Fear of a blank page. Those polka dots were talking shit. Cat food again.

self-portrait, with floating heads.

self-portrait, nude, in the box store.

self-portrait, wet, in mouth of whale,
with fish.

This web page is the work of
Marc Heiden, 22 years old, who
He lives in Chicago.

Friends and Affiliates:

I Hate This Part of Texas
Ron Rodent
What Jail is Like

Sources of Information:

Douglas Coupland
Ghost Towns
Lawn Wranglers
the Onion
Prairie Ghosts
Red Meat
This Modern World

b-side wins again 2000

001027 Nothing much to do this Halloween. I might dress up like a rock and go sit by the lake, feed candy to the fish, stop every once in a while to pour the sand out of my shoes; listen to the waves a world away from all of this noise.

I bought Chinese food for lunch because I wanted to feel all warm inside. I'm stuck working in the library this afternoon, so also I wanted to pass gas on all of the marketing reports, but mostly it was the prospect of warmth that brought my colossally depressed self over there.

Eoghan stopped by to make sure I knew that it's Cake Day. Great guy.

I went to see the Twilight Singers on Wednesday. The opening act sucked. (Q: What does the candy lion do? A: It float, float, floats away.) That smacked of a calculated move on Dulli's part, though. Then the Twilight Singers came on. After the show I was pretty exhausted, because I don't often feel that much. When Greg Dulli says that everything's going to be alright, who the fuck am I to disagree?

001026 Burblemeister is having a big press conference and webcast this morning. Presumably, they have chosen their new name and are ready to announce it to the world. We're all supposed to get real excited about it or something. Many people from this floor are gathering in the conference room to watch the big event, and others in my area are watching it from their personal computers. If you have figured out who Burblemeister Consulting is, and you are a fucking idiot, you can check out this historic webcast at some website somewhere. I plan to use this precious time to explore new depths of unease about my life.

That's the sound of fifty computers getting error messages because the server can't handle the traffic. Sweet.

Have you see this Ol' Dirty Bastard? Exacerbating his difficulties with the po-po, the Big Baby Jesus skipped out on his parole yesterday. Take a look at what he was in for: felony possession of body armor. What, are Americans legally required to be puncturable? Free the ODB!

Confusion: this story says that both Gene Hackman and Bill Murray will be in the new Wes Anderson movie. We can only hope. Or we could send disturbing letters with the words cut out of magazines. I think we should just hope.

My friend Per Jambeck has a listing on Amazon.com! It looks like he's about to publish a pretty punk-rock volume. "No, I won't tone down the fucking language! This book is going to tell computational bioinformatics like it really fucking is! Not the whitewashed corporate suburban version, but the way processing skills develop on the street!" It won't be published until December, but you can reserve a copy now, which is good, because let me tell you, everyone's laughing at all the wack computational bioinformatics titles that are currently on your shelf. (That Pierre Baldi/Soren Brunak book is due for a solid bitchslap.)

One of my co-workers genuinely believes that the last presidential election was fixed; her evidence is a demographic study showing that no one she knows voted for Clinton, so how could he have won if nobody voted for him? Can't argue with science. She thinks that Gore should not be allowed to win because he was in on that "dishonesty". This particular co-worker is going through an exceptionally awkward second childhood in her mid-forties, being prone to fits of singing "lolly, lolly, lolly" to herself for upward of a minute at the sight of a fellow worker's piece of candy. She's a recent hire, and even the other workers in this area seem a little wary of her, which takes a lot.

I don't know, though. I like her. If nothing else, a woman indignantly announcing "This bread is too chewy!" to the entire office is a real aid to my quest for total workplace invisibility.

001025 My stepfather has a collection of some 10,000 movies. It's a remarkable number, to be sure, but even more impressive is the fact that he's only had a TV/VCR for about four years now. I think it's a bit maniacal, myself. During his youth, he had an equally fanatic zeal for books; now that he's 71, I guess he wants his media in a more easily digestible form. His memory isn't perfect on what he's bought, so he's got more than a few duplicates, and I must have impressed him during my recent stint living-with-parents because he's slowly starting to filter them down to me. I got a copy of The Third Man, which is of course ace, and two movies that I'd never seen (Golden Boy and Cyrano) that looked interesting. To encourage the flow, I decided to get him a rare video from eBay that's out of print on VHS (though available on DVD), Odd Man Out, which will hopefully lead to ludicrous Christmas presents.

Anyway, the point of this story is to note that eBay send me a "daily status" email this morning on my bid, and at the end was the following:

Auction ends on: Oct-30-00 09:49:14 PST

------ End Status ------
Thank you for using eBay!
If you have already not done so today , if would not hurt to mention eBay to your friends!

And I realized, hey, I haven't yet mentioned eBay to any of my friends, at least not today, and "if would not hurt" (their phrasing), as their eloquent little guilt trip read, then why not help out a struggling web start-up? So, I am now mentioning eBay to you, my friends, though notice how cleverly I am subverting principles of proper hypertexting in doing so. And please notice that it did in fact hurt to mention eBay to my friends today, for my pancreas exploded in the process. Ouch.

I was clicking around on Amazon.com for a while, thinking perhaps I'd find some examples of the aforementioned ludicrous Christmas presents (Chaplin and Keaton boxed sets, mostly), but then I decided that I'd rather not link to Amazon.com when I can avoid it. It doubles as a handy repository of information, sure, but they are the giant white whale of e-commerce and they don't need me to advertise for them any more than Microsoft does. Also, I'm not sure I like their "The Page You Made" feature. Try it: check out a couple different items, and pretty soon on the sidebar the feature pops up and advertises more merchandise based upon what you've been looking at so far. The problem I have with "The Page You Made" is that last week I got blamed for having made "End of Days", and I did not appreciate it. I had nothing to do with that stupid movie. I never even saw it. But then today I wound up getting credited with most of Buster Keaton's filmography, which was nice. I was proud of that. But then I felt bad because a bunch of the reviews on the page for The Cameraman were pissed off at me about the video's bad print quality. What do they want from me? I'm doing the best I can.

I don't have the courage to check it out at work, since I'm already on the outs with Burblemeister's anti-sex SmartFilter as a result of having blindly followed links on found-sound webpages, but Pete said Live Nude Cats was pretty weird.

Oh, what the hell.

Yep, pretty weird.

I checked out the Hey Mercedes weblog because I like the band and was relieved to find out that, in comparison, my webpage shows an almost puritanical restraint toward job-talk. Yikes.

If you talk to yourself, you are crazy. If you type to yourself, you are weblogging.

In a minute, I'm supposed to go out and use Eoghan's charge card to purchase emergency office supplies again, meaning that it's time to practice my magical dragon impression lest I be turned away at the cash register. ("Excuse me, sir, but before I allow you to purchase these binder tabs, you're going to have to prove that you are in fact a magical dragon.")

This should sway the undecided votes: Al Gore and George Bush describe their plans for the space program. They give essentially the same vague, pointless answers (the only difference being that Bush wants to privatizing some aspects). Both men support sending humans to Mars in the near future; I'd throw in ten dollars of my own if they're the humans in question.

I suppose this was inevitable: buying and selling votes in political elections online. There's been legal action taken against the site, and it won't succeed in this form, but it is the future. Within twenty years, all of the same people who can't see a problem with advertising in classrooms won't see a problem with this either. I think that the political process is going to have to descend even further into self-parody and absurdism before it can become something more effective.

Eoghan's got a funky signature.

001024 An era has ended. At 11:53 AM this morning, I was asked to do some work, ending my streak of billable time without work-related activity at just over 59 hours. I'd like to thank everyone who supported and encouraged me during this marathon effort of invisibility. You're the ones who made it possible. You, and my reckless confidence in the charmed life that I lead. Thanks.


Well, the requested five binder tabs have now been created and the new streak is at two hours and counting. This one won't have legs, though, because next week it's my turn to collect and deliver the incoming faxes three time a day. Which is a shame, really, because it frustrates the artistry of what I do.

In case anyone's been wondering what Eoghan (from two weeks ago) is up to, he sounds like he's pretty hung over today. If you were out drinking last night and there was a plastered magical dragon staggering around the bar, that might have been him. He still makes the ladies swoon, though.

News from yesterday: free hand! Sweet. Usually you have to be born or seriously injured to get one of those, and who's got that kind of time these days?

I think it's entirely possible that Eoghan is plastered right now, actually. He just came over to check up on me and the other temp to see how we were doing (she's working, I'm not) and if we were having 'fun'. I used the opportunity to milk him for some biographical info. He started out at this office - in this country - two years ago, supposedly in the same position that I'm in now. I don't know how he's managed to preserve his accent after all this time. Maybe when Burblemeister hires you permanently, the benefits package includes getting to be Irish.

Yesterday, I ate lunch in Union Station. The benches were back; they had been cleared to make way for some formal event this weekend. Tuxedos and all that rubbish. I sat, and I ate cold pizza for lunch, and I felt good about it; on the other side of the great hall, children shrieked and played. The echo was gorgeous. It sounded just like the Future Sound of London's Dead Cities.

Excerpts from a book:

"At studio, Tim [Burton] was assigned to Disney staffer Glenn Kean, an animator of the old school. Upon discovering that his new acquisition's talents didn't run toward drawing "cute fox scenes", Kean assigned the newcomer to dealing with more distant shots - the long shots where detail wasn't so important. The results for Burton were far from pleasant. His attempt to force himself into doing something he neither believed in, nor identified with, resulted in a significantly unpleasant period where he has spoken of sleeping upward of fourteen hours a day - ten at home and another four at work ... This, and Tim's generally erratic behavior (he took to sitting in a closet or hiding under his desk to avoid dealing with anyone), did little to help Burton form any strong ties to his co-workers. Overall, his depression and his unusual talents came across only as strangeness."
(Ken Hanke, Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker)

I prefer more of a finesse approach, myself, but it worked pretty well for him. (I'm certainly not going to second-guess Tim Burton.)

This story makes a strong case for why you should stop kicking your friends in the head, especially if you actually like them. It has more consequences than we previously thought. (I realize not everyone will be sold, but please think about it.)

From the elevated train last night, I saw a man peeing behind a dumpster. He had obviously taken great care in choosing his hiding spot. It was a good choice, too, if you don't count the two or three thousand people on that train.

I can't believe it's almost Halloween. That's what a blank life I am leading right now. It almost completely escaped my notice. I don't have any ideas for a costume. At this time last year, I was in tech week for Monks in Trouble. Now I'm part of the Burblemeister rebranding team. God damn it. People were not meant to live like this.

I'm going to go steal office paper as a symbolic gesture.

001023 The train this morning: a beautiful woman sat across from me, blissful look on her face for the entire ride as she stared off into space, perfectly content as if she was seeing the future resolve itself nicely through the window. I checked, just to be sure, but all I saw were buildings.

Also on the train this morning: a man delivering a spectacularly uninteresting monologue on the different travel times downtown from the various train stations of his life. I stopped listening to him until I heard him declare: "Boris Karloff!" I looked up and he was talking about how he had not enjoyed his years on the CTA Blue Line. I went back to reading my book. The train came to an abrupt stop, and he cried out "Wazoo!" Then, without segue, his monologue switched to the topic of gas pains. The train stopped abruptly three more times, and each time came the response: "Wazoo!"

This story is big trouble. What nobody seems to realize is that when their masters are arrested, we are going to have packs of disenfranchised chimpanzee mercenaries roaming around working for the highest bidder. I don't think we can trust chimps to follow the samurai code and commit hari-kari. They don't work like that. I've seen "Bedtime for Bonzo". We're going to have a bunch of pissed-off monkey ronin on our hands and no mistake.

New photos. Many words and images.

I know my rights. Give me back my damn pants.