This. 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.

My voicemail cries out for you:
(312) 693-0455, 5pm-8am.

Biding my time.
Players Workshop (Term 2).
London in February.
The color printer at work.

Recent reading:
1 Trigger Happy : Videogames and the Entertainment Revolution
Stephen Poole
2 Chicago by Gaslight : A History of Chicago's Netherworld, 1880-1920
Richard Lindberg
3 David Boring
Daniel Clowes
4 The Trial
Franz Kafka, Breon Mitchell (trans.)
5 Doctor Faustus
Christopher Marlowe

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

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

occasional updates:
Exploding Dog
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 2001

010126 I saw a new-model CTA bus that had yellow, tan and brown stripes. Where nature could not create projectile vomit on wheels, mankind has succeeded.

I gave serious thought to not coming in today, resentful of having had such a busy week, but I wanted to pick up my paycheck; I compromised by coming in really late and maintaining poor posture at my desk. That's just one of the business solutions that, as a young up-and-coming marketing consultant, I provide. On a somewhat related note, there been candy round here, so I been eatin' it.

There are rabbits all over the office. An advertising shoot that involved rabbits finished up yesterday, and the newly unemployed rabbits have been dispersed among the employees to place on top of cabinets and cubicles. They are not live rabbits, though they are very realistic replicas; their original color wasn't quite what the agency was looking for, so the rabbits were all spray-painted a silvery tone. There are at least a hundred. I feel as though the directing chores for my life have suddenly been handed over to a young, pretentious film-school grad who would cite David Lynch as a "really big influence".

I haven't felt like saying very much today.

Update: watch for the very same rabbits that are currently making me uneasy to appear on television during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. They all seem creepily pleased with themselves about it.

I wish they would hire a talking crow to fly around the office and tell us about Big Rock Candy Mountain. It's very unprofessional to skimp on the talking crow.

(population news) Turning to the future, Bradley said: "It's fairly inarguable that the population is going to grow from 6 billion today to nearly 9-12 billion by the year 2050, according to the United Nations. A lot of the developing world lives at subsistence levels, and is already vulnerable to year-to-year variations in climate." The combination of accelerated population growth and projected changes in the climate "make for a potent mix for real problems on a global scale," he suggested. Furthermore, although scientists can reasonably project population and temperature, it's harder to determine how and where rainfall patterns will change during the next half-century. "Due to the modern political systems, people may not be able to follow the rains as they once did."

To reiterate, then:

"Due to the modern political systems, people may not be able to follow the rains as they once did."

Write your Congressman today and demand that he allow people to follow the rains as they once did. It's only right.

My cubicle has its first piece of decoration: I am never going to work again. Thanks to my friend, the color printer.

Rabbits in crisis: Visa has a rabbit ad too, so Beelzetron is trying to pull their rabbit ad out. The rabbits still look creepily pleased.

(news) Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut said the draft legislation, to be presented next month, follows through on a warning to Hollywood and the music and electronic games industry last year to change or face the consequences. Speaking at a news conference to give a "report card" on the electronic games industry, the former Democratic vice presidential candidate said the law would target "false and deceptive advertising" of adult-rated films, music and electronic games to under-age audiences.

On this week's cleverness charts, the "we are giving this public or private institution a bad report card as if they were a student and we were the teacher" advocacy group technique falls two spots behind hammering nails into your arm as a conversation starter. Next up, a very special long-distance dedication. Cindy from Toledo writes: dear Marc, I am madly in love with Manute Bol. I think about him day and night. Will you please play "Send Me An Angel" and dedicate it to Manute? No, Cindy, I won't. Don't ask again.

010125 Rays of sunlight streamed through my living room window this morning for the first time in ages; I figured that the only reasonable response was to sprawl out on the carpet and take a nap, so I did. This followed a shower during which the water temperature didn't have to be adjusted at all, which was clearly a cue to sit down and doze off under the spray, and an alarm that began buzzing at exactly the right point in my dream, which any sensible person would recognize as a message from the world's collective unconscious to go back to sleep, kid, you're okay.

The sidewalk graffiti transcription is proving to be a long and arduous process. Today, I realized that it is not a circle that encloses the words "I Don't Love No Hoe's", but a heart. Crazy! Now the message has to be seen as a response to dominant cultural signifiers -- names with plus symbol in heart equals love, etc -- and therefore as much a blanket condemnation of the possibility of genuine emotional interaction with anyone as positive interaction with hoe's themselves.

It's a shame that Valentine's Day is on a weekday this year. I'm probably going to wind up standing in front of that sidewalk and staring, shaking my head, for hours.

2001 is the Year of the Snake. Yeah, that figures.

(news) A group of organizations concerned about staggering human and economic losses caused by natural hazards is asking the incoming administration to take a new national approach to disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wildfires. Led by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), more than 30 cosigning organizations want the Bush administration to make natural disaster reduction a national priority and take specific steps to build the country's resilience to natural hazards.

Liberals have always been far too lenient on volcanoes, it's true, and despite the powerful volcano lobby in Congress, perhaps the new regime will get tough on volcanoes. The American people are fed up with having their stuff melted by hot molten lava. Now what are you fat cats going to do about it?

Which natural disaster is the best? At the moment, I'm on a volcano kick. It's like, you thought it was a mountain, but surprise, it's spewing flaming goo and fiery chunks of death! Didn't see that coming, did you? And of course volcanoes are absolutely key for all of those sacrificial virgins who keep piling up around the house. I mean, how can you sacrifice a virgin to an earthquake? Wait for it, wait for it, drop her in the remains of the Safeway, and take off. No drama. But sometimes volcanoes crap out on you and go dormant, so they're not perfect either. And they kind of suck for teen abstinence rates, because everyone probably hops right into the back of the Volkswagon as a precaution against selection for hot molten death. I can see both sides on the volcano issue. I envy the Japanese, because giant monster battles are the only form of natural disaster that is truly all good.

Mobiles Disco. I never thought the web would get better than that live streaming controllable penguin-cam, but walking around a disco in Finland as a smiling tiny Lego man with an Afro trying to speak Finnish is basically the best thing ever.

(religion) Conner realized his church could use its name to appeal to those who previously had scorned religion. Then he went to Disneyland and saw children drawn to the cartoon characters. "It made me realize if the kids are enthusiastic about it, the parents will be. If you can win people's children, you'll have a good chance of winning the parents." The church began using God-Zillah as a mascot, using him on T-shirts and the cover of the church directory. "We got him saved. He's been reformed," Conner said. "He's not quite the monster of the movies."

Boy, is Godzilla going to be the laughing-stock of Monster Island now. Shit, Mothra doesn't worship. Mothra is worshipped. Still, if they manage to work MechaGodzilla into the Christian pantheon somehow, it might be okay.

The long-term consequences of the zany time reports memo number two disaster have been increased attention and work to do. The way things work here is that projects come up, and teams are assembled to deal with those projects; I noticed that people who are fun to work with, like the ever-chipper Eoghan, are most likely to get chosen, presumably in the hope that they'll be as witty about stuffing envelopes as they were about time reports. Immediately, then, I dove headlong into dour motherfucker mode. Too late. There are benefits to working on projects, of course. People come by and give you things (which happened as I was writing this) and free lunches become as plentiful as they say the buffalo once were before the white man fucked everything up for everyone.

Although I was away from the computer for the entire afternoon, yesterday turned out to be pretty good. I rode a cab around town delivering the first few project assemblies, and I charged the cab rides to the company. That is a totally enjoyable thing to do, and I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance. In keeping with my resolution to live life more like a video game, it was fun to run around the corridors of unfamiliar Beelzetron buildings. (1) You need a keycard to open most of the doors at any given Beelzetron office -- this one included -- so I'd take my keycard, hide it and then go find it like it was a power-up. Slowed down the delivery process a bit, but it was my ninja power that was on the line. I did what I had to do. Oh, the bosses at the end of the stages, though!

Fred, who describes himself as the official voice of CBS Sports, you know me, right? is driving Global Director Dan up the wall with his failure to pronounce 'Beelzetron' correctly in rehearsals for the Super Bowl telecast (where the evil B is prominently featured). I appreciate it when people have amusing stress.

(1) There are several in the Chicagoland area. I work in the World HQ, and there is another sixty-floor megalith; the rest are smaller operations, taking up anywhere from one to five floors. They all have the stink of consultant, though.

010124 My fingers are an intricately plotted tale of paper cuts and missing bits of skin, full of unfulfilled metaphors and evasive suggestions. I paid a price for the rapid speed at which I assembled the ad packages yesterday: I was faster than mortal men and I bled. Job dedication wasn't involved in the decision, though. I just thought it'd be funny to bleed all over these ads and send them out to the company's managing partners like that. Ted's on the phone to Dan. Dan, I like the verite touch on the "Human Circuit" ad. Bold, good stuff. Ted, what are you talking about? You know, Dan, the blood splattered all over the copy. Ted, you're nuts. No, Harold is nuts. Cut to Harold's office, where he knows damn well what the blood means: there has been an uprising at the Chicago office, and the workers across the world are killing the bourgeoise. No way Harold's sticking around for the slaughter. He's off to Argentina. Rolf is a vampire, so he gives a big thumbs up to the entire thing. Most of them are, really. I am playing right into their hands.

Lunch was purchased for me in exchange for my pivotal role in this mailing. Thanks, but I'd rather have my youth back. O, sweet pithiness.

Images to set the art world on fire: early in the morning, covered by very few items of clothing, I made a sandwich for work-lunch. After I finished the sandwich, however, I discovered that there were no brown bags to use for sandwich containment. Thinking quickly to avoid disaster, I ate the sandwich right there. It kind of sucked. Possibilities: either I dodged a bullet and got the bad sandwich out of the way early, thus saving the more emotionally unstable afternoon from ruin, or morning sandwiches age like fine wine and it just needed time.

I have to make another correction in my ongoing attempt to document the writing that I saw on the sidewalk earlier this week. Today, I realized that "Ho's" was spelled in this instance with an 'e', making it "Hoe's" and causing me to wonder if the writer was actually referring to gardening implements for which he has no love. I have not seen any garden hoes in my neighborohood, so I really can't discount anything at this point. Rubber hoses seem to be well-loved.

010123 At some point last night, so depressed I don't even really remember it, I tried to assemble a list of jobs that I might enjoy. (I must have been thinking about the bit from the novel version of High Fidelity.) It was on the back of a timesheet that is still in my pocket this morning, and it reads as follows:

1) firefighter
2) whatever they do in Antarctica
4) jello factory
5) this is dumb
6) binder clip

So there you have it. Looking it over in the light of day, I can't think of any changes that I'd like to make.

In transcribing the sidewalk writing yesterday, I made a small but not insignificant mistake. It actually reads "I Don't Love No Ho's", which is interesting, because that makes it more of a personal declaration (a denial) than the culturally standard "I Got No Love For Ho's" ideology. The statement could be read by enterprising ho's as simply indicating that the statistical probability of their finding love on this street is somewhat lower than on other streets, and therefore the sign may not be quite as prohibitive as I mentioned yesterday.

The guy sitting next to me on the train this morning was listening to Kid A. I really appreciated that. I miss my copy.

Here is a very good present for me, because I make your life a carnival of joy and wonder. (via)

(news) Still, the move is surprising, because the museum appears to have unilaterally demoted Pluto, reassigning it as one of more than 300 icy bodies orbiting beyond Neptune, in a region called the Kuiper Belt. "They went too far in demoting Pluto, way beyond what the mainstream astronomers think," said Dr. Richard P. Binzel, a planetary science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. S. Alan Stern, director of the Southwest Research Institute's space-studies department in Boulder, Colo., agreed. "They are a minority viewpoint," he said. "It's absurd. The astronomical community has settled this issue."

Packs of rogue astronomers are on the loose, randomly declassifying planets. Frustrated planetary science professors can only watch, helpless. I think I'm in love. I'm booting Uranus from the solar system, because it's a trouble-making underachiever of a planet.

Women in tight leopard-print pants were playing the Police Trainer video game near where I sat to eat lunch. I'm sure they had their reasons.

Most of the work I have been doing lately involved assembling several components, which have been arriving in stages, for a mass mailing to the 250 entities in charge of Beelzetron. (1) These components are all bits and pieces of the next stage in the big marketing push to establish the company's new, non-Burblemeister Consulting identity. As the packages are assembled, errors are found in the individual components and the packages must be disassembled. Due to these delays, the mailing has been pushed back two days so far. (2) People remark upon the rapid speed with with I work the assembly line. I make vague references to having worked on factory lines to put myself through college, which is sort of true and makes the Trixies swoon. Lost is the intended irritation at spending my days this way. At least in the factories, you could watch the mullets go by.

(1) Although their real name, The Partners, is fairly creepy in its own right, I like to refer to them as The Black Hand.
(2) How these fuck-ups are qualified to make anyone's business better, I have no idea.

010122 Spent the morning mating copies of the Wall Street Journal with plastic Beelzetron bags for a mailing; fingers coated in clinging newsprint, smell of fresh plastic bags causing sense-memory flashbacks to temp-job at a bottle-cap factory during college. The week is off to a bad start. So's this millennium.

(editorial) It might be a good idea to poision meat and other food given to tramps. This produces death within a comparatively short time, is a warning to other tramps to keep out of the neighborohood, puts the Coroner in a good humor, and saves one's chickens and other portable property from constant depredation. (editor Joseph Medill in the Chicago Tribune, 1884)

Now that the black ice is in retreat, the sidewalks in on my street are visible again. I am in relative disbelief that I never noticed this before -- although perhaps some part of me did, and that's why I signed a lease there -- on the sidewalk next to the playground at the end of the block, written in the cement, are the (circled) words "I Don't Got No Love For Ho's". Awesome. That would explain why no ho's have been coming around my place expecting love -- public notice has been given that ho's must go over to some other street, such as Estes or Morse, if they are serious about their quest for love.

Love is given out more freely by archivist Kurt Tuohy at the What Jail Is Like site, where you can listen to (realaudio) or download two Super Bowl-themed segments from the widely acclaimed (via gifts of pie and milkshakes) improvisational radio theater program of days gone by. (See the FAQ.) I remember the Prison Bowl being pretty good. I can't remember the second segment very well, though (and I can't listen because I'm at work). It's probably good. We were good.

New mousepad today. One of the executives came by and dropped it off with a knowing wink -- the picture is from the company ad campaign that I ridiculed for the big hit second zany time reports memo. The styrofoam grin that's stapled on my face is from your local grocer.

Almost everyone else here is working through lunch today. What are you working on? I really have no idea what anyone else in this department does. Well, fuck that. I'm taking my peanut-butter and jelly sandwich and I'm hitting the road.

(news) The teen-age twins who led the God's Army rebel group acknowledged on Monday they have no mystical powers to repel bullets and said they want to give up fighting. Wearing oversized soccer shirts, Johnny and Luther Htoo, who led a hit-and-run campaign for three years against the Myanmar military, said their days as soldiers are at an end.

All things must pass: best of luck to the Htoos in their post-soldier careers. I'm not ready to acknowledge that I have no mystical powers to repel bullets, myself, but to each his own.

A man nearly bumped into me on his way toward the water cooler. He quickly apologized. "Do it again and I'll fucking kill you," I calmly replied, but my mind caught up with what my mouth was saying mid-sentence and I detoured into a quick burp. Mean streak all of a sudden. I think it came from seeing a Beelzetron banner ad in the online Onion.

I wrote a really boring paragraph about food and then I erased it.

(news) The number of gorillas in the Virunga chain of volcanoes, which straddles Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, has increased from 320 to 355 individuals since 1989 according to latest monitoring data, the African Wildlife Foundation said.

"Individual" gorillas who live in a chain of volcanoes? If this report is true, then I see no reason for humanity to continue the folly of civilization with non-conformist lava-proof fire monkeys waiting in the wings.

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