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.

Leave obscene voicemail!
(312) 693-0455, 5pm-8am!

updated daily:
Corona Movies
Exploding Dog
Hey Mercedes
Morning News
Robot Wisdom

updated weekly:
the Onion (W)
Red Meat (Tu)
Splendid (M)
This Modern World (M)

occasional updates:
I Hate This Part of Texas
Public Enemy
Static Flux
What Jail is Like

Another Room
Penny Dreadful Players
Players Workshop
Ron Rodent
WEFT 90.1 FM

art 'n resources:
Wes Anderson
Tim Burton
Douglas Coupland
Eatonweb Portal

b-side wins again 2000

001201 After eleven hours of dreamless sleep, interrupted only by a 4AM glance at my watch and request that God damn some undefined 'it', I staggered out of my apartment to go to work. When I reached the street, I knew that I had left at exactly the right moment because that's when it started to snow.

I can't believe www.yourdeadrelatives.com hasn't been taken. I can imagine a great website going there. One domain name that is not available is www.freeodb.com, and I can't wait to see what goes up there.

If anyone is watching this update in realtime (and there are usually at least two of you), the reason that I am going so slowly is that I scheduled a 3PM session for bending paper clips into triangles, and I'm trying to balance that task with this one. I am a busy young consultant. (1)

Britney Spears is writing a novel. Her mom is helping her with it. I don't know if it'll be the Great American Novel, but I bet it'll be sassy!

More reasons why I like basketball, from the Chicago Tribune:

Dalibor Bagaric and Dragan Tarlac attended their first hockey game, watching the Thrashers lose Wednesday to Detroit. When asked if he thought the game was cool, Bagaric, who is still learning English, flashed his sense of humor. "Yes," Bagaric said. "It is on ice."

You can almost see the shit-eating grin, can't you?

This webpage reached the 1,000 hit mark in less than two weeks of monitoring, with barely any other webpages linking to me and without trying to get people to believe the hype. I'm pretty chuffed about that. Word of mouth, yo.

I've heard a lot of people say that they would be vegetarians but they can't give up chicken. If you are one of those people, and you are serious about it, click here. Everyone else, stay away. Stay far away.

I should leave work early today. I am far too charming to stick around this dump.

Top five books I see most often on the CTA:
5) (tie) Whatever Barbara Kingsolver and Patricia Cornwell wrote
4) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (2)
3) Harry Potter by JK Rowling
2) various books, Ayn Rand
1) Whatever it is that I'm reading (3)

I didn't bring a sandwich today and I haven't any real money to spend, so at lunch I went looking for a place that was sufficiently low-rent for my culinary interests and also took credit cards. I wound up overpaying for a grilled cheese, although if you factor in the weird orange glow of the closed section that I sat in and the rambling patter of the immigrant owner about American "sign now pay later" economic habits, I think I came out ahead.

(1) I had a voicemail message waiting for me this morning asking that I bend paper clips into triangles. I am, of course, one hundred percent committed to customer satisfaction.
(2) I only saw it once, but it's a really big book.
(3) Get it? Hurr, hurr.

001130 Having already wrecked myself, I cancelled my appointment to check myself this morning. I figured there wasn't much point any more.

I have noticed that work is a bit easier if I schedule lots of things for myself in the office planners that they give us. I scheduled "wander off" for 2:45 tomorrow, and my entire morning today has been booked solid with moping. It only becomes problematic on days like today when moping runs long and that makes me late to my 12:30 "mess around with stickers". If you would like to schedule things for me, just call my voicemail at (312) 693-0455 between the hours of 5pm and 8am and I'll pencil you in if I can. It is a good idea to be on my schedule, because I am a promising young marketing consultant in one of the largest consulting firms in North America.

It's funny, the skills you pick up in your formative years that turn out to be the ones you use most in life. You never know what they're going to be until you grow up. Some people are good at math, or teaching, or planning; for me, the two most important job skills that I learned as a child were placing stickers in sticker albums evenly and playing hide 'n go seek. That's basically all that I do on even the busiest days. Life in the so-called real world is dumb.

I noticed today that the building I work in is the worldwide headquarters of Burblemeister. That would explain the hideous throbbing giant evil brain that I found while rummaging around for interesting office supplies last week.

In news of other noticings, I noticed that people respond better to my intra-office memos if I use exclamation points like music in a Bergman film and just throw them all over the place indiscriminantly. I spent fifteen minutes trying to phrase a response to a memo about time reports that was not drenched in sarcastic contempt, and eventually I gave up and put in a bunch of exclamation points. Worked like a charm.

Further along on a chain of serial noticings: for the second time in as many months, a passenger sat down next to me on the train this morning with a notebook full of poetry. Each page was clean, with no corrections. I couldn't read most of it, but each four-line stanza was separated from the others with a roman numeral and the poem was entitled "The Secret of the Richest". Can't anybody write a poem about being on the train without turning it into an excuse for obvious, ham-fisted class consciousness blather? There are so many interesting things in the world. The strongest challenge that you can pose to a corrupt system is to identify a beauty that the system is not. (1)

If Tim Burton's upcoming Planet of the Apes turns out to be the greatest movie of all time, I won't be all that surprised. I'll probably nod and say, yep, figured that one was going to be pretty good.

I am completely unimpressed by this David Blaine guy and his block of ice stunt. I completed three college degrees under way more difficult circumstances. Also, Penn says it's bullshit, and I trust him, because his voice used to tell me when the Kids in the Hall were going to be on. (2) He's no James Earl Jones, but still.

This was a very evangelical morning. On the walk from the subway to the office, I received a pamphlet from a man representing Jews for Jesus. It had a lot of cheerful cartoons. Unfortunately, the middle pages were stuck together so I couldn't see what happened between my mother loving me and me winding up in hell. Then randomWalks had a link to an MST3K / Jack T Chick crossover that is very good and should be read by everyone, especially friends of mine such as Eric and Ann. I had heard Jack T Chick's name before, but I didn't realize that he was responsible for so much of the amazing literature that dominated the train rides of my youth. His pamphlets could be found on or under at least one seat on nearly every train that ran on the Purple line in Chicago. We always found This Was Your Life striking, for example, because as comic book geeks we recognized that the main character was clearly Bruce Wayne and the author's strong message that salvation cannot be achieved through good works alone held major implications for Batman's future. I was happy to discover that Mr Chick has done even better work since then. Fat Cats delivers a stinging rebuke to fat men from South America who demand chicken, going books like "Animal Farm" one better by getting rid of all that confusing subtlety and employing powerful Aristotelian unity in its narrative. Chick makes a perceptive link between resistance against corrupt governments and soul-annihilating evil, a lesson that will make the next four years in America a great deal easier for thinking people everywhere. Party Girl is just awesome, providing the missing link between straight-edge kids, evangelical Christians and me. By the time that any of my friends reaches the panel where Satan demands that you "Keep on partying! You'll NEVER regret it. Trust ME!", you will want to buy me a milkshake, for that is obviously what Jesus is trying to tell you to do. The pious grandmother from "Party Girl" makes a reappearance in Bewitched, a promising recent work, where Chick continues to develop his innovative storytelling by having us sit and watch Nick at Nite with Satan for a while in the middle of the narrative. There are many, many other ones on the website, though, so you can find your own favorites.

This is an excellent article on the evil of cell phones that I picked up from a good website called Scrubbles. There are many cell phones around me every day. A few weeks ago, I saw a frat boy bellowing into one on the CTA and I began to long for the days of my youth, when the CTA was less regulated and that sort of behavior got you stabbed. (3)

I am going to Champaign this weekend. Fun fun.

And now, if you'll pardon me, I am late for my 4:30 appointment to breathe on the glass doors out front.

(1) The "Ice Dance" scene from Edward Scissorhands is a damn sight more revolutionary than anything in fucking Fight Club.
(2) You'll recall that Penn said no such thing about my "college graduation" stunt.
(3) It was in the Railway Guide. Seriously.

001129 My schedule is all messed up again. I'm supposed to wreck myself today at 3 and check myself tomorrow at 10. Damn, damn, damn.

This was a very schizophrenic morning. I spent the first two hours struggling to stay awake through a variety of clever methods such as slumping forward, whacking the monitor with my forehead and mumbling about the screen resolution being too small. Around 10:30 I headed off to find Zod, and when I returned, the rest of the morning was spent mangling office supplies and engaging in fits of violent paranoia about my co-workers. I was paid a nice salary throughout.

I had, in accordance with several voicemail messages that I received, made an appointment today to kneel before Zod. Being a responsible young marketing consultant, I left a few minutes early because I wanted to make a favorable impression. I brought my nifty look-busy orange folder with me. My first move was down to the reception desk on the 6th floor. I knew that Zod wasn't listed in the Chicago Metro Office Directory, so I figured that he might meet me in the reception area and then we'd go to wherever his office is. There are nice chairs in the reception area and copies of business newspapers to read. I waited for a few minutes. The receptionist recognized me from when I got my security badge a few weeks ago, and she asked if I needed any help. I told her I was waiting for someone. Zod was taking his sweet time, so I went to the bathroom and then came back. He still wasn't there. I asked the receptionist if she could look up "Mr Zod". After checking the spelling, she noted that he wasn't listed and asked what department he was in. I said I wasn't sure, that the whole thing had been a little weird and I hadn't talked to him directly. She repeated Zod's name and then apologized for not being able to help. I decided to check on the fifth floor in this one conference room where there were bagels once, but neither Zod nor bagels were to be found. There was a neat phone in the middle of the table, though, and a computer on a cart like the ones that the TVs and VCRs were on when we watched movies in grade school. My next move was to the ninth floor, where my friend Mike Quinn's aunt works. Her name is Jan. I've never met her, so I had to wander around a bit to find her desk. I said hello to a lot of people. Eoghan was down there, but he was talking to someone else. I couldn't find Mike Quinn's aunt, so I settled for taking an extra bottle of white-out for my desk and a few new letter openers to use in my office supply sculptures. That was the end of my adventure. As I write this, it dawns on me that perhaps Eoghan is Zod, because he's the only really notable person that I saw. That's sort of an awkward subject to broach with someone, though, so I'll wait until he brings it up.

It's the afternoon now.

I feel like melting wax inside.

I would like to get a Christmas tree this year. I don't really have room for a big one, though, nor do I count as enough of a family. But I like the smell of pine needles. Maybe I'll wake up every morning and think I'm about to get some new GI Joes.

There is a Starbucks in the Forbidden City, where the Manchu dynasty of Chinese emperors lived. The vast, glorious complex was designed as the step directly below Heaven. No foreigners were allowed inside, and the only "mortals" permitted to enter were eunuch servants of the divine emperors. Naive people that they were, the Manchu vision of Heaven did not include frappuchino; that has been corrected, because everything goes to shit eventually.

This is part of why Kevin Garnett is the best player in the NBA right now, responding to a question about sticking with his team after the league took away its next five draft picks:

"If I was a Caesar salad, the croutons would be my friends, the lettuce would be my family and the dressing itself would be my mom."

Would a mind like that get involved with Kazaam? Heck no.

This webpage received a Google-hit from someone searching for the phrase "nude artistry". Evidently, I qualify. I have no idea how that works. I swear to you, readers, I was at least 70% clothed for the writing of every single word on this webpage.

001128 I found an orange folder in the copy room and have decided to carry it around the office with me. I need to get some papers to put inside of it, and I'm thinking about writing 'PROJECTS' in block letters on the outside, but otherwise it looks pretty good. Does wonders for my "busy" appearance. I hold the orange folder like a gorilla mother clinging to the fake wire baby that the zookeepers gave her. This time, however, the joke is on the zookeepers.

There were bagels and danishes this morning because some meeting was cancelled. I ate. Felt warm and sleepy. Raisins, inexplicably, did not sit well.

Projects: develop a new greeting that is less smarmy than my customary "Hul-lo!" I think everyone has begun to catch on to it. In the long range, for situations in which no verbal communication is made, it would be nice to have alternatives to my all-purpose condescending smirk; however, I fear that may require some manner of surgery. In the immediate future, I need to stop having flashbacks to the Boxer Rebellion, because it makes for awkward elevator rides and also because I was not actually there in the first place.

ODB goes down at McDonald's. He's under arrest for "making terroristic threats" (1) and wearing a bulletproof vest, the illegality of which continues to escape me. Are we required by law to be puncturable? Are they going to start arresting cyborgs left and right because police have to work to shoot them? I don't buy the official explanation here. (See the footnote.) I like the part at the end about how ODB did not try to flee the arresting officer Rebecca Anderson; there is probably a very good movie (or at least a short play) to come out of their encounter, sort of like My Dinner With Andre but between ODB and the po-po, and at McDonald's instead of an expensive French restaurant.

Comic book fans: there is a John Constantine, Hellblazer movie in development. And it's being written by the creator of Suburban Commando. Should be, well, terrible. It might even inspire thousands to become priests, which is easier than ever thanks to Vocations Online. Now you don't have to limit your online drunk impulsive activity to porn and purchases on eBay - you can join God's calling and then feel really awkward when you sober up and start receiving emails and phone calls from polite priests named Jeff who want to know where you were at yesterday's blessing of the infirm and elderly.

This article rules. They should ask Gadhafi's opinion about everything. I'll even let them use my webpage for the announcements. (2)

The new media guy figured out what I do all day. I can only hope that he'll keep quiet about it. Lack of work is not my fault. I made a spreadsheet this morning. It didn't say anything, but I made it. Digital revolution, yo.

I had a voicemail message yesterday requesting that I make "kneeling before Zod" a priority, so I rescheduled it from Friday to 10:30am tomorrow morning. It will probably take me a while walking around the building to find Zod (3), because he is not listed in the Chicago Metro Office Directory, but that kind of hard work is what I'm paid for.

(1) I don't understand the threat. Ghostface Killah, sure, I get that. He's going to be scary and he's going to kill you. But Ol' Dirty Bastard is an implied threat: the possibility exists that he will not have showered, for example, or that he will come over to your house and leave his stuff everywhere. Hardly "terroristic". I suspect that ODB exposed the wack rhyming ability of some head of state and now he's the victim of a smear campaign.
(2) Gadhafi, what do you think about the ODB? "Well, this Wu-Tang Clan is clearly not to be fucked with, whereas the United States military has in the past been fucked with and has not consistently destroyed its enemies in response. Therefore, I recommend sharing the White House between Gore, Bush, and the RZA. I also recommend nominating at least three killah bees to cabinet positions."
(3) The closest match I could find would have me kneeling before Mark Zogbaum, a technology analyst in the Northbrook office.

001127 There should be a room in every office where you can go and throw sharp spinning discs at the wall. You should also be able to yell while you are doing it. Fuck your Palm Pilot. Sharp spinning discs are the future of e-commerce.

Establishing beyond any reasonable doubt that I should have a guardian with me at all times, I chugged some Squirt and ate some Chips Ahoy this morning. Consequently, the only thing I could think to say to anyone for the next three hours was "There is no god." Then I found some chocolate, and suddenly I'm in love with everything.

I smell perfume and egg foo young.

I hosted a soiree this weekend. It was very tricky. I had to be very wily. This was the first time I had attempted to host an event, and I was ultimately one chair short; also, I did not have enough clean glasses. I was wily, though, and I washed some while people were chatting among themselves. We sat around, related experiences, identified cultural artifacts and discussed them. When everyone left, I put the glasses back in the sink and wondered who in his right mind would drink any of the Squirt that had been left behind.

According to the NME, The Make-up have not broken up. Even more exciting is the news that all you have to do to get your record banned in Burma is to include a track "dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi and the democracy movement in Burma." I have always wanted to be banned in Burma, so I am dedicating today's update to Aung San Suu Kyi. Presto! Instant punk-rock. Just add water.

Feel bad about how you've been spending your time? Wish you were more productive? Try some Mega Man fan fiction to restore the ol' self-image. It'll make you proud of having mopped the floor yesterday in no time flat.

The "new media" consultant was back today. As he settled into his workstation, he asked me what I was working on. I couldn't use my standard answer (1), because he actually knows what the web is. My mind raced. Was I going to be exposed? I thought about kicking him and running as fast as I could. "Oh, projects for the some of the top-level executives", I responded, motioning in the direction of a sheet with a bunch of phone numbers posted nearby. He seemed satisfied.

Malkovich Malkovich!

As I recall, right about now is the part of the semester when it is better to be a working stiff rather than a college student. For me, the sound of late November and December is David Bowie's Low album.

By the time I went to lunch in the early afternoon, I had fallen from chemical grace. I sat alone in the Metro Deli at Union Station, eating cheap macaroni and cheese that was intermittently warm, and the jukebox, often a cruel mistress, clicked over to "Alison". I looked around, blinked, and smiled for the cameras.

(1) "HTML, you know, web programming." I believe that it's useful to work as much truth as possible into your lies.

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