Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saying Stuff As It Hits Me (for the love of Zod, don't say "semi"!!!)

* Is it just me, or do you ever stop yourself as you're leaving the house to make sure you've put on pants? That sounds silly, of course, but given some of the truly dumb-ass things I've done in my life, it's NOT entirely impossible, so every once in a while I find myself looking down to make sure my "li'l hickman" is not exposed (well, assuming that my gut would allow me to see it anyway).

I remember one of my students saying to me "you know more than any human being I've ever met." I was beaming over that one, let me tell you. Yeah, dat's right, I'm da man. Wheel yourself outta my way, Stephen Hawking. Then, all of five minutes later, I went to the men's room, and when I tried to walk out, I found that I couldn't get the door open. I panicked for a second, until I realized that I was pushing on the side with the hinges.

Yeah, I'm Enrico freakin' Fermi...

* I'm working on a City of Heroes project that I can't talk about yet (I'll let ya know). Y'know, I have probably 120 CoH player-characters now, and only one (Nitewolf) has made it to level 50. Most are stuck in the 22-32 range. It occurs to me that probably 80% of them have puns for names, which sounds gimmicky, but I've found that both in the game, and in my comic writing, that such a method works well for me. They start off being goofy puns, but then it comes together when I try to flesh them out. I wonder if I took a character with a standard superhero name, say Captain Lightning or Darkbolt or something, and tried to do the same if it would work. Hard to say, and it'll probably never happen, as I'm much more likely to do Bananas Froster or Shock Cousteau.

* I think I'm supposed to dog-sit a little pug here in a day or two (if so, there will be pics). I would so dearly love to have a dog, and we're allowed to have 'em at our apartment building now. Unfortunately, while I could afford the $25 or whatever they add on to your rent for a dog, if anything ever happened to the little guy, health-wise, I couldn't afford to get him any treatment. So I'll just have to be happy with our two little turtles, Eastman and Fichtner, for the time being. Eastman is named after TMNT creator Kevin, obviously, and Fichtner is named after William "Mr. Pointy Face" Fichtner, whom he resembles.

* The other day the Dairy Queen close to my place had a deal where certain items were 50% off. I normally don't go to DQ, as the food is too expensive and REALLY is not the kind of stuff I should have on this diet. But the half-off deal was too tempting for a cheapskate like me, so I went through the drive-through while I was out and got myself an order of chicken strips, figuring that wouldn't be too bad.

I had to do some grocery shopping, so I pulled into the Pay-Less parking lot and decided to eat my chicken before going inside. I grabbed one of the little batter-dipped hunks of white meat and settled in for my "splurge."
But...it was...too gooey inside and...chewy...and...oh...my...god.

I suddenly realized what I was holding in my hand was a breaded hunk of completely, absolutely, totally RAW chicken. Not undercooked, not slightly cooked, not even warm inside. Raw, pink, cold chicken meat.

I spit it out and drove back to DQ, where I presented it to the manager.
"Look," I said, "I'm not the kind of guy who complains over little things, and if this were just slightly undercooked, hey, no big deal. But this bastard is still CLUCKING."

He let out an "OH MY GOD" and immediately got me a replacement, and thankfully this one didn't have salmonella as a dipping sauce.

I'm sure Dairy Queen is a fine establishment in general, but I'd advise against the chicken tartar.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I, Troy Hickman, Will Hereafter Stop Doing Stuff!

So the other day I check my AOL mail to find a message that says "Troy Hickman has sent you a letter on Myspace."

Wha---? Oh, I figure, probably some new phishing scam or somesuch. So just to be sure, I log on to my MySpace page to find...a letter from Troy Hickman.

Specifically, it's a letter entitled "My Name is also Troy Hickman," and it said this:

"i would appreciate it if you quit doing stuff when i tell girls about me they google MY name and get you which is weird so stop it or add a side note that your not the TROY HICKMAN"

As it turns out, this was sent by a young man in Oklahoma who has found that being Troy Hickman is not the beer and skittles he imagined it being.

So what am I to do? Should I simply stop "doing stuff"? I mean, I'm practically a sloth now; I'm not sure I can become even more lethargic. Maybe I could stop doing things for an hour or two a day, just enough time for young Mr. Hickman to score with some chicks?

More importantly, how does one become "the TROY HICKMAN," and how did I miss out on that honor? Was it a problem with the paperwork? It wouldn't be the first time bureaucracy has bitten me on the ass.

If you google my name (at least, I THINK it's my name), you'll get something like 74,000 hits. As best I can tell, probably 90% of them have to do with me. Or at least, the ME that writes comics, teaches college English, and is typing these words now.

Doesn't that, by sheer weight of numbers, if not by the sheer weight of my buttocks, make me THE Troy Hickman? Or is it an honorary appointment of some kind? Does this nation now have a "Troy Hickman czar"???

Well, anyway, the least I can do for this poor kid is to point out to all you young ladies who are pondering whether to favor him with your charms that I AM NOT HIM! I'm sure he's everything I'm not (which would mean he's a water-breathing albino lesbian, but I digress), so give the guy a booty call and keep him off MySpace, will ya?

While I'm at it, here are a handful of other people I'm not:

I'm NOT this Troy Hickman. I've mentioned him before. He's the former mayor of Hayes, Kansas, and I think now he's on their city council (they demoted you, did they, Troy?). He looks like a straight shooter. Chances are HE would deny that he's me, too.

I'm NOT the Troy Hickman that also lives here in Lafayette. He's no relation to me, but I met him one time out at the Putt Putt course where my son worked. It turns out THAT Troy Hickman is a miniature golfing whiz (I could never do that, as the odds of me not snickering when someone mentioned "balls" and "stroke" in the same sentence are slim and none). The golfing Troy seemed like a decent enough guy. I get his phone calls sometimes, and I like to think he's gotten my offers from major comic book companies.

I'm NOT the Troy Hickman that used to be the first entry you got when you googled the name. THAT Troy Hickman was a convict, also here in Indiana, in Terre Haute, looking for gay cybersex. You can imagine how glad I was when he ceased being Troy Hickman numero uno on the internet. I always wondered about that guy, though. What the hell was his deal? I'd like to think all us Troy Hickmans are winners, but criminy, what kind of a guy has to go online looking for gay sex when HE'S IN PRISON??? Talk about coals to Newcastle...

I'm NOT Tracy Hickman. The fact that we're both writers and we both work in the fantasy field occasionally confuses people. The fact is that Tracy Hickman makes more money in a month than I've made in my entire life, and that includes the year I picked up extra cash from selling my blood plasma. I don't know Margaret Weis, I've never worked with Margaret Weis, and frankly, if I ever even tried to get Margaret Weis' autograph at a signing, I'm pretty sure she'd have the security guards treat me like a king...Rodney King.

I'm NOT much more famous and successful comic writer Jonathan Hickman. He seems like a very nice guy, and he's got more talent than everyone David Hasselhoff has ever judged COMBINED, but we're no kin. I kind of feel like a professional wrestling jobber having a match with Ric Flair when people mention us in the same breath, though; it can only give ME a positive rub, while it doesn't do a damned thing for him. Maybe I should get him a fruit basket to make up for it.

I'm NOT talented comic artist Jessica Hickman. Frankly, I cannot draw a purty pitcher to save my life (well, maybe to save my life...I mean...geez!). I've tried to draw since I was a little kid, but there's just something in my brain that doesn't click. I can design a pretty spiffy superhero costume, and I think I have a good sense of how a comic page should look IN MY HEAD, but when it comes to making my hand move in such a way that it creates something resembling realism, it's never gonna happen. I will NOT show you any of my artwork here.

I am NOT singer/songwriter/philanthropist Sara Hickman. I've got a decent singing voice, but most every song I've ever written is a parody, and as far as doing good works, the last charitable act I committed was not printing any of my artwork here, as mentioned in the paragraph above.

I am NOT TV's Dobie Gillis, Dwayne Hickman. I have read his autobiography, though, and it was a page-turner.

I am NOT Gene Hackman. The only French connection I've ever been a part of was when I nearly beat to death a street mime named "Pierre."

Anyway, Troy Hickman of Oklahoma, I hope this helps you get laid. If not, there's a guy in prison in Terre Haute who might be able to help you out...

(A big thanks to Veazey for the idea)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quick Question

Hey, I notice my counter down there went from 33K hits to 11K yesterday. Anyone know what would cause that? More importantly, anyone know what I can do about it?

Harumph, harumph.

Hey, I didn't get a "harumph" out of that guy!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Film, and Not the Kind On Pudding

Lea and I watched some flicks while I was in Vancouver. Time for some quick reviews!

Unrest - Plot: I have no idea. There are pathology students cutting up cadavers and people dying by supernatural means, but that's about all I could make of it. It was one of those damned movies that are far too awful to enjoy, but not quite awful enough on an EPIC level so that you can love its...uh...awfultosity. It was 88 minutes of my life that was not useful in any way, and that's one thing for which I CANNOT forgive a film. One star out of five.

- Wow. This one made Unrest look like The Exorcist. It stars Robert "Liquid Metal" Patrick, and I have to tell ya, I really feel sorry for the guy. He's a talented actor, but it just seems like he's never gotten the break he deserves. For every Terminator 2 or last couple seasons of the X-Files, he'll do five movies like Autopsy, and I think it's hurt his career a bit. Anyway, this is just a goonfest, and not in a good way (that is, John Gulager makes total goonfests, and I love 'em!). This is one ALMOST bad enough to be good enough to watch, though. You might check it out and make your own call (for some reason, it gets five out of ten stars on the IMDB and some of the folks there really dig it. Go figure). I give it half a star myself.

The Cottage - OK, now this is more like it. In the tradition of stuff like From Dusk Til Dawn (as well as things I've reviewed here like Malevolence), this starts out as a comedic crime flick about kidnappers, gangsters, hitmen, etc., but eventually turns into a crazed farmer slasher fiasco!

Really enjoyable stuff, with interesting characters, great dialog, and terrific performances by Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith and others. It's one of those great blends of goofy humor and horror that are rarely done well (outside of Sam Raimi), but it sure works here. Check it out. I give it four stars.

Zoo - Whoa. Uh, how do I describe this. It's a documentary, basically, about bestiality. Specifically it's about Kenneth "Mr. Hands" Pinyan, the Boeing engineer from Washington state who died in 2005 as a result of being...uh..."loved" by a stallion. It's also about the subculture of his friends and peers (called "zoos"), and their relationships with animals. Gang, it's a very troubling subject, but I have to say it's the damnedest movie I've seen in a long time. They handle the material in a straightforward way, recreating the events in some instances (but with nothing really graphic on-screen), and it's beautifully shot and edited. Don't watch it with young kids, and maybe not your parents (I had to sit through Lea describing it in great detail to her mom; the dictionary definition of "uncomfortable"). But watch it. Five squirming stars.

Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus
- OK, I didn't watch this with Lea, but I had to mention it. OH.MY.ZOD. Watch it. Watch it! It's got Lorenzo "Snake-Eater" Lamas, and an octopus knocking fighter planes out of the sky, and Deborah "Don't Call Me Debbie" Gibson, and a shark biting the Golden Gate Bridge in half, and sudden nerdy Asian love, and 3-D shots in a film that lost its 3-D budget, and...and...watch it! "Deborah" has hinted at a sequel, and I can't wait. The entire state of Wisconsin couldn't make this much cheesy goodness. Zero stars for quality, but five for enjoyment.