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.
On crutches, slow recovery.
Working for every word.
(Long, long hiatus.)

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

Recent reading:
1 Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
There are many words on each page of Gravity's Rainbow, and there are many pages. The words are interesting, but they do not always have much to do with the words that are right next to them, so it takes a while to go find the right words from other parts of the book or just file them away until suitable ones come up, and I think part of the point is that they might not, but I have to play along because Tom worked so hard on it.
2 Chicago's Far North Side: An Illustrated History of Rogers Park and West Ridge
Neal Samors, Mary Jo Doyle
This is the neighborohood where I grew up, sort of, aside from all the other places where I grew up (I have yet to find an illustrated history of the trailer park, nor do I hold out much hope). I live there now, though I'll probably move this fall. It's nice. The buildings are pretty and the lake's right there. The parts from 1850 - 1930 are awesome, tracing wilderness to swampland to economic boom. It kind of degenerates into rambling old people anecdotes after that, though.
4 Travesties
Tom Stoppard
I acted out as much of this as possible while reading it until my leg got tired because it doesn't work (my leg, not the play). The cast features James Joyce, V.I. Lenin ("I am the walrus?") and Dada founder Tristan Tzara (of whom I am a big fan). Very funny. I thought about producing it during college right after taking a class on Joyce, but I was doing like seven of my own plays at the same time, so I never got around to it.
4 Goya: Drawings From His Private Albums
Juliet Wilson-Bareau
I bought this at the Hayward Gallery in London. The exhibit was the proverbial bomb, and the catalogue features top-notch reproductions of the beautiful, scary, funny drawings. It goes without saying that we never had anything this good at the Krannert Art Museum in Champaign.

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

010413 Good Friday, yeah, what's good about it? I lost my wallet in a taxi this morning. No money, no food, can't walk, no way to get home. Might as well just make like Jesus, die and hope I rise again somewhere closer to my apartment.

I won a free bottle of soda a couple weeks ago by finding a lucky bottle cap. I didn't cash it in, deciding to wait for a rainy day when it would really mean something to get a free bottle of soda, and I left it on my desk; this is just the kind of day I'd been waiting for, but some loose cannon janitor either stole the bottle cap or threw it out.

I try every once in a while, but I am not very good at Buddhism.

During every third week, it is my duty to check the incoming fax tray and deliver any new ones around the office. This is the world headquarters of one of the largest consulting firms in the world, so a fair amount of faxes come in here. I don't know what happens during the other two weeks, but during my week, the faxes are dealt with very carefully. For example, anything addressed to (current president) Joe F. or (former president) George S. gets thrown out, as does anything addressed to a 'Director' of any sort. Those people are busy enough without having to deal with faxes yammering on about companies and computers and their wives. There are two large, locked boxes with a slit for drop-offs marked CONFIDENTIAL TO BE SHREDDED, so that's where they go. I tend to throw out faxes that mention money, because I don't want to stress anyone out, and usually faxes that are addressed to proper names go in the bins too, because then I'd have to go find the person, and odds are they're doing something fun that I'd only be interrupting. Every once in a while, though, something interesting comes through, and I keep it for myself. Here's one example that arrived today:

TEL: 27-73-162-6558
FAX: 27-83-988-4398
E-MAIL: mikerossman71@hotmail.com



wish to introduce my good self as Mr Mike Rossman, 29 years old. The elder son of Author Rossman of Zimbabwe. This might be a surprise to you where I got you contact address. I got it through your country's trade journal in the world trade centre (WTC) in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was convinced to solicit for your assistance after reading your profile. I am interested in doing business with your company, particularly, in joint venture in your country on lucrative business.

During the current war against the farmers in Zimbabwe from the support of our President ROBERT MUGABE to claim all the white and black farms in our contry, so he ordered all the white and black farmers to surrender all their farms to his party members and his followers, and my father is one of the best farmers in our country, because he did not support his idea and his supports incalded my father farm and burnt everything in the farm and killed my father and confiscated all his investment. After the death of my father my mother, my younger brother and I decided to move out of Zombabwe because our life is still in danger, with the money my father kept in his hidden safe in my mother's house

The amount contained in the safe is US$10M (Ten Million Thousand United States Dollars), and we decided to move with the money through diplomatic means and we are forced to seek a political asylum as refugee Which I brilliantly transferred and deposited it with a Finance and Security Company here in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa

However, my aim of contacting you is to help me look for a profitable investment overseas. As a result of my present status and as a refugee I won't be able to conclude this transaction alone. If you are interested in helping me out, try and contact me with above telephone, fax number or e-mail address indicating your interest to help me. I will then furnish you with more details and I have mutually agreed to compensate you with 20% which is your share for assistance and 5% for any expenses that may incur in the course of the transaction. Then the remaining 75% will be for me and my family, which you will help us to invest in your country

Be informed that this transaction need utmost trust and confidentiality, note also that this transaction attrack no risk on your side hence all the modalities is safe, smooth successful transaction has been arranged by me. And also look forward to establish a good relationship with you
Best regards


Holy shit, that guy's dad was a good farmer. He made ten million thousand dollars?!? The important thing, though: how fucking cool is it that someone sent this company a fax that basically amounts to an invitation to hunt for secret lost pirate treasure? Pirates! Real pirates! The email address is legit (as it appeared on the fax), if anyone wants to step in and get involved with the adventure. Remember, though, this transaction need utmost trust and confidentiality, so don't, you know, put it on your webpage or anything. And don't panic, because he says that all the modalities is safe, and why would anyone lie about a thing like that? Also, I cannot reiterate enough that you need to eat lemons if you are on a pirate ship or you will get scurvy. I learned that from Choose Your Own Adventure, and those books know what they're talking about.

Recent Google search referral: recipies cat litter cake. I sincerely hope that person found what they were looking for and are now getting the help they so richly deserve.

I am now allowed to limp around the office sans crutches, although longer trips still require their aid. Free at last, I headed straight over to the tech crew's area and asked to borrow their scissors. They were hanging around, eating sandwiches, and I caught them off guard; they gave me their pair of scissors. Doing nothing to foster good will between our two camps, I kept the scissors. It wasn't very nice, but I had some aggression I needed to get out.

Among the many exemplary qualities that I have, probably the top two in fact, are how charming I am and how wily I am. Today, I was very wily. Being a technology-oriented marketing department, the office is a-buzz about the new Microsoft Office ad campaign revolving around the death of their paperclip help character. (1) The headline from the New York Times article expresses their fascination perfectly:

Humor Is at Center of Microsoft's New Campaign

Hyu-more, they say, puzzled. What is this hoo-mer? If Microsoft is using it, we have to get some. Thus began discussions of having funnier ads, and, inevitably, led to discussions of getting me to do more zany time reports memos. I hadn't done any since my Valentine's Day masterpiece with the monkey-robot orgy, and time must have made the memory grow fonder, because they wanted another. Oh, sure, I said...ouch! I pretended that my ankle gave way on me. Are you alright, they asked, panicked. I winced. I'm fine, I said. Just been on my feet too much. I hobbled back to my desk and asked for some ice. Now I'm pretending they never said anything, and the day's almost over, so I'm almost free!

(1) As further evidence that my mother, profiled earlier this week, is batshit crazy, she coos whenever Clippy comes on her screen at work. She's pretty offended about me and the doctors at the hospital badmouthing the new-age chiropractic cult, by the way.

010412 I took a cab from work to the train station last night. It's a seven or eight block walk, and I didn't feel up to it on crutches. As soon as I sat down inside, I looked out the window and began practicing an imperious look befitting of someone who was taking a cab for a short distance downtown; I am a high-powered marketing executive, said my eyes, and I could crush you, crush you like -- the cab driver interrupted my character work by suddenly turning the radio up to max volume for the Backstreet Boys' 'Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely'. He was a stereotypical urban cab driver (of arabic descent, thick accent) in his mid 50s, and either he could relate to the Backstreet Boys' woe or he thought I could. Either way, with a boy band now blasting from the partially open windows of my taxi, I let the business executive image go. At the end of the ride, the cab driver received a crisp five dollar bill for his efforts.

I passed out on the couch in front of Telemundo, feverish dreams of incomprehensible betrayals.

Worried about my newly technicolor ankle, I called in sick to work again and went to a real hospital. It was all very nice. In some circles it is considered unprofessional for a med student to refer to your injury as 'gross', but I tend to get that a lot whenever I'm badly injured enough to finally make it to a hospital, so I wasn't bothered. The only other patient that I saw was a man who, as far as I can tell, had something stuck in him somewhere. The staff seemed more inclined to spend time in my room. They x-rayed me, assured me that the new-age chiropractors were nuts and couldn't get me anymore, and then gave me a cup of orange juice. Now I've got a legitimate brace on the ankle, and things are looking up from an 'ever walk again' standpoint.

010411 I spilled Mountain Dew on my headphones, but I put them on anyway; now everything smells like bananas. Man, I'm just trying to get through my day.

My ankle started off quite nicely and then did a grapefruit impression for the rest of the act. Boo, hiss, etc. I had to take my sock off and ice it while sorting through time reports. There's something oddly gratifying about being barefoot at work. My mother has been released from her position as the person who gave birth to me due to her spectacular mishandling of the entire thing; I pay for health insurance through her company, and I think she just keeps the money and sends it to the new-age chiropractic cult. When I went in to have the ankle re-examined last night, the oracle was floored that yesterday's regimen of small electric shocks in the base of my neck hadn't sorted the sprain out and just prodded at my back for a while. After I left, one of her minions called my answering machine and gave me her home phone number so I could talk to her about a crucial treatment program in a physicl science that she made up. The name involves 'bio' and ends in a 'y', so she probably worked very hard at it, but I plan to bury my phone and train my cats in kung-fu anyway. My mother suggested that I go in for 'raindrop therapy', which is the real name of a treatment that they practice, because it involves oils that 'suck the bad things right out of you'. My mother has also seen the Virgin Mary within the last few months, though, and while I am always interested in hearing from people who are haunted by the floating heads of major religious figures, I am not necessarily interested in receiving health care advice from them. It's hard when it's your own mom, though. And your own insurance agent. Damn it, damn it. I miss that university health coverage.

On the positive side, wobbling around on crutches has increased my already unbelievable charm to completely unfair levels. I caused a car accident last night just by standing on the corner and yawning. Grown women were reduced to tears by my heroic work at the photocopier today. Seriously. Holy shit, I am charming. Of course, overwhelmed by my awe-inspiring charm, people give me lots of work to do as an excuse to bask in the glow. I blink and tilt my head, they swoon, drop time reports at my feet, run off and do web searches for "marc heiden charming free hot nude naked finland", and it's embarassing, is what it is.

Now everyone's going to do web searches for "marc heiden naked" so it'll show up on my server statistics and freak me out.

Being on crutches is making my speed lines droop.

I hope the anarchist college students are outside of the train station today. I'm totally going to claim that I'm a victim of the School of the Americas and it's going to rule! Holy shit! Somebody up there must like me.

010410 Everyone's so nice to the kid on crutches. An old woman called me a saint after watching me climb the stairs up to the train station. (1) The cab driver made an illegal u-turn on Wacker Drive to get me closer to the front door of the office. People ask about the injury, wince, offer to get me things; keeping the crutches in prominent view at my desk has been a brilliant semiotic manuever in the battle between the player-hating supervisor and the down-but-not-out monkey. Co-workers are awed -- how brave! even with that terrible injury, he's still making photocopies! -- and I keep looking over my shoulder, waiting for someone from internal marketing to come by and ask me to appear in a recruiting photoshoot. See? We hire all kinds of people, including smiling cripples! Or, working here is so much fun, even the cripples are smiling! Hey, you know what'd be even better? Could you be black for a moment? Thanks!

The only difficult part, of course, is having to tell upwards of eighty people, individually, how I sprained the ankle. 38% inform me that spraining an ankle is even more painful than breaking it. I have only damaged my ankle once before, spraining it during the process of breaking my leg, and it was really kind of an afterthought once I was done with the leg. Truth be told, I'm not entirely sure what's going on with my ankle. In typical form for my mother, who works for an insurance company and is allowed to make health care decisions for me, I was sent to a new-age chiropractor who shot energy bolts into the base of my neck and prounounced the ankle healthy after placing a tuning fork on it. I went along with it because a basic part of my methods has always been to permit bodily harm to myself if the situation is funny enough. With a trained clairvoyant on staff, it seemed to qualify. Now I can't feel my foot, and I'm headed back there in a few minutes. Ah, you know. I have my ways.

Media research that I have done has led me to the following websites:

Trust in the expertise of a flesh-eating zombie girl at Dada Net!
Make the bald man in the teacup blow colorful squares of snot, make the robot turn upside down and kick at transparent rectangles, and try to discern a single goddam fact about what Ice Inc actually does!

Explanation for my injury that I have only used once, to one of the other temps:

TEMP: What happened to you?
SELF: What, besides getting hired here?

Next person asks, I'm telling them I got this limp in Vietnam.

(1) It's pretty hard to find a decent transsubstantiator these days, so I guess you have to play kind of loose with what qualifies as a miracle for the old "saints must have performed three miracles" rule.

010409 You may have seen it in a nature documentary: there is the magnificent monkey at the head of the pack, and when he roars, it is scary. No one fucks with the head monkey. The monkeypack moves according to his crafty decisions, and they are wise decisions, but there are enemies, we will call them player-haters, and they're always looking for a weakness, some opening to knock the monkey off his perch; but no one can touch the monkey, for he is powerful, and he is wily, and most of all, he is righteous. And then, one day, it happens: the monkey sprains his ankle. He was only doing what a monkey does, but he comes down from a leap, and he's limping. Something went wrong, and the entire jungle knows it. This is their chance. They want a piece of the monkey. Line up, all of you, come on, all of you fuckers.

One of the other two temp-o-nauts, Hiro, called me this afternoon. I was surprised to receive his call, being at home; he and Lum are decent folk, but we never see each other outside of work. I greeted him, shifting uncomfortably as we talked, my right ankle throbbing. Who's after me now? The HR supervisor has asked the fatal question, he says. Immediately, I know what he means.

SUPERVISOR: You can't go on vacation. Who will cover your desk?
HIRO: Marc Heiden and Lum will be in town. They can do it.
SUPERVISOR: Marc Heiden? What does he even do?

Trouble. Hiro thinks that all three of us are on our way out. He tried to cover for me ("Oh, Marc's real busy.") but he fears that he may have cracked under the relentless questioning of the player-hater ("Busy doing what?"). I figured that someone would ask the fatal question sooner or later, and things would be more or less over as soon as they did. What tipped her off? Was it the total lack of any difference in company operations when I am not around for long periods of time, such as today, when I am nursing my sprained ankle? Did Lum sell us out in exchange for proto-matter? Was it my loud bout with depression last week where I kept making references to "slow intellectual murder" in conversation with the new media guy, the mail guy, the people across from me, and complete strangers? These are all possibilties. Man, everyone wants a piece of me. This is totally how Puff Daddy felt.

I had a lot of work to do last week. Thursday and Friday were probably the most brutal days in my time there. I was asked to do web research on a couple hundred other consulting firms, and normally I would have begged out with some wily excuse ("I have no fingers"), but they played the baby card. See, the giant pulsating brain at the center of the company keeps files on all of us, and by now they must have noticed that I hate it when they all start eating babies, so that's what it says in my file: when in doubt, play the baby card. So they sent an executive to make the request who said he'd have done it himself but he had a sick baby, and I reluctantly agreed. Holy shit, that sucked. Every consulting firm in the world says the same meaningless things and has the same shitty flash movie on their intro page where words like "strategic" and "insight" go floating around the sun or some crap. Two hundred of those in a row. Some in English, some in some other crazy language. The worst part is, I must be going soft; it wasn't until midway through day two that I just started making shit up. The data was heading to the global partners so they can decide who to buy and who to crush underfoot. Heh. Good luck with that, guys. Even if we temp-o-nauts are set loose, it's been a nice run.

Back in the day.