I woke up in a strange place

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

September 30, 2002 I am tired of scaffolding! And people whose stereo headphones tell them that they have a bootycall, when in fact they are just another guy, riding the train to work.

September 19, 2002 I made some late-afternoon popcorn at work and brought it back to my desk. People in my general vicinity are loudly speculating about who made the popcorn, as they usually share it with each other when they make it, and expect me to behave according to custom. They can, of course, get fucked. The popcorn is mine.

September 18, 2002 My site counter showed a hit from Trinidad and Tobago yesterday. I know they usually merge their soccer teams and Olympic squads, but I think it's great that they get together to visit my website. It shows the proper respect for the fury of my journalism. ("Shit! I am too small a country to handle these lyrical javelins by myself. I better see if Tobago is busy.") I appreciate that. Thanks, Trinidad. And you too, Tobago.

I think that all countries should have a buddy system.

September 17, 2002 (news) In an astonishing concession, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il confirmed Tuesday that Japanese citizens were kidnapped decades ago to teach language and culture to spies. Kim said at least four of the victims were still alive and might be allowed to return home. Ending years of denials, Kim admitted the kidnappings during a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Kim said about a dozen Japanese were kidnapped by North Korean agents, acknowledging the abductions were "regrettable and would never happen again." Kim said those responsible would be punished. "I strongly protested the abductions," Koizumi said in a news conference, adding that Kim apologized. "Kim said it was done by elements in the military, and an investigation was underway." "I thought we had to hold talks to improve relations between Japan and North Korea. But my heart aches when I consider how the families must feel," Koizumi said. "This happened over decades of hostile relations and I want to talk about it frankly," Kim was quoted as telling Koizumi by a Japanese delegation official who briefed reporters afterward. "I want to apologize and it will never be allowed to happen again."

I hate to fall into a familiar refrain, because I know I've been over this before, but I want to know when the American government is going to apologize for kidnapping me decades ago in order to teach martial arts and fighting techniques to spies. North Korea owned up to what it did. What about you, Mr. Bush? I had shit to do, and y'all kidnapped me. Does your heart ache when you consider how my peeps must feel? It should.


Today is a special day. Ever since I began working here last year and learned about what all of the major Jewish holidays mean, I have been waiting for today, the day after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, hoping that people will greet me upon our return to the office after the holiday by asking, "Did you have a good holiday? What did you atone for?', and I'll respond, "Man, I ain't atoned for shit."

Please, then, everyone ask me what I atoned for. I'll even give you my work phone number if you'd prefer to ask by phone. Let's not let this day slip away.

September 13, 2002 (news) In his two seasons in Detroit, Williams drove head coach Doug Collins to distraction, but he played well for the Pistons, averaging 16.2 points and 8.9 rebounds his first season. But, not surprisingly, Williams didn't care for Detroit. Not to live around the Great Lakes is not to understand. It's not only the snow and cold. One can go weeks without seeing the sun. Brian Williams' life was lived in sunshine. So this is what he did: He purchased a gigantic fish tank -- the size of one wall -- for his home. He loaded it with all sorts of tropical fish and then got himself some snorkeling gear. After practice, Williams would go home and stick his head in the tank and imagine he was snorkeling in the South Pacific. He'd come to practices and tell his teammates about his adventures in his tank and how it took him out of feeling of being locked in the Midwestern winter.

This message is posted in tribute to one of the great crazy athletes of our time, former Bull Brian Williams, missing and feared dead in the South Seas. Many athletes (like many people) are crazy, but there is something special that defines a truly great 'crazy athlete': you can see the traces of higher education floating around in his head, but he was never in a classroom long enough for professors to guide the assorted elements into a whole; and so, a special brand of crazy is born, one born of long hours spent running around with nothing much to think about and the insularity / impunity (or, crazy[b], dreams of impunity) afforded by money, fame and the protection of the sports industry. Some turn vicious, but others achieve a strange, inexplicable beauty. (Hence, Ray Lewis is an athlete who is crazy, Rod Smart is a crazy[b] athlete, and Brian Williams is - or, sadly, was - a crazy athlete.)

September 12, 2002 (Indian proverb) These can never be true friends: Hope, dice, a prostitute, a robber, a cheat, a goldsmith, a monkey, a doctor, a distiller.

On behalf of monkeys everywhere, what the fuck, India? You don't want me to develop retaliatory proverbs. I will shatter your cricket leagues with fierce linguistic techniques.

I did not eat the challas. I am a semantic warrior, and I believe that I established conclusively that my hunger was more sacred than the bread, but I am trying to be cooperative, so I mailed the challas and laid down the fifty centi-benjamins for some Chex Mix.

Our bowling team did not conclude its inaugural season in what anyone other than a flipper baby might refer to as proud fashion, but we were in a classy league, and for our efforts, we all received trophies. I am in possession (once it is recovered from Mike Saul's car) of an actual bowling trophy. I say this with a measure of pride, and also as a warning, for now I am in possession of a bowling trophy, and that is one less in a dwindling pool of fronts on which I can be fucked with.

There is a lot of news to sort through; I will do that tomorrow.

Also: I have a pirate flag, for impulse pirating.

Things are good. The weather is cooling, and the mail guys at work did not cut me when I dumped a big holiday brochure mailing project on them. They are rather disconnected from what goes on at work, because, like me, none of them are Jewish. Most were fairly annoyed, and even the typically genial Ziggy seemed to be considering his retaliatory options, but they pulled through. The project was not my idea. These projects never are. I am not the malcontent I am so frequently credited as being.

September 6, 2002

If anybody reading this is in touch with Malcolm McDowell, please have him contact me. I need to talk to him about something. (He'll know what.)

September 4, 2002

My most important assignment at work today is to mail two challas, sacred loaves of bread, to England by priority mail. But I am hungry, and they smell nice. There may be a problem here.

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.


January 2012, December 2011, January 2011, September 2010, August 2010, June 2010, March 2010, October 2009, February 2009, January 2009, September 2008, August 2008, March 2008, February 2008, October 2007, July 2007, June 2007, January 2007, September 2006, July 2006, June 2006, January 2006, December 2005, September 2005, August 2005, July 2005, June 2005, May 2005, March 2005, February 2005, January 2005, December 2004, October 2004, July 2004, June 2004, May 2004, April 2004, February 2004, January 2004, December 2003, November 2003, October 2003, September 2003, August 2003, July 2003, June 2003, May 2003, April 2003, March 2003, February 2003, January 2003, December 2002, November 2002, October 2002, September 2002, August 2002, July 2002, June 2002, May 2002, April 2002, March 2002, February 2002, January 2002, December 2001, November 2001, October 2001, September 2001, August 2001, July 2001, December 1999, November 1999, October 1999, May 1999, February 1999, January 1999, December 1998, November 1998, October 1998, June 1998, May 1998, April 1998, March 1998, February 1998, December 1997, November 1997, October 1997, September 1997, and the uncategorised wilderness of the Beelzetron era: 010622 - 010619, 010615 - 010611, 010608 - 010604, 010601 - 010529, 010525 - 010521, 010518 - 010514, 010511 - 010507, 010504 - 010430, 010427 - 010423, 010420 - 010416, 010413 - 010409, 010406 - 010402, 010330 - 010326, 010323 - 010319, 010316 - 010312, 010309 - 010307, 019223 - 010219, 010216 - 010212, 010209 - 010205, 010202 - 010109, 010126 - 010122, 010119 - 010115, 010112 - 010108, 010105 - 010102, 001229 - 001224, 001222 - 001218, 001215 - 001211, 001208 - 001204, 001201 - 001124, 001124 - 001120, 001117 - 001113, 001110 - 001106, 001103 - 001030, 001027 - 001023, 001020 - 001016, 001013 - 001010, 001006 - 000927.

Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.