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.
What James said.

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

010406 The tech crew, in what I am intepreting as an attempt to make nice, brought a bunch of Krispy Kreme donuts over. Pro: tasty. Con: have reassumed original shape in pit of my stomach.

010405 Today sucked, except for the part by the river where the saxophone player appeared from out of the fog and began playing the theme from Sanford and Son, which gets me every time, and then segued into the theme from the Pink Panther, forcing me to break it down in the old school robot-stylee, earning us a modest round of applause from people who were outside smoking; the rest of the day, I have nothing to say. The moment when self-awareness strikes a used styrofoam cup. That's one thing that I could say. And one of those days when everyone you meet is named Chuck or Phyllis. That sums it up. The noise of a grinding CD-ROM drive that just doesn't understand. I think that does it. Oh, and Microsoft Excel. Boy, I fucking hate everything Excel stands for. Slow intellectual murder. Mallet, pounding cold wet fried chicken drumsticks into your eardrum. The vision of a global leader. Strategic alliance. The pain dulling and expanding in the moments after you hit your forehead, then dovetailing, piercing. That, I guess, is it. And old mousepads, with consulting ads, and pencil stains, in your cereal bowl. Sam Goody charges $20 for a new CD? Where do they get off? Online music trading isn't theft, it's reparations. Pretzels and earwax. Basically. And the number 58.

010404 The giant pulsating brain is on the rampage today. I work for a jealous, insecure multinational. The brain insists that its every move be documented in colorbright triplicate, electronic and paper and that fourth state of matter that was discovered a while back, in every office every where, so I do that; also, the hideous throbbing cerebrum must know all about its enemies, actual and potential, what they're up to, what they got, so I do that too. On this day, both ends of my duties have major deadline projects. The brain must be getting ready for something. Way I figure it, if you set the desire for self-documentation as +1 and the relentless pursuit of information about its enemies as -1, they cancel out and I spend the entire morning turning the music up loud. See, math isn't so bad.

The reason why I whine so much about accidentally eating chicken when I thought it was cheese, which was stupid, admittedly, but it was very thinly sliced and I had forgotten what chicken tastes like and it was supposed to be a cheese I'd never tasted before anyway so for all I knew, you know, is that I am still experiencing stomach consequences five days later. Holy shit, I am making the office smell terrible today. I feel bad about it, sort of. Liar. Okay.

On Monday, I wore bidness socks because I was all out of normal ones. My supplies have been low ever since my apartment was robbed -- true story, they took all of the normal socks and left the bidness socks behind -- and I discovered that bidness socks are pretty good for sliding far when you run around on hardwood floors or tiles. They wear out eventually, but I was pretty chuffed about the initial discovery, having turned what I thought would be a bad foot day into happy happy foot time.

If you don't speak jive, 'bidness' has a similar meaning to the word 'business'. I know some of you are white, so I try to help. Also, hopefully that paragraph will shut everyone up who has been griping about me not writing about my feet enough.

While eating cake, I skimmed today's Onion and was surprised to find that it, too, had a joke involving the word 'bidness'. Crazy.

On Monday night, I decided that I wanted to see the lake. I only live a block away from it, so it wasn't an epic trip, but I did have to dodge detection by the police because you are not allowed down by the beach after midnight. (1) That wasn't epic either, because, as everybody knows, except people who have Alzheimers, but it does tend to be one of the last things that they forget prior to their own name, I am very wily. Most of the beach is fenced off during the non-summer season. It's the sort of fence that would be no problem for a tank, but isn't really designed for climbing; you could surmount it, but you'd probably wind up with sand in your nose at some point during the process. Or in your mouth. Wow, I hate that. They didn't fence off the pier, though. That's almost a shame, because I am trouble out on that pier. It goes out very deep, and there is a lighthouse at the end that has not worked during my lifetime, so the temptation always exists to go be a salty dog out by the lighthouse and try to signal boats. Then you wind up stuck out there because it's very dark, the wind is fierce and it's pretty easy to fall right off into the cold water. I decided to only go a few steps out on the pier. Once there, I could see that there were deep trenches in the beach on the left. They went as far as I could see, suggesting that a tank was in fact on the beach at some point -- and not just once, because there were multiple trenches. I stood on the pier, and looked at the water, and thought it was nice, and got ready to go...

But then I saw ducks!

Ducks! I always assumed that they go away somewhere when it's dark and there's no one around to give them bread crusts. I live in a hectic urban area, so ducks are a rare sight; in fact, I couldn't remember ever seeing them at this beach. One of the ducks was pretty hot. I had to imagine that, whatever standards ducks have for what makes a good looking duck, this duck fit them in spades. (2) It was luminescently colored, as perfectly proportioned as the Platonic ideal of duck that gets translated into duck paperweights for lawyers' desks: green, then brown, then snowfall white and black. The other duck looked smaller and was grey. I couldn't discern much about that duck other than it had good taste in role models. They were swimming against heavy waves, heading out to sea. I guess they came to Chicago, looked around for a while, and decided to head back to Michigan. I was a little worried about them, but they made good progress and were out of sight by the time I left. I walked to the end of the pier to see if there were any other ducks, but all I saw was a styrofoam cup, floating in the water. It was also headed out to sea and had managed to avoid sinking so far. I had one of those idiot epiphanies as I realized, with certainty, that I would be the last person to ever see that styrofoam cup.

I headed back to my apartment by way of the White Hen Pantry, because I wanted to buy a cookie. I was not disappointed by their selection of cookies. I bought a fucking huge cookie, probably bigger than my head, for less than a dollar. It was of recent vintage, too, so it was still soft. There was one guy on duty behind the counter and another just hanging out and talking to him. The guy who was not on duty was talking about his plans for the night:

I'm going to fuck her, man, fuck her and leave her cold. I'm going to fuck her brains out and I'm a be done with the bitch. I just got to get this over with.

I paid for my purchase and left. I stopped outside the store to marvel at the bliss of this cookie. It was going to be high on the all-time list; I had no doubt about that. There is a bar next to the White Hen, and someone stumbled out of the door and almost bumped into me. It was a drunk woman, and she made the following judgement on me and my cookie as she passed:


Look at the nerd and his cookie, she sneered, drunk, what a loser I was, cookie instead of beer, pathetic. She'd come from where I was supposed to be, the bar, and I was a loser because I wasn't in there. I shrugged and kept walking. I liked that cookie. I paused, though, when I heard her rapping on a window. She was trying to attract the attention of the guy in the White Hen who'd been talking earlier. He motioned for her to come in; she adjusted her skirt and went inside. I knew I shouldn't, but I had to smirk.

(1) Or, as friends of mine used to say, "This natural resource is closed." Seriously, who has the authority to make the largest body of fresh water in America off limits? Hell no, I won't go.
(2) Alternate version of that sentence, removed due to sudden emergence of sense of decency: "I had to imagine that, whatever standards ducks have for what makes a fuckable duck, this duck fit them in spades."

010403, night-time I am still at work because I don't have time to go home before improv class later on, which is at a brand new training center / theater, sparkly, velvet seats, no macaroni and cheese for me or you.

It seems like they might have asked me to stay late even if I hadn't already been more or less planning to; lots of things to photocopy. If only, say, ancient Mesopotamian culture was as well-documented as the nasal cavities of this consulting company...well, we would probably be sick of the Mesopotamians too, hard as it is to imagine a Mesopotamian wearing out his welcome.

People were referred by search engines to my webpage on quests for Vancouver Island porn -- does porn really get that specialized, yes it does, according to the search results -- and, on the tender side, poems in albanian for mothers day. I know that guy went away disappointed. I mean, maybe the Vancouver Island porn guy at least found the place intellectually stimulating: the mind, after all, is the largest erogenous zone of all, says Jackie Treehorn, and he draws a lot of water in this town, Lebowski. But there is no way around the fact that this webpage has no poems, nothing in albanian, no mothers day, just monkeys and the crap that I do, thoroughly unpoetic, absolutely unalbanian, completely unsuitable for mothers day. Of course, if I'm done talking shit about myself, it wouldn't hurt to note that a daily webpage focusing on poems in albanian for mothers day probably wouldn't be very good, so there.

Tomorrow I will tell a brief story about ducks.

010403 Many of the lights in the 10th floor lobby are not working today. Cognitive dissonance, I'll tell you, it's weird having mood lighting when you walk in work. Everyone is still very loud, though, and not very smart, and when you run the photocopier for a long time, it smells like hot cat pee, (1) underslept, food won't stay and the music in my headphones isn't loud enough to drown out I like your out-fit! so I'm light-headed, struggling.

I am feeling better now. In case you are not feeling well, here is how I got better: first, I went outside. It is cold, but there is sunshine, so I curled up on one of the benches by the river and pretended that I was a hobo. Semi-fresh air was good for my lungs and being a hobo instead of whatever my job is called was good for my soul. I dozed off in my hobostate and had hobodreams about hobothings, such as booze. Then I went through my pockets to find some spare change. I had several dollars, but I wanted to make this a spare change-only affair, and I succeeded in finding just enough coins to buy some cookies. Then I rode the elevator up and down for a while, singing whenever I was alone.

New superstition: it's bad luck not to sing if you're alone in an elevator.

(1) I must have had a cat many years ago who peed on radiators, because I can't think of how else I'd know that smell.

010402 Phew! For a minute there, I lost myself. I couldn't telnet, disabling the email and webpage portions of my arsenal, and I got worried. Helpless as a newborn baby, at least in terms of ability to communicate, and babies don't fare too well around these parts. No telnet. Revenge of the tech crew, perhaps? I've been waiting for those guys to make their move. (See the very first entry on this webpage, 000929.) They still give me dirty looks whenever I walk by their area on the way to the bathroom, although I doubt they remember why they're doing it any more, kind of like my cat, who has a vague notion that something good used to be in the corner, and he'll go there looking for it, cry when he doesn't find it, forcing me to remind him that it was only the food bowl and it's right where it's been for the last four months, in the other corner. The tech crew sulks. I could turn on my legendary charm, but that would be cheating.

I accidentally ate some chicken on Friday, which is why I was kind of emotional at the end of the day. I wasn't feeling bad for the chicken or anything, but rather pitying the self over the sizable stomach pains that you get if you eat chicken when you never eat chicken.

Another musical combo that does well for work-place listening -- see the critera outlined below -- are the Sea and Cake. People try to bother me, but I bop my head, and they have only faint memories of times in their life when people bopped their heads, so they edge away, and I am not asked to do work.

I generally try to avoid name-dropping bands on this webpage, but I think I have been subconsciously trying to compensate for quoting the Insane Clown Posse last week, so, you know, that'll do that.

April Fool's Day has passed, and I'm really glad that it fell on a weekend this year so I didn't have to be around people for it, especially office people. It's such a terrible holiday. April Fool's Day is like an all-day frat sketch comedy show. Most people are just not funny, and they should not be pressured into trying to be. Halloween is fine, because there is an implicit understanding, you know, that either you're in and you're wearing a costume or you're not and that's fine but you don't get any candy. With April Fool's Day, you don't know who's got a crappy costume on and who's just like that; it's all, oh, gee Martha, I thought you were serious about me having to make all those photocopies, what a great joke, you pulled one over on me. And that's not mentioning all of the kooky fake news reports. Look, some of us are a bit paranoid, okay, some of us believe quite sincerely that a giant pulsating brain is trying to enslave us while we work at a consulting firm, and we do not need your tiresome kookiness, because it's hard enough keeping things straight already, knowing who to trust, when the milk expires. And then you try to play along with a great joke involving stabbing someone, because that's how your sense of humor runs, and everyone flips out, so fuck that holiday! Inequities abound! I hate April Fool's Day.

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.

What used to go on around here.