I woke up in a strange place

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

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May 4, 1998

songs from just beyond the face of the earth (which is, I'm told, where I am):

"would you like to donate with your left or right arm today?"
- my left. (the mark on my right arm from donating blood two weeks ago is still visible.)
"okay." (pause) "now, it says here that you haven't eaten today. are you feeling alright?"
- yeah. I'll have something before I leave.
"because you look pretty pale. you're a pasty-faced white guy." (says the pasty-faced white nurse...)
- that's from lack of exposure to sunlight more than anything else.
"so what are you studying at the university?"
- um, english sociology anthropology.
"all three?!?"
- yes.
"you must be some kind of genius!"
- erm, well, I do alright, you know.
"are you a brain?"
- no, not really. I, ah, just answer the questions that they ask me and sometimes I come up with some questions of my own I guess.
(silence. a commercial comes on the radio.)
"ooh! I hadn't heard that one!"
- that what?
"he kidnapped the boss's dog!"
- oh.
"I like history."
- yeah, history's interesting.
"I want to go back to school."
- that's good.
"I'm going to be a jeweller."
- oh, that's...
"It's where you can tell what kind of a gem it is and how much it's worth."
- well, that's a great choice.
"I've got a boyfriend. My mother doesn't like him too much. He smokes big cigars and drinks whiskey and plays cards."
- um.
- do you live in the area, then?
"My boyfriend, he lives in Wisconsin. Every weekend he comes down and visits me."
- oh, that's good.
"what's your favorite period of history?"
- um, the classical period I guess. Greece and Rome and all that. I took Latin in high school.
"You took Latin? You must be smart!"
(the needle finally goes in.)
(she tries again and the longest blood drive of my life trundles on.)

my cats provided a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why I shouldn't bother doing the requested first draft of my second to last paper for this year and should instead just hang out on the couch with them. they're a couple of smart ones, I'm telling you. not a trace of faulty logic between them. anyway they were right and looking over the paragraph that I did write I'm rather scared of how utterly scholarly and professional journal-like it looks. I'm going to have to work "cock" in there like a dozen times to salvage my indie cred.

oblivion's "bob and weave" is a good song. you can download a pretty good cover of it here. what is amazing about this version is that none of the band members have any arms! (the singer has both of his arms but he doesn't have a lower jaw.) isn't that remarkable? sure it is.

not elvis overhauled his page. he did not die and go to heaven as the sudden shift from very dark to very bright would suggest. or should that read "he did not not die and not go to heaven" since he's not elvis? oh, hell. no big deal. I like double negatives a lot, by the way. in grade school I used to go out of my way to incorporate them into my writing and actually intend for it to mean what it did mean under proper grammatical conditions. then teachers would yell at me as if they had caught an error and I'd say "I know what it means, it's supposed to be like that" and then they'd demand I re-write it with no negatives if that's what I meant and I'd complain about the violation of my authorial intent (although I didn't know that phrase back then so I didn't sound as good when I said it). ah, the halcyon days of my youth. wordsworth didn't know what he was missing, wasting time out in that nature shit. antagonizing authority at repressive catholic grade schools was where it was at.

possibly the dumbest news story of the year so far: snoop doggy dogg was arrested this weekend for possession of marijuana. I'd like to take this opportunity to express a thinly-veiled sarcastic note of congratulations to the architects of the massive intricate sting operation that led to the arrest and all of the agents who went out on a limb, risking their lives and their professional reputation on a long shot like this one. way to tackle the real problems, guys. now go reward yourselves with a big juicy cheeseburger and a beer, you brave souls you.

a commercial for a "Mr. Freeze" ride at the Great America theme part in St. Louis just flashed by (didn't we all agree to forget that travesty of a movie?). its major selling point is that you go up really high and then come back down backwards. what's the point? I thought the whole fear came from seeing the ground rush up at you. how can you perceive how fast you're going if your only reference point is the sky? okay, admittedly this is perhaps an issue about which I have given too much thought.

is there any celebrity more utterly worthless than Joan Rivers? what has this woman ever done to earn any attention? she is a hideous plasticine caricature of a human being who has never achieved anything of any artistic merit. why has she earned my wrath, though, you ask? well, she has a show on E where she does innovative things like rip on Kate Winslet for being slightly overweight. this bothers me, a lot. if you are in a position where things that you say are heard - even something as simple as an obscure web page like this one - you have to keep checking yourself, you have to every once in awhile stop yourself dead in your tracks and ask yourself "what am I doing here? why am I saying this? what am I hoping that saying this results in? most importantly, what am I building by saying this?" hey Joan Rivers, what are you building? what is your message? what do you want to people to do when they hear you slam a beautiful young woman because it's not enough that she's a talented actress, she has to launch a savage attack upon her own health (ever hear of a "metabolism", Joan? some are different than others), risking her life in order to lose weight so that she can be "valid" in your eyes? yeah. three cheers for bulimia, you bitch. now shut up and get out of the media forever, alright?

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.