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, 23 years old, who . He lives in Chicago.

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

London: Feb 25 to March 5.
Players Workshop (Term 3).
Up with the moon-men.

Recent reading:
1 Notes from Underground
Fyodor Dostoevsky
2 Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel
J. A. Schmoll Gen Eisenwerth
3 How late it was, how late
James Kelman
4 Family Values : A Sin City Yarn
Frank Miller
5 Stardust
Neil Gaiman, Charles Vess

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

010223 Here is a wonderful idea that I am giving to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their 'Oscars' award ceremony, because I am generous and wise: there should be an award for Best Song Adapted for the Screen, e.g. a film that used an already existing song to new and / or notable effect. An example of this would be "Man of Constant Sorrows" from O Brother Where Art Thou, or "In Your Eyes" from Say Anything, or the entire Rushmore soundtrack (though I am leaning toward the Kinks song from Bill Murray's pool dive or "A Quick One While He's Away"). There is an art to it that should be recognized, it parallels the original / adapted screenplay awards and it will help cover up the ongoing horror that is the Best Original Song award, which they can then keep giving to lobotomized Disney serfs without bothering anybody.

Another idea that I have, which is also wise but perhaps a bit snarky, is that someone should take one of those 'hip' actors and make a movie of them reading the phone book. That way, everyone who says "I'd pay to watch that guy read the phone book!" would be confronted in their lies and castigated in the village square, making language safer for future generations.

The Oscars are probably not going to be very good this year. I feel no curiosity.

My head is swimming, and the lake is mayonnaise, and it's a good time to leave the circuit I'm in: to go to another country. No joy, no joy. Burnout on trains, on buildings, on the colors blue and grey in close proximity. Need to check out new perspectives about how to walk down a hallway. All of this, it's rotten. I have worked many terrible jobs over the last few years where I labored for several hours at a time, performing menial and sometimes grueling physical tasks without break, and this place is worse than any of them. Work is no problem, whether it's there or not; it's the babble, the still sour air, the sensory deprivation, left alone with your feelings that turn from disgust to self-disgust because they have nowhere to go. This is the worst. Trying to think and feel is like eating lego meat.

SmartFilter added a new category: it now blocks anything that it finds 'Extreme'. Life! Self-parody! Pow.

(sing) Lend me your comb, I want to go home...

I'm not trying to pose my complaints as art. I'm just saying, so you know why the writing is the way it is.

Suddenly, in testament to life's eternal capacity for hope and possibility, he had a glorious idea that would solve all of his problems! He bounced up and down in his chair twice, hardly able to contain his excitement. The new media guy looked over at him, and he shrugged. Then, lunging to open a new web browser so fast that he almost went through his computer screen, he began typing. He could hear the job interview now:

Human Resources Director: Well, I've reviewed your application, and you have an impressive set of credentials.
Hopeful Young Applicant: Thank you, sir.
HRD: You're familiar with the position and you know what it entails?
HYA: Yes, sir, I do.
HRD: Why don't you describe, in your own words, what you think you can bring to the Voltron team?
HYA: Well, sir, I think I could function as a hypothalamus for Voltron.
HRD: A hypothalamus.
HYA: Yes, sir. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that lies below the thalamus, forming the major portion of the ventral region of the diencephalon and functioning to regulate bodily temperature, certain metabolic processes, and other autonomic activities.
HRD: Have I got a hypothalamus?
HYA: Yes, sir, you do. Everyone has one. It's an important part of being a person and boy, are you in a jam if it goes on the fritz. Now, based on my research, Voltron has brains, brawn, beauty and even spunk. But it hasn't got a hypothalamus.
HRD: And you feel that Voltron needs a hypothalamus?
HYA: Sir, I admire the work that Voltron does. A great deal. The scheming of Prince Lotor is, let's be frank, incessant. When all the parts of Voltron come together into giant robot form, they form flaming sword like none other. I just don't want Voltron to wind up in a war of words, sir, for which the mighty robot is unprepared.
HRD: Son, your passion for the hypothalamus and for robots in general has brought a tear to my eye. You've got the job!
HYA: What you say !!
HRD: You know what you are doing !!

He typed in the web addresses as fast as thought could translate to action. He had to find those job listings before someone else did. At no. Second try: no. Okay. That's fine. Plenty more options. no., no. Come on, come on. Damn it.

Hope crushed under the foot of the new economy, I went back to snickering with the new media guy at photos on the company's website of the Beelzetron Airship. Ah, well. Hindenburg jokes are a form of happiness, however remote.

010222 I was feeling uninspired so I decided to let the box of kleenex write today's entry. I dropped it on the keyboard several times and then added the appropriate HTML tags wherever I thought the keyboard might have liked a line break, or bold type, etc. I deleted it, though, because the box of kleenex did not use enough vowels. It kept trying to construct vaguely Nordic tone-poems with 'H', 'J' and 'K'. If it were at a poetry slam, that box of kleenex would have been booed off the stage, unless there were Nords in the audience, in which case its efforts would probably have met with chin-scratching. In any event, vaguely Nordic tone-poems do not go around here, so I sent the box of kleenex back to reflect and reconsider before it gets another shot at the keyboard.

Have you ever looked at a website and thought that perhaps you shouldn't look at websites? I don't know why my friend Paul sent me a link to this page, just as Paul did not know why his friend Frank sent it to him. As for why I have included the link on this webpage, I think it is because I need all of the evidence I can get that it does in fact exist, can be viewed by other people and did not emerge from somewhere within me.

Other companies are constantly trying to seduce Beelzetron into "alliances", most of them either magazines ("Our readership are the powerful financial elite of Latin America", said the zesty Brit) or other consulting companies who, ludicrously enough, want to be a consulting company for a consulting company. One such band of dimwits mailed Beelzetron a radio-controlled Mercedes SLK with a card inside, bearing the message:

You've got the car -
I can give you the key!

Let me show you how
to maximize your
reach and rev up

Even Beelzetron shook its head at that one. Therefore, the sleaze came to my desk to breathe its last gasps before I return it to sender with the polite request that the car be donated "to a local children's charity, hospital or family shelter so that it will go to a truly good use." Because, you know, Beelzetron cares. Have you heard about those inner city children? Many of them have to drive domestic radio-controlled cars. The impact upon their self-esteem as people and as consumers is immeasurable. If this radio-controlled Mercedes saves even one little ghetto boy, then it was all worth it.

I brought a bottle of soda back from lunch with me because I figured I'd want to blow the Imperial March later, and sure enough, I did!

Finding myself with free time and nothing of consequence to write, I went looking for a new job on the web. That was dumb. Despite the optimism and boundless potential expressed by their slogan "Onward, Upward", HotJobs returned no results for 'monkeys', revealing their business to be a crock of shit. Monster did slightly better, but not by much: a lame 'zany' ad that just used monkeys as a hook, a job that is almost identical to my current one but presumably features more monkeys around the office, and the horrifying prospect of "bleeding" (used as an action verb) monkeys. Their business is revealed to be shit as well, but in not so large a container as a crock; perhaps a satchel. Anyway, the professional world is no good.

010221 I picked up my passport on the way to work today. It hardly looks Albanian at all! Sweet. I can pass for this guy, no problem. Now only engine failure stands between me and London in four days. Just, if you see me at the airport, do not call me Marc. That will mess everything up. As far as airports are concerned, I am Malbondo Djimdjim. Okay, sorted.

(astronomy news) Dr Norman Murray, of the University of Toronto, examined the light signature from 466 Sun-like stars and another 20 that were entering old age within 325 light years of the Sun. "What I found is evidence that there is terrestrial type material orbiting most of the stars in the solar neighbourhood," he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Francisco. "The implication, if this result holds up, is that there are Earth-like bodies in orbit around most of the stars in the galaxy."

Baby, I have seen the moon. I have seen the stars. I have seen the report prepared by Dr Norman Murray, of the University of Toronto. Baby, I have prepared my own study. Let me tell you about the results. I have examined the light signature from your sweet love. I have examined this light signature in great detail. What I found is evidence that there is celestial-type material in your sweet love. The implication is clear. I will describe it now. Baby, my research suggests that there are no You-like bodies around any sun except this one. There are no You-like bodies anywhere, except wherever you are.

Come back to me. I need you in my arms.


I am tired, and true of heart.

There is a damaged newspaper box that I pass every day while walking from the train to work -- damaged, because you cannot clearly see the newspaper inside. It is obscured by a scrawled graffiti slogan: YUPPIES ARE THE CRACKHEADS OF CONSUMPTION. It's been that way since before I started working downtown, six months ago. No one has ever bothered to clean it -- I think everyone just thinks it's funny. I haven't seen any yuppies stop, pause and get an expression on their face that says, you know, my habits regarding the purchase of material goods are rather similar to those of one of those substance-addicted inner city criminals that I'm always reading about. In my rush to buy a new car, is the car not similar to a powerful opiate that I have rolled up and smoked? The expensive stereo, is it not like the laundry detergent that dealers use to maximize their supply of crack prior to selling? The leather seats, are they not like the dirty water that goes into the crack pipe prior to smoking? Oh, what a desperate, addicted creature I am! No, I have seen no epiphanies along those lines, nor have I seen anyone swear off their undying support of yuppies after having the doors of perception blown open. I'm no fan of material obsession either, but come on, you're giving the sharp-dressed bastards exactly the idiotic voice of opposition they want.

This polar bear just kills me, every time.

010220 Here are the events that led up to my near-death-by-sponge: I did not work yesterday. I was in the Amazon Delta, finding treasure. That's the excuse I gave the temp agency, at least. I didn't want to tell them that I didn't feel well, otherwise they would have said that's no excuse, you come in here and work. Yesterday was Monday, and Monday is the day when timecards are due, and timecards are due in places where I was not yesterday. Having not submitted a timecard, I ran the risk of not getting paid on Friday. Some may work at consulting firms for the love, but I am in it to get paid. I am a cash money player, having internalized the lessons broadcast by low-rent rap music, and I require cash money to finance the life I lead, which is very expensive because it involves lots of jewels and gold and bottles of champagne larger than my head floating in the air and big dollar signs looming on the horizon, blotting out the sun, and while this may be very easy to create with Photoshop if you are an album cover designer for the No Limit record label, the portable version is significantly more expensive; I have no choice, though, because these are the things that you do, and bearing the words of the Geto Boys in mind, who said that real gangsters don't flex nuts because they know they got 'em, well, I don't know that I got 'em, so I flex 'em, being not a real gangster, but rather the cheap imported kind sold in Hong Kong street markets. I called the agency and explained my situation. At first, they held firm to the Monday 5:30pm deadline. I shook my head. Did they not realize that in a moment I was going to turn on the charm? I am very charming, and I am unstoppable in areas where the use of charm is required. The situation escalated, calling for charm usage, and soon an agreement was reached that I could hand in my timecard during lunch. I moped for a while to recharge the charm, looking at the usual circuit of webpages about animals. Then Mr Internet stopped coming into my computer. Mr Internet? Why did you stop coming into my computer? You were so good together. You made babies, like my webpage, and these babies are good, not the sort of babies who shoot guns or cut down the rainforests. Mr Fucking Internet, fuck you buddy. I left. Why not take lunch now, if there was no internet, for I was certainly not going to do any work, all of it being rated as 'dumb' by Tasks Assigned To Me Magazine. I took lunch now. Outside was fine. Air, and sun, and irate taxi drivers. Some of the sidewalk in front of the agency's building was wet, and a portion of it was blocked off by plastic chains and cones. Dutifully, I avoided that area. No sense making waves. We're all trying to get through the day, after all, and the last thing anyone needs is some joker messing around with the cones. I walked along, minding my own business, getting ahead, believing in the American Dream, thud! The sponge was big, round and dirty pea-green. Its impact crater was wide and soapy. No one claimed authorship for the sponge's entry into the scene. I stopped and stared. It reformed itself with a competent, practiced ease. I watched it for about five minutes. After a very short time, passers-by began to regard me as the oddity and the sponge as the native. Hey, I almost died for your sins of omission, fucker. I'll watch my possible deaths congeal on the sidewalk for as long as I care to watch them. I watched, and I watched, and would I ever move from that spot, to eat or come in from the cold, it remained to be seen. Those were the events leading up to my near-death-by-sponge.

Here is an episode of the radio show What Jail Is Like from exactly one year ago today for realaudio-equipped listening pleasure. Kurt Tuohy, radio theater archivist and resident of the high chair at the east central Illinois version of the Algonquin Round Table, excerpted and encoded the broadcast for the online consumption. One year ago today, I was newly 22 years old and performing comedy for adoring audiences in exchange for milkshakes; today, I am newly 23 years old and writing time reports memos for adoring audiences in exchange for the means to pay off my student loans. Fuck, etc.

I employed shady means to get the week-plus off from work to go to London. Yeah, well. If you want more time reports memos, you'll do what I tell you.

(report) Babies born to women in large U.S. cities are less likely to be big and bouncing compared to the nation as a whole, a report published on Tuesday found. "Birth outcomes in the largest cities are clearly not as good, on average, as those elsewhere," said the report, based on data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. "For example, cities such as Baltimore and Cleveland show that negative outcomes such as low birthweight and infant mortality are concentrated in neighborhoods with high poverty and/or low per-capita income."

What the hell kind of a study is that? First of all, they act like it's a bad thing if your baby isn't bouncing. Babies shouldn't bounce because they shouldn't be dropped. They should be held and set down carefully. Secondly, you're going to quote Cleveland? Shit, they eat babies in Cleveland. The Cleves are fucking nuts. They're no evidence of anything. Of course babies have "negative outcomes" there. I mean, what's the positive outcome? That you grow up to be from Cleveland? Maybe they meant Grover Cleveland, because it's the day after Presidents' Day and all. In that case, babies born in Grover Cleveland probably had negative outcomes, because he is dead, and even while he was alive, babies should grow up in the care of their mothers, not inside of the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. (1) Oh, what do I know anyway. I'm not even a real person.

(1) Or inside of Lord Baltimore, aka George Calvert, leader of early American colonization efforts. Children shouldn't have to live in fear of being colonized by their dad.

010219 Today is Presidents Day. I decided that, instead of going in to work, I should stay at home and think about the presidents. This is their Day, after all, and I'd expect them to do the same for me. So here I am, thinking. I was going down the list in order and I made it through Monroe, but then I kind of veered off and started skipping around. I'm worried about Benjamin Harrison. I really haven't got any feelings about him one way or another. With luck, I will develop some before I'm down to the last few presidents.

There is a space reserved for me on an aeroplane that plans to fly to London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday. That's pretty exciting, I think. I've never been on an airplane for more than three hours at a time, so I'd like to apologize in advance if I freak out and start throwing my shit around at hour seven or something. I'm not saying that I will, but just that, you know, it's new to me. It's kind of risky to mention the trip on this webpage, because London might get wind of it and they'll all hide when I arrive. I'll get out of the plane, look around and think, shit, there's no one here, what happened to all of the people? Then London will jump out and shout, and I'll be startled. That would be a mean trick.

My internet connection at home is fairly slow, so I haven't looked at the rest of the web today. Today's entry has its head firmly up its own arse.

Should we assign guide people for blind dogs? I've been thinking about that. If there's a god for dogs, he or she's probably going to be pissed if we don't. Fair's fair, after all. Human beings. We take, and we take, and we take.

It's strange to work on this webpage from home, where I can see sunlight and trees and cats, and I can breathe.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to breakdance? That's a stupid question. Who, besides people that already know, does not want to learn how to breakdance? (1) My friend Rick runs a video production company that can make your dreams come true with Skool'd in Break Dance, an instructional video hosted by Venom, who performs at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and believes in doing the Classic Moves Right while keeping an eye on the tantalizing prospect of Higher Power Moves. Click on the link, fool, because there are videos of crazy breakdancing moves for your viewing right there on the website. Isn't the world wide web good sometimes? Order now, because sooner or later they're going to complete the Breakin' trilogy, and you need to be ready; also, Rick says sales were down last week, and he needs the money. I acted in a film of his recently where I got to use a blowtorch and a computer mouse as a grappling hook. It's probably going to be better than "Citizen Kane", which was good but did not feature Orson Welles using a blowtorch and a computer mouse as a grappling hook.

The war-torn bag of Chips Ahoy! on the floor next to me claims that its Chewy brand are Just Like Homemade. Yeah, maybe if your home's recipe involved dad crapping in your mouth. The bag also promises Endless Family Fun at Yeah, maybe if your family's idea of fun involved dad crapping in your mouth. Okay, that's enough.

Today is my birthday! Or so they assure me. I wasn't paying close attention when I was born, so for all I know, they were just trying to pack another holiday into boring old February. (2) But I doubt it. They don't seem like those kind of people. Twenty-three years ago today, I poked my head out of the test tube and noted to everyone within earshot how clever and charming I was. Then I probably complained about how cramped the test tube was. I don't know. I'm just guessing. It sounds like something I might have done.

I don't feel older -- I feel younger, in fact -- but that's probably because I'm not at work. Which just goes to show, you know. With a steady supply of milkshakes and art council grants, I could live forever.

But 23 is okay. Here's to everyone who got squished by large objects before they made it this far. This year is for you.

(1) Well, there are babies, who just want to get back into the womb, and there are dirty old men, who are dirty. Everyone else does, though, I think.
(2) I've mentioned in the past that I think February would probably suck, a lot, if I didn't have a birthday in the middle of it. I'm told February is great in Australia, though, birthday or not. So that's something.

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