About. What's going on. Sunshine plus one. Previously. 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.

Players Workshop (Term 4).
Less dizzy at some point.
Rent momentum.

Recent reading:
1 Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
2 Travesties
Tom Stoppard
3 Goya: Drawings From His Private Albums
Juliet Wilson-Bareau
4 Edward Hopper: Portraits of America
Wieland Schmid
5 Notes from Underground
Fyodor Dostoevsky

sometimes, I also write for
Thinking About Hesterman,
because I'm like that.

updated daily:
Kill Less of Me
Man Cutting Globe
Morning News
Neil Gaiman
Red Secretary

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

occasional updates:
Exploding Dog
Public Enemy
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
The Simpsons Archive

b-side wins again 2001

010330 I translated the lyrics to I Stab People into German and then back to English, and the results were almost identical, except that the refrain was now

I staff people !
I Don't give a Fuck !

which really lays bare the fine line between employment staffing agencies and compulsively stabbing people, doesn't it? You have to feel for office temps in Deutschland. I didn't check to see if Insane Clown Posse translates to Insane Human Resources Department Friends, but that's only because I pretty much knew anyway.

The new media guy and I got sandwiches for lunch and then sat down to eat outside, on the ledge overlooking the river. I had grape soda. Seagulls began to fly low over the new media guy's head. It made him nervous. I didn't notice them until he pointed it out, but then it wasn't my head they were circling. Soon more of them arrived, and they all flew in a distinct pattern around him. He yelled at the seagulls, but they wouldn't stop, wouldn't go away, kept circling, waiting. He couldn't take it any more, so we went inside, and in the elevator I dropped a Rime of the Ancient Mariner reference, having not had the chance in a while.

Listening to music at work is a novelty for me: I do not have permission to do it, but since music makes it easier to write, and since I am committed to artistic quality in my self-destructive spirals, I have been bringing CDs to work lately. It has taken a little while to find ideal arbeitmuzik. You can't shut out the sights and smells of the corporate armpit, nor can you completely drown out the noise; Simon and Garfunkel, for example, while wonderful musicians on the outside, wound up staring at their shoelaces and fidgeting, beaten into submission by the barrage of fuck. On the other end of the intensity scale, it's just not safe to bring Public Enemy, because the shit would turn bloody about three tracks in. Bearing in mind that you can't sing along, that you need something to absorb your attention away from the giant pulsating brain sucking the life out of your right shoulder with a rusty straw, that will give voice to an inner life you wonder if you still have, the musician that keeps me safest at work is Tom Waits.

I feel like Tom Waits a lot. I don't drink, and Tom Waits' attention is generally concerned with drinking in one form or another; I don't smoke, and you can hear that Tom Waits does every time you hear his voice; I rarely see women's breasts, and Tom Waits finds himself in that kind of situation all the time. Even after all, though, I can relate. It's in the way that you live your life, that you don't even do anything to encourage it yourself, but trouble is always close behind. There's always trouble somewhere, wherever you are. Just wanted a sandwich, find yourself in trouble. Sometimes, I walk in here and my ID card doesn't work. There's no pattern to it, no rhyme or reason, it just won't open the door. On those days, I feel like Beelzetron has locked me out, like it's pissed that I staggered in at three am last night and I didn't even call; and it's not even Beelzetron doing it, really, it's the entire world. I am married to, or, more Tom Waits-esque, shacking up with everything that is decent and healthy and sensible and functional, and sometimes she just kicks me out because I'm trouble. Locked out of the trailer. I can't see my baby. Tom Waits is always getting drunk and standing up and causing a commotion in jazz clubs, and that's pretty much what I'm all about, except it's not jazz clubs, it's people developing careers and having relationships and growing up, but it's the same thing, if you look closely, it's the same thing.

So here's to Tom Waits.

010329 Semiotic warfare can be waged from my current position: a large part of my present duties at work is to cut articles out of the newspaper, make twelve photocopies, and assemble them into reading packets that are given out at the end of each week. Having previously demonstrated my acumen at putting stickers on envelope, it was thought by some that I might be good with scissors as well; that I might, without being told, walk with the scissors, even if I was in a hurry, and hold the scissors with my hand clasped around the blunt end of the blades, so they would not cut anyone passing by or impale me when I trip because I have only just learned to tie my shoes and Timmy spilled his apple juice -- and presumably they were confident that I am not an Insane Clown Posse fan, who could be inspired to imitative violence by the seminal ICP single I Stab People:

I stab people!
I don't give a fuck!
I stab people, 4 or 5 people every day
I tried to see a shrink to stop that shit
but there aint no FUCKIN way
I order food just to stab the guy when he gets there
I don't care, I stab anybody anywere
I'm violent J and I stab people
Maybe somebody can help me

If they thought it was unlikely that I might think, hey, I've been too picky about who I'm willing to stab, I too will stab anybody anywhere, fuck this consulting job, I'm signing up as an evil clown! -- well, they would be right. No worries there. I know how to use scissors properly, and, my employers are happily discovering, I am good with shapes too. I can make squares, and rectancles, and sometimes even other ones. In assembling the packets, I like to leave my own personal touch: for example, there was a picture of a smiling elderly Japanese man who I added to a few articles beyond the one he originally appeared in, because I thought he presented some issues that the marketing team ought to consider. I like to leave about half of each ad: keep the slogan, get rid of the product, for example, or there's one that promises "For less than the price of this car, you could ride this jet!" for some low-cost airline, and I like to cut the car and the second half of the slogan out so you only see "For less than the price of this car" next to the picture of the jet. It's a Magritte reference, it's a cutting satire of the executives' bourgeoise travel habits, it's a semiotic bomb! Holy shit, I am the greatest. Also, I rearrange the chronological order of the articles to form some sort of narrative, or just use basic manipulation methods, like the ones about how the entire ad industry is in the toilet (there's always at least one) go at the front, and the ones about advertisers using sex to sell products (also, always one) go at the very end. Bring them in depressed, leave them horny and they don't know why.

I think I learned too much in school.

Intellect and anger inevitably turn on the bearer, like corrosives.

There was cake today, and a big party in the large conference room. I wasn't totally sure whose birthday it was, and I didn't feel like talking to anyone, but I knew there were two people who were having birthdays, so I figured that at least one of them had to be within earshot; I walked in, smiled wide and announced Happy birthday! in my booming radio voice. Then I grabbed some cake to take back to my desk. Social obligation fulfilled. I am a smart and efficient business professional.

I wonder if they had cake for me on my birthday, when I didn't show up to work. Probably not. They like cake around here, though, so you never can tell.

Sometimes, to get the truth of the matter, you have to read something really fast:

(headline) Thursday March 29: Bush Says Will Work with Allies on Climate Change

Wait, he's going to work with aliens? He's allowing aliens to change our climate? To terraform the planet for takeover?! That fucker! Wait. Oh. But still!

010328 Before referring to a new movie, the antics of a semi-famous socialite on the E! network or a sale-priced chili meal at Denny's as 'outrageous', the speaker should have to produce a person who is actually outraged by it. Grammar has failed to protect the language. We need firmer measures. Ninjas, perhaps, but that's my default solution for everything.

I was eating bread while making copies this afternoon because I found some bread by the copier and decided that being a copy-makin' bread-eatin' sucka might be a nice way to be. A woman who I didn't recognize came in to the room: What are you eating, bread? I nodded. At the copier? she continued. I chewed and swallowed. In my head, I told her that if bread was good enough to use as a metaphor for the body of the post-mortem Jesus Christ, it was fucking well good enough for the DocuColor 12 machine. With my voice, though, I only said Yes, though I did add a smile. Now that I think about it, I may have left a bunch of crumbs behind on the document sorter.

It'd be nice if you could photocopy bread. I'd be having sandwiches all the time.

(news) The Pentecostal church, located about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, sponsored a book burning at the edge of its gravel parking lot on Sunday evening. Among the 30 church members and guests in attendance were teen-agers who led hymns including "Amazing Grace" and "Father of Creation." Into the fire went 1970s albums by Joe Walsh and the rock group Foreigner; CDs by Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and AC/DC; and Walt Disney Co. videos of "Pinocchio" and "Hercules."

Finally, someone has recognized the menace and taken proactive steps to protect our children from Foreigner. How dare they demand to know what love is? I will not show-oh them.

So I guess I'll be keeping up on Survivor: Monster Island, then.

Here are moments from today, which never really began: I felt cheated, because I knew it would lose a ton of sprinkles between the case, the checkout and my mouth outside. I went to the bathroom in the restaurant in the lobby of the building, and a teenager dressed as a busboy exited the sole toilet stall. I entered and found that he had not flushed the toilet. I wanted him feel awkward about it because he was standing out there washing his hands while someone discovered his failure to flush, so I flushed it right after walking in the stall. He begged for no contrition. I kept smelling burning something, either hair or rubber. Low-rent hallucination. Sniffles. Cab stops at red light, 45 to zero, halfway into the crosswalk. I stopped in front of the car and shook my head disapprovingly. The guilty cab driver held up his hands, winced. I smiled. You are forgiven! I ate the doughnut. A little girl waved at me from a passing car. Probably, she could relate. I waved back. As long as you're waving to people, I know this gorilla. Sleepy in places and sugarbloated in others. Hey, hey, I liked the soup.

010327 There are still kids who want to be pirates when they grow up: I was shopping for purple this weekend and I saw a little boy perched in a shopping cart telling his mother how it was going to be aboard the pirate ship, focusing primarily on hypothetical dialogues between the sailors who would refer to him as captain and the boy himself, who would reply by saying 'aarrrhhh'. Apparently worried that his mother was missing some crucial part of it, the boy began demanding that she get involved in the simulation by taking the part of one of the sailors, so she could see first-hand what it would be like aboard the ship. She begged off for a little while, trying to get him to quiet down, but Darnell was persuasive -- I mean, had he spoken to me, I would have called him captain -- and eventually she gave in. It was just like Darnell said it was going to be. She called him captain, and he replied with an 'aarrrrhhh'. The kid didn't lie. After that he wandered into a discourse on some cartoon named Johnny Bravo, and I didn't really follow.

I saw the horribly depressed elderly man in a gorilla costume from last week again. I decided to be cold for a while, and figured that outside was the best place for it, so I went downstairs. My plan, loosely, was to hang out on one of the traffic islands for a while until I thought of something else to do. That's when I saw the gorilla. He is employed by a local gymnasium to hand out flyers. I headed straight for him, hoping to give some small measure of happiness by accepting a flyer, but I stopped: the elderly gorilla was waving at a little girl. I thought, great, that's sweet. You can turn any sad story around by adding a little kid. Then I realized that the little girl was completely ignoring him. She kept running into her father's leg. (1) I was crushed. This tragic gorilla's appearances seem deliberately calculated to crush my spirit, which is, you know, something I really don't need.

I tend to think of this webpage like one of those 3D pictures that's composed of hundreds of tiny individual pictures, where you have to stand back and unfocus your eyes to see them, in the sense that it's usually not the story of my day but just these small things I notice or do along the way; and if you stood back far enough, they might form into a picture or some sort, although I don't know what it would be. The analogy doesn't really hold up, now that I think about it, because I could never get those pictures to work and I fucking hate them, whereas I do not fucking hate this webpage.

I have some leftover pizza at home, so that'll be nice.

Head full of dust and warped vinyl records.

Sources around the office have rated me 'SO funny'. The sensation is a lot like the breath of a drunk stepgrandmother rating me 'SO big'. In dreams, sometimes, my head is attached to my spinal cord by velcro, and it's windy. That's one of those dreams that you have to hope isn't as obvious as it sounds.

(1) At least I hope that was her father.

010326 Worried by recent talk about what a great employee I am, and how I need to be challenged more, and how a promotion may be forthcoming, I took the day off, hoping to neglect some important duties and set the personnel folks straight. I know what's going on there, though. Now that I'm gone, they've abandoned all pretenses of consulting and they're just standing around eating babies. They're horrible, and they have fangs. They'll only love me more.

I tried watching the Academy Awards last night, because I like to keep up on the hot topics, but I couldn't make a damn bit of sense of what was going on. Everyone was running around and talking in weird voices. Eventually, I realized that I was watching Hot Shots Part Deux on Telemundo. By the time I found the right channel, it was too late to pick up the plot. They were very good about introducing the new characters as they appeared, but something must have happened early in the show to justify that crazy ending, because I couldn't get with that at all.

Cereal was on sale this weekend! Everyone who didn't go grocery shopping really blew it! Good thing I ran out of food when I did.

I had a lovely time at the Mogwai show this weekend. The new material from their forthcoming album, Rock Action, sounded very promising. I stood in the balcony at the Metro and scored a nice spot at the rail midway through the show, during the song entitled 'CODY', wherein the talk by the singer of trying to see the streetlights as fairgrounds was something I could understand. I felt bad later because I whacked the other former presidents in the head with a shovel, but it turns out that wasn't me, but rather Lloyd Bridges' character in Hot Shots Part Deux. I felt bad anyway. I get stuck like that sometimes. You know how I am.

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