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.

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art 'n resources:
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b-side wins again 2000

001208 We both have our secrets about what we do in the bathroom at work, and we both operate in a serial fashion; however, unlike the serial masturbator, who does not check to see if he's alone before he audibly gratifies himself (1), I do check to see if I'm alone before I start dancing in front of the mirror and singing Radiohead songs. Ice age coming, ice age coming!

The man is unrepentant!

My mother gave me a six-pack of soda (2) last week and I have now finished five cans. I cut all of the loops in the plastic six-pack holder because I'd read about dolphins getting stuck in them and then looking ridiculous to all of the other dolphins. So that's one thing that I've done to help the dolphins. What precisely I owe the dolphins, I don't know. As far as I can tell, they do very little other than swimming, eating and endlessly intimating that they are very intelligent. (3) But now the dolphins owe me one, so get on it, dolphins.

Lunch with my supervisor and the other two ASAs was pretty good. We ate at the Mexican restaurant in the Sears Tower. The restaurant is only a very small part of the overall building, so I doubt it could be referred to as the tallest Mexican restaurant in the world by anyone other than someone who is wrong. There were tasty chips that were in reasonably convenient shapes for eating purposes and I recognized all of the major components of the salsa, so that's a plus. My feelings about multi-billion dollar soul-sucking capitalist ventures aside, most of the people here at work are rather nice. (4) Several positive things happened at lunch: I gave a convincing summary of the theoretical work that has been keeping me theoretically busy, I found out that my perfomance reports have been uniformly stellar, the supervisor said that we're being kept on indefinitely and the jalapeno cornbread was shaped like a cactus. Sweet. Chad, one of the other ASAs, was talking shit about the Sears Tower's christmas tree. I had to agree, it ain't all that.

Slipped off my shoes.

There is a very promising sketch from early in the development of the upcoming JLA animated series that you can jump, shriek, point your finger and clap your hands at if you are a comic book type and also a chimpanzee. (5) It'll probably be on when I'm at work or before I wake up on the weekend, so it doesn't impact my life a whole lot, but I don't need much excuse to jump, shriek, point my finger and clap my hands.

News: Soccer legends talk smack about each other. All I know is, those guys didn't mean shit in Loyola Park Youth Soccer League 1987-90. Eddie Izzard could host the Academy Awards, if the producers were not secretly evil moray eel people, which they clearly are as any sensible person knows. I hate it when they play with us like this. Eminem vs Bob the Builder is the best celebrity feud to come along for quite some time. (6) Many beautiful pictures can be found on Yahoo's year-end photojournalism page. This article is a brilliant piece of writing that captures the fear and loathing in the modern workplace perfectly; though it describes a job much worse than mine, the feeling is universal. There really is something about girls who say "aboot", isn't there? Damn it.

I feel no guilt for making stinky at the office because it was the company's idea to take us out for Mexican food.

The debranding team has begun issuing pointed threats to remove anything with the old company logo from our desks without asking. This started out as a peaceful revolution, but they always turn violent in the end. I may have to pull a fall of Saigon maneuver to get Frankenruler out of here.

It's hard to believe our lives crossed over at all. If I hadn't heard it all from him, someone else might have stepped in. I don't know. But the point is, I learned everything I needed to know from John Lennon. He died twenty years ago. It becomes more of a cry of rebellion every year, and it's still what gets me through the night: we all shine on.

(1) His identity remains a mystery, but I wish he'd stop it.
(2) Soda, pop, carbonated beverage, drinky-drink.
(3) Which is really all that I ever do, come to think of it.
(4) When they're not participating in "debranding" rallies that are eerily reminiscent of 1939 Berlin, that is, or talking for what seems like hours on end to the final fate of humanity about how mommy will be home soon. (See earlier this week.)
(5) Unless you're at work, in which case you should be calm, unless you work in the monkey room, in which case you should let it all loose and I'd appreciate if you could check the job openings for me.
(6) The best since Samir vs Girls, at least. (Sorry. In-joke for my friends.)

001207 I walked through the snowfall eating chocolate pudding this morning. Yum. I felt like I was pulling one over on everyone else. At the train station, the attendant announced a delay; I went up to the platform anyway, and I started dancing around to the beat of "Just Like Christmas" on Low's Christmas album. I couldn't believe no one else heard the song. It was right there.

For a short and sweet rock 'n roll experience, click here.

All of the verbal conversations that I have attempted so far today (three at 11AM) have been literally incoherent. Entire words are getting dropped and logic chains were melted down to make cheap aluminum siding. Good thing I've got a keyboard in front of me, then.

When I finally made it to the office this morning, many people were standing in the 10th floor lobby watching as one of the executives videotaped people putting office supplies and clothing in the "old company name" bins. Some members of the audience were whooping it up. Later, I heard that the footage is going to be spliced together with a bunch of past ad campaigns to create some manner of rousing corporate propaganda. I was careful to avoid the camera lens. We all started out as human beings, originally, I think. We could have agreed that sunshine and trees are nice, that candy is exciting and it sucks when commercials interrupt cartoons, that love is what you're after and you've got to help out your friends. Now it's all of this.

I thought I heard the mail guy telling someone that I looked like a puppy when I was wandering (1) around the office. But I don't know. I also thought I saw a duck over in technical support for a moment.

The human resources director sent along word that she's taking the ASAs (I am one of three) out for lunch on the company tomorrow. I figure we're all getting fired now that the re-naming effort is over, we're all getting hired as permanent employees because someone in personnel is batshit crazy or we are being expected to become a team through braving together the challenge of eating food. Any of the three is more or less fine by me. I like the other two ASAs here, although I don't see them very often because we sit far away from each other. I think the logic is to keep us from seeing how little work the other two are doing and be therefore intimidated into assuming that there is actual work to be done. Also, I don't think anyone has any clear idea what ASA actually stands for, and they don't want us puzzling over that together. So if anyone knows anything good that I should order at the Mexican restaurant in the Sears Tower, let me know. Menus can be risky without support from your team.

I must be getting it back: moments ago, I delivered a dynamite 'Hello!' in the hallway. Totally convincing. There could be no doubt that I knew that guy, I was glad to see him, I was working hard, I respected him for working hard, I had the best interests of the company in mind and we were in this together. He believed it. In reality, of course, I didn't know him from Adam, don't want to, had not yet done any work today, thought he was a moron if he had done any work himself, had just taken a few more stacks of post-it notes to give to Skinnyguy and would sell him out for a breath mint. But that's not what my smile said!

I saw commercials for this new movie called "Vertical Limit" whose story seems to revolve around being very intense in the snow. I tend to support a more relaxed approach to snow, but I was willing to hear them out until I heard the tagline which was something about "The most powerful force in the world is the will to survive", and then I knew the filmmakers were full of shit because volcanoes are way more powerful than that. It's dangerous, too, because the people who are going to pay to see this movie are exactly the sort of people who that will come as news to.

(1) My 11:15AM appointment was the lyrics to the Paul McCartney song "Wanderlust".

001206 I spent all five hours that I was asleep last night trying to convince an undead Sam Shepard not to beat the shit out of me; now I am awake, exhausted and in need of a post-sleep nap.

Sam eventually decided just to slap me around a bit.

I was proud of the 10th floor because no one bought into the whole "surrender everything you have with the old company name" bins in the lobby. (A quick survey revealed that the other floors are big fans of the program, turning in everything from stationery to aspiring executives who got the old logo tattoed on their necks.) Someone noticed this and sent the Services Team around the office today, talking to everyone personally about the need to get rid of everything bearing the old company name because it's...Debranding Day!!! Studies have shown that random exclamation points in my writing makes me even more charming than usual, but it does the exact opposite for the Services Team. The people in my immediate area (aside from the new media guy, who hasn't been here for a few days and seems confused) have all begun to talk excitedly about the fun of Debranding Day, and some are wearing the bright blue and white Debranding Day pins that the Services Team handed out. The surrender bins are now overflowing. Life, as it often does, is devolving into self-parody.

Yet another weird Google search: "hari kari video photo". My webpage comes up pretty early in the list, actually. I hope that guy found what he was looking for on some other website, because I certainly don't want him coming to me for it.

News roundup: Fun story about life as a low-rent script writer in the film industry. Salon, which kicks ass, also has a story about A Hard Day's Night. While rooting around for Thomas Pynchon "Crying of Lot 49" / postal system material, found some nifty research on what you can and cannot send through the mail. Nothing much interesting about this story except to wonder what these people expected when they signed up to work at a company called Xpedior. They're lucky Xpedior didn't shoot them with death rays, refer to them snidely as "fleshlings" or generally smosh them. Bush will nominate his football hero head of the Navy. This bodes well for Clint Eastwood getting the call as Secretary of Defense and Spider-Man signing on as press secretary. Look! George has won a round of peek-a-boo. And, finally, this photograph rules. Look at those monkeys go! I bet this guy was mad about the monkeys crawling all over his car. Some damn people don't know how good they have it. In terms of random monkey encounters, he is America and I am one of the starving children who works in a sweatshop and has a terrible life.

A brand new webpage can be found to the left entitled Kill Less of Me. It is the work of my friend Dave Johnson, who has many diverse artistic credits: among them are songs that are introspective, songs that are about smoshing, and reproductions of famous paintings that have been "renovated" to include chest hair. Yesterday, Dave tackled an important literary artifact of these times that is generally neglected by mainstream criticism: the student newspaper column.

Six footnotes yesterday, none so far today. What the fuck?

I make a habit of singing Weezer when I'm alone in the elevator.

It's some low-down dirty link sluts up in this world wide web, yo.

When my co-worker tells rambling stories about her daughter Destiny, I like to pretend that she is talking about the cosmic force, not a little girl. It's working pretty well so far. For the last five minutes, I have been hearing about how the ultimate outcome of the hopes and dreams of the human species misses its mommy when she's away at work.

Significantly better than today's update is today's update translated into German and back into English. It's so true that my "webpage appears lovely early into the cunning, actually." It's truer than the translator could possibly have known. (1) "You view concern apes"? You bet I do! Thanks, Freetranslation!

(1) That could be interpreted in a kind of dirty way, couldn't it? Well, don't. At least not until you finish interpreting it in the clean way. (2)
(2) Managed to squeeze in a footnote right there at the end. (3)
(3) That one was kind of dirty too.

001205 Today has been a red letter day. I left for work right on time (1), scored a powerful case of hat hair on the way in, added a few paper clips to Frankenruler and haven't spoken a single word to anyone. I banged on the keyboard for a while in an impressive display of "busy" and I managed not to spit water all over the computer screen when I overheard one of the new hires talking about her daughters Destiny and Tiara. There was a quietly heated debate going on in the global director's office over whether a certain ad "tested better with the elderly woman in it" or not, and there was a mildly frantic discussion of whether a proposed new company pen "really says '55 year-old man', because it's got to, and it can't have rubber in it, because they hate that!" (2) (3) Sealing the deal, I have cold pizza in my lunch bag to look forward to. It's a red letter day. (4)

Another Google search that came to my webpage: "Chimpanzee Wranglers". Boy, did that guy come to the right place! If I could only add "wrasslin' chimps" to "marketing consultant", I would be making six figures overnight.

Everyone became aware of my existence at the same time today. Five different projects arrived from different directions, so I did the only reasonable thing, which was to take a really long lunch. I walked out behind a pair of chubby guys who aspired to look beefy as they wore low-rent suits that aspired to look high-rent. "It'd be a huge mistake", one said. "You have to live downtown...if you lived there, you wouldn't have access to anything." In an odd coincidence, when I returned to the building a couple hours later, they were also returning. "He's homeless. You know, you go there, it's warm, you get up twice a day to go to the bathroom...I can't blame him. Can you? I can't blame him." I wondered if they picked up on the fact that their conversation had reached a perfect full circle.

On my Zod-walk last week, I noticed that the 9th floor had bubble-wrap and the 10th floor didn't. Today, I decided to right that wrong with a trip down to the mailroom. I imagined it'd be all rather like the first caveman who went on a spy mission and brought fire to his tribe, except instead of fire, it'd be bubble-wrap. (5) The mailroom is located on the 5th floor, and they also have bins set up into which you are supposed to surrender all office supplies that bear the old company name. (Read 001204 for more explanation.) I have seen many strange things - that is, after all, the basic thesis of this webpage - but the sight of a balding man with a trembling upper lip slowly depositing a frisbee that featured a picture of a happy brown dog named The (Burblemeister) Consulting Benefits Puppy (6) and then, unaware of my presence, shuffling miserably away down the hall - well, that may have been the strangest.

I have decided to see if I can bring the entire company to its knees by stealing every single post-it note in the building. I've got a healthy stack so far.

When I finally handed in the last project, the executive in charge sent out a pleased email complimenting me on my great turnaround time. I smiled.

I'm takin' my post-it notes and goin' home. Red letter day.

(1) Which is to say that I was forty minutes late, in accordance with my new "This Is All Bullshit and I'm Leaving Whenever the Fuck I Want To" policy.
(2) No conclusion on the elderly woman front, as the debate ended with a few seconds of angry silence, but it was concluded that 55 year old men "really like steel" and the pen would therefore be acceptable.
(3) You'd think they'd be more concerned with the fact that they're old, wrinkly and going to die soon.
(4) In the sense that fascination and amusement are winning a rare victory over the usual bouts of self-loathing for working here.
(5) Needless to say, I was disappointed to find that no woolly mammoths were slaughtered in my honor when I returned, bubble-wrap in hand.
(6) I'm not making that up. I saw a poster that also had the dog on it - a caption explained that the dog will explain how Burblemeister's family insurance benefits work if you attend a seminar.

001204 The walk to the train takes me past a number of stores that have been converted into residences, low-rent art galleries or odd mergers of the two. I stopped to look in one of the storefront windows this morning because I was already fifty-five minutes late for work and I wanted to round it out to an even hour. Toward the bottom and off to the side, there was a ratty piece of paper with a rambling essay about "the beauty of unity"; in back and in the corner, bearing what appeared to be a coffee stain from the Nixon era, was a black and white framed photograph of one of the Residents wearing a suit, top hat and full eyeball head regalia; on the sidewalk out front, there was a battered cardboard box for a Pokemon bank where you insert coins into Pikachu's spine and he giggles with joy. I stepped back to look at the entire thing and thought, shit, whatever they're selling, I want two.

Although fairly demeaning to the monkeys in question, this page is worth some consideration.

I did not make any appointments today. I needed to catch up on some sulking that was left undone during my busy last week. Also, the pants that I am wearing today are a little bit weird. Also, I found some scented markers. Also, they're taking away all of the stationery, notepads and office supplies that bear the company's original name because the court settlement that said they have to change their name also said that they can't use the old name even down to the smallest detail: the post-it notes, and I have to stay at my desk so they don't try to kill the office supply sculptures that I made, because the Frankenruler can't fend for itself in this dangerous world.

And up and down and up and down and up, and down.

Here is my likely employment future, except for the part about being published in the New Yorker. I hope they don't win the lawsuit. That would bode poorly for me ever getting out of debt. I regret nothing, of course, except for certain parts.

Here is my actual employment present. Heh. I'm surprised I missed this site until now, and pleased to have outsmarted SmartFilter to get at it.

They have set up four bins out in the 10th floor reception area, each one for a different part of the old era of Burblemeister Consulting, and signs to instruct employees what goes where: shirts in one, posters in another, office supplies, non-cybersavvy temps. The bins are all marked 'DESTROY'. Nothing is allowed to remain from the pre-'e' era. Soon they'll take over another floor of this building and the bins will be brought there; someone will strike a match, everyone will gather around and watch the flames consume all that is not in line with the new economy. You will leverage the vision of a global leader in the field of e-commerce consulting or you will burn.

Run, Frankenruler! Run!

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