgences like having somewhere to live, a jobby job job is necessary. on campus, however, the only options appeared to be pizza hut and wendy's or a return to my old digs at the CCSO, but I'll be danged if I'll repeat myself. for less than $7 an hour, that is. thus, the ability to go off-campus is highly prized - and now possible, thanks to the surrender of my soul. the cradle continues to lay in its space, quite deceased, and while a frankenstein-esque reincarnation could have been attempted I just love the poor car too much to hurt it like that (think Branagh's Frankenstein or some other suitably gory and generally unhappy one, especially when he tries to bring the woman back to life).

so: the new one. acquired on a budget and rather shiny to boot. operating it required learning the tricky art of driving manual transmission, something which I've been working diligently at and can now do fairly competently except around cops for some reason (there's a subroutine running through my brain that constantly thinks it would be absolutely hilarious to get pulled over for DUI and be sober. don't look at me, I'm just the conscious part of my own head). the license plates were added yesterday and the lifesaver, sample jar, action figures and everything else will be journeying over tomorrow.

the name? well, it was hopelessly apparent. I couldn't really avoid it, much as I tried. nearly every ad on TV was telling me what to name it. late night movies on USA told me what to name it. even my famed amp Mothra told me what to name the new car. how could I argue with that? without further ado, then, a loving goodbye to the Cradle and a welcome to my new 1988 white Honda Accord, aka the MechaCradle.

onwards, then:

validation comes from the strangest places.
no sooner had I written and posted my brief little rant about mcdonalds' tie in with disney's animal kingdom did I read in Time magazine the following (may 11, 1998 - page 18): "McNonsense! When we saw that McDonald's was using its McRib sandwich to cross-promote Disney's Animal Kingdom, we thought, Isn't it odd to connect frolicking animals and a rib sandwich? R.J. Milano, an assistant marketing V.P. at McDonald's, explained, 'Animal Kingdom is very much a wild experience, and the McRib is a wild taste that allows customers to experience the fun and magic of the Animal Kingdom without going to Orlando.' Oh."

I saw the new Godzilla movie last week, by the way. I'd been planning on avoiding it in order to not contribute to the big mega opening weekend box office total, but i didn't care enough to throw a fit and I was sort of morbidly curious to see how it would turn out. it elicited a solid "eh" from me. I don't really have enough to say about it to write an entire review, but Matt Trupia summed it up best for me when he said "eh, it was alright, but I didn't really need to have seen it to be able to say that I saw it, you know?" it is definitely not a "need" movie at all, in nearly any sense of the word. not screamingly terrible, really, but Godzilla 1998 had a number of inescapable and fatal flaws, most of which are related to the complete and total lack of Mothra in the movie. funk dat. if you can resist seeing it, then don't go. if you can't, well, I understand, but don't be expecting to find any hidden gold there.

the cats don't have anything that they want to report for this update. both of them have handled the crappy weather of the last week rather well. it's kind of touching: there was a definite, tangible moment a couple weeks ago when Thunder looked at Orbital and told him "Look, kid, you're bat-shit crazy, but we're going to work through that together." they've been best friends ever since.

I saw "As Good As It Gets" again at the cheap theatre last night. I liked it quite a lot the first time out, but there was perhaps an inability on my part, something damaged lost or otherwise confused that couldn't quite fully comprehend the sheer heart of that film. that jack nicholson's character was so real, greg kinnear's so beautiful, that I was so in love with helen hunt's, I don't know, but I got it the second time, so much props to that movie.

why can't I get this poorly taped live video of David Bowie performing "Look Back in Anger" any louder? oh, hell.

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.