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!
Give me assignments!
(312) 693-0455, 5pm-8am!

Biding my time.
London in February.
Players Workshop (Term 2).
Something or someone.
Charming as ever.

Recent reading:
1 Cryptonomicon
Neal Stephenson
2 Silent Screens:
The Decline and Transformation of the American Movie Theater

Michael Putnam, et al
3 the Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater
Sheldon Patinkin, et al
4 Goya
Sarah Symmons
5 BFI Modern Classics:
the 'Three Colours' Trilogy

Geoff Andrew

updated daily:
Corona Movies
Kill Less of Me
Morning News
Notes from Jail
Robot Wisdom

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

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

Another Room
Penny Dreadful Players
Ron Rodent
WEFT 90.1 FM

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

b-side wins again 2000

001229 I spent too much time hanging around recent college graduates last night and couldn't bring myself to go in to work today. Every minute spent in the shower turned into ten; the air in my apartment took on the consistency of peanut butter while I tried to get dressed. The morning concluded with a tense, nail-biting half hour lying perfectly still on the carpet wondering if I could get to the phone and call in sick before the time when I was actually supposed to be at work. In a thrilling photo finish, I won. Then I spent the next few hours reliving my college years by staring off into space and listening to my own heart beat.

Today was the last day of Burblemeister Consulting. When I return to work next week, they will be operating under their new name. The rebranding campaign for the new alias is underway.

It's much nicer hanging around with my cats than it is with my co-workers.

Weather patterns are still at it.

New Year's is another fantastic holiday, to my mind. (1) I am looking forward to it. The chances for total economic collapse are somewhat slimmer this year, since the sorts who make bombs and manifestos don't really cross over with the sorts who get worked up about the millenium starting in 2001, but they still exist and I'm still in debt (2), so I'm all for it. I also enjoy New Year's because you run around and yell at midnight, and it's fun to know that everyone else in your time zone (4) is running around and yelling too, or at least a majority of them are. Some of them roll around and yell if they're in wheelchairs or if they're a kind of robot that has wheels instead of feet. I suppose fat people are more likely to waddle around and yell, which makes me wish I did not have such a vivid imagination because now I am seeing an entire house full of fat people waddling around and yelling. It's very scary. Hmm. Need to alienate some other group now. Ah, yes. And then there are the Vietnam vets, who run around and yell but they don't even know it's New Year's. (5)

Anyway, I'm not one for epic New Year's resolutions. I did resolve a while back to get more things for free, and the resolution was a massive success. I haven't come up with anything for this year. I am a very modern robot boy with all of the latest upgrades, so I don't have much room for improvement. Keep dodging those random spinning blades on my way to the power-ups, I guess. Please, readers, consider adding that one to your list too.

Thank you very much for reading my webpage and I will return next year.

(1) Enjoy quite a bit: Halloween, Christmas, New Year's. Not a fan: Easter, April Fool's Day, Fourth of July, Secretaries' Day. As a little robot boy, I don't have enough data to make a statement about Valentine's Day. The ways of human beings are very strange to me.
(2) My assets and capital don't add up to the amount of money I owe in student loans and credit cards, so in that sense I'm in debt. However, if my comic book collection was worth a fucking tenth of what the Overstreet Price Guide or Wizard Magazine says it is, I could buy a house. (3)
(3) Not to mention my kung-fu, which is mighty and therefore must be worth at least six figures. Hard to tap into the used kung-fu market, though.
(4) It should be mentioned again how much the concept of time zones fucked up last New Year's. We knew that Japan was fine by the time we woke up on New Year's Eve. Suspense, beaten and stabbed and hung from a bridge...with a rope that breaks! Fuckers.
(5) What? Because they stayed late at the health club! Geez!

001228 For some, Christmas is the season of giving; for others, it is a season of worship and reflection. For a shadowy few, however, Christmas is the season of stealing the baby Jesus from nativity scenes. I had tendencies in that direction early in my life. Let's face it, the baby Jesus just sits there. The Mary and Joseph figures can roam around and the wise men can take turns dunking each other in the hay, but if you are four years old and you are trying to construct an action-packed story in your grandmother's nativity scene, you lose the baby Jesus straight off. He's only holding things up. I can't remember how much narrative ingenuity I employed in my manger thrillers, but isn't the baby Jesus rather like the suitcase full of money in crime movies? He does nothing, yet everyone is there because of him. So if you stash the baby Jesus somewhere, removing the object that everyone in the scene desires, you create serious dramatic tension. Suddenly, the masks come off and even the little drummer boy's a suspect.

Hauser said that Barrington's missing Jesus figure in 1999 was never officially connected to that particular thief, but he suspects a copy-cat motive for at least one if not both of the disappearances over the past two years.

Anyway, I haven't even approached a nativity scene in years, but my relatives still complain (as recently as this Christmas) about the compulsive baby Jesus thefts of my youth. It complicated things that I could never remember where I put the baby Jesus. My offers of Fisher-Price people as replacement baby Jesuses were always declined with annoyance. No accounting for taste. The third clown scared the hell out of me. I'd always try to pawn him off first. There was no place for him inside the romping stomping paradise of Western Town.

The guys at the office supply store that I frequent with the ol' corporate charge card sent me a Christmas present in the mail: some correction tape. That was nice of them. It's fun getting envelopes at work marked ATTN: MR HEIDEN.

Saw nothing but good books being read on the train today: Down and Out in Paris and London and The Virgin Suicides. The taste of CTA train riders is generally rather dodgy, so that was a surprise. Also, I read an article about good books in Salon about the Wizard of Oz (eh) versus the Chronicles of Narnia (the bomb), both of which are having anniversaries this month.

Sammy Hagar thinks his album was only the 10th best of 2000, six places behind Sting. Buck up, Sammy!

001227 On a normal day, I go at least three rounds with the snooze button before I make my way out of bed. Today, however, I sat bolt upright with a thought fully-formed in my head: the reason that I find the noise of the alarm incomprehensible, said the thought, often unable to understand why the clock is making that sound or what it means, is that my half-asleep mind is always looking for the subtext in the alarm noise and not processing the central message.

I was still for a moment, satisfied with the revelation. Then I began to feel like it was kind of odd to have thought the word "subtext" so early in the morning, and gradually I realized that it hadn't been a very good thought after all.

The ex-Canadian here at work is continuing to rack up points by complaining that her "brain is going to atrophy" if she keeps her current job for much longer. Also, she has photographs of her hot daughters in her cubicle, which beats the shit out of the Precious Moments down the hall.

Met an old friend for lunch today and she confirmed the success of my current fashion aesthetic, which is to look as much like an eight-bit video game character as possible. The idea: solid color for pants, solid color with single slight variation (e.g. a stripe) for top. Two colors overall. Cap pulled down near eyes to achieve nicely shaped, easily rendered head; also gives indication that character has eyes without requiring much detail. Hands kept in pockets or inside sleeves to avoid cumbersome animation for individual fingers. Cap matches pants, also shoes. Keen interest shown in power-ups. Studious avoidance of spinning blades.

I was kind of hoping that the office would be abuzz with talk of the e-consulting shootings from yesterday. I don't have any physically malicious wishes toward anyone in this office, to be sure, but I thought it might be nice if we could start some 1950s style witch-hunts for potential killers in our midst. Break up the monotony, you know. But no one's said a word. I walked around the floor and did a quick sweep for bearded men shooting people, just to be careful. Didn't see any. I will attempt to remain vigilant. Pardon me, sir, but a bearded man is shooting you. Why, yes, you're right. Stop that, bearded man. Ah, shucks.

A dark moment, recreated for you: the Zany Time Reports Memo.

001226 My apartment was very scary last night: the radiators beat a primal rhythm behind their whistles and howls, shadows flickered strange patterns and cats found odd-sounding things to scratch; I hid under the covers and thought about how Christmas night used to be so much fun when I didn't have to work the next day. Then a cat walked on my head and for a moment I was a little freaked out.

No presents for me this year save an impressive acquisition from a friend who has a way of getting things, at, well, extreme discounts. Nifty, it is.

I stepped out on the platform this morning as a train heading the other direction left. A man passed by, singing to himself, heading toward the stairs with a bag of chips. I thought, man, I'd like to be heading somewhere with a bag of chips right now. Nope. Going to work, where the bathroom smells violently of burned toast.

Recent photo acquisitions: Thanksgiving Sonata and Baby, It's You.

Walking up marble stairs: torn pieces of what looked to have been half a dollar bill - then, one step above, a lone french fry. Human drama.

This article made me think of "Annie Hall", wherein Woody tells it like it is.

I lost a game of RBI Baseball on the NES for the first time in eleven years last week. I was a little worried that it might be an omen of sorts, but I brought my team back the next day and beat the fuckers by slaughter rule (10+ run margin). Things have pretty much proceeded as normal since then.

001224 In memoriam:

Where have you gone, Billy Barty
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you
(looking down a ways, woo woo woo)
What's that you say, Mr Lucas
Bouncin' Billy has left and gone away
hey hey hey, hey hey hey.

Billy Barty, 1924-2000. I'm not sure what the conversion rate is to microns before the sun sets on Eternia, but I think only Billy really ever knew that anyway.

A last word, from the AV Club:

BB: Although I'll tell you, it's a different world in the entertainment business today. But I won't get into that.

O: You can if you want. Although I understand you're a professional...

BB: Well, we gotta get our act together in the entertainment business. We got so much yuch-yuch. Sesame Street and all the friendly, instructive shows, that's one thing. And the Sid & Marty Krofft things are still good, like they were done yesterday, I think. It was a pleasure working for them. I know a lot of people who I really highly respect in the business. One of the greatest entertainers, to me, is Mickey Rooney. He does comedy, he does musicals, he can direct, he can write, he can do a little bit of everything. Mickey and I were in movies together back to 1929. He always pulls this line, he says, "Billy and I almost grew up together." Ba-da-bum! And Donald O'Connor to me is fantastic. Him I've known since he was eight and I was nine. We used to play in Vaudeville together. Those days were fantastic. It's a lot different these days. I read scripts and I can't do 'em. I don't wanna swear, I don't blow up 48 buildings, I don't have sex, I don't say four-letter words. Hey! Whattya gonna do? Besides, everybody probably thinks I'm dead now... Hold on one second... Sorry, that was my nurse. She's very nice. Has nice, you know, earphones! [Laughs.]

O: You know, I'd pay to see a movie called Billy Barty Blows Up 48 Buildings.

BB: You would?

O: Sure. And I think all my friends would, too.

BB: Okay! Write it!

O: You got it!

BB: No, really! Seriously! The main thing is that you keep trying. Who knows? People ask me where I went to learn this stuff. I tell 'em I didn't go nowhere! You may not do it--I mean, it may not work out--but my thinking is that as long as you try, you've done it.

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