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Category Archives: self-deprecation

Andy Hicks is probably done with the internet forever.

Andy Hicks wrote something on his blog three years ago, and it was a funny something, but he had to remove the post today because  there was one line in it that could very easily be taken out of context.

The post in question was written during the summer of 2007, and was a satirical series of one-line bios that I had supposedly rejected.  Some of them were fairly witty.  Some of them were just silly.  One of them was specifically written to sound awkward and skeezy, but within the context of the rest of the (now deleted) article, it was pretty darn funny.   Out of context, however, it sounded… well… awkward and skeezy.

Guess what one line shows up when you Google “Andy Hicks”? Guess which single line, out of twenty, happens to be the one that happens to show up at number 3 in your search results when you look for my name?  Guess which line googlers JUST HAPPEN to see first, forming their impression of me before I even have a chance to utter “Hello,”?

oh-well-of-course

Readers: consider this a warning.  Never use your real name online.  Never write anything remotely salacious online.  In fact, just disconnect your computer from the Internet right now and throw it out the window and run off to Vermont and live off the land.  Your computer will only bring you pain.

I deleted the post.  Not that Google cares.  It takes a while to re-cache.  Me, Andy Hicks, Capable And Talented Individual Who Owns Every Tori Amos Album, Including The Winter EP, labeled as a Horrible Sexual Harrasser because of one silly line I wrote three years ago in an attempt to be funny.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Google says “we are not evil,”  but I can’t help but think that Googling might be.

Now you know what I’m talking about when I say I should just post a bunch of pictures of me golfing or doing other boring things, instead of doing anything that shows off who I really am.  Because, see, who I really am is a snarky but ultimately kind hearted beast, and that doesn’t translate well in the age of the search engine.

Look – it’s not fair.   I’m trying to not be afraid to write what I want.  And because the kind of career I’m seeking normally has some sort of creative aspect, I want to use my real name and link to this site, because I think it’s – overall – a good thing.  There’s a reason I rarely talk about anything personal on this blog – it’s none of your damn business.  And, look, I’m proud of the stuff I’ve written here.  If you know me, you know that 90% of the time when I say something controversial like that, I’m kidding.   But if you don’t know me, and you search for my name, that one line – THAT ONE SINGLE LINE – is what comes up.  Out of all the silly lines I’ve written over the last three years, the one that comes up is the one that makes me sound like a pervert.

I can’t for the life of me explain why that is.  All the other lines in that post had “Andy Hicks” attached to them, so it could very easily have been “Andy Hicks has a head full of snot and a heart full of love,” which I’m particularly fond of.   Or “Andy Hicks is the recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Awkward,” also in that post.   But no.  The one that pops up in the search results is the boobs one.  Thanks, Google.  Now I’m a meth addict.

See? Kidding.

Now, now, Andy, you shouldn’t have posted that and used your real name and – yes, I know that.   And don’t write anything you wouldn’t want the world to see, I know that too.  See, I have no problem with the whole world seeing that post.   My problem is that the whole world might only see one part of it and not understand that I was joking.

Mark Twain used the N-word in Huckleberry Finn, but no one calls him a racist.  Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Tell-Tale Heart in the first person, but no one thinks he really killed a guy.   Johnny Cash never killed a man in Reno just to watch him die, either.  Now, if you think I’m saying what I do here is on the level of Johnny or Edgar or Mark, you’ve missed the point completely.

But let’s say that you’d never heard of Johnny Cash, and you were vetting Mr. Cash for a job, and the first quote you pulled up was him admitting to a particularly cold-blooded murder.  Would you hire him?

What I’m saying is this: because Google is purely mechanical and unfeeling, there’s nothing that’s really stopping it from pulling up a single, incriminating line and presenting it as being just as true as anything else.  In its “summary” box, Google could just as easily have pulled up my most recent post, where I mention my new portfolio blog with my name attached to it. Or it could have pulled up any other post where I use my full name.  But no: it pulled up that post, and that line, from three years ago.  No rhyme or reason to it.  It just did.

Anyone who would have clicked on that link (you can read a cached version here) would have seen that it was perfectly innocuous and part of an obviously satiric take on the futility of trying to sum yourself up in one sentence or less.  (They would also have seen that it was written during my “I want to be Chuck Klosterman when I grow up” phase.)  But maybe they didn’t click on the link.  Maybe they passed judgement and moved on.  That’s what frightens the hell out of me.

“Andy Hicks is “married to the Lord.”  They have three beautiful children together.”

See?  Could have been that line.  That line’s funny.  But no.  Cold Unfeeling GoogleBot 6000 wanted to be cute.

For the record: Andy Hicks does not stare because he knows it is rude and his Mama raised him right.  He does, however, still have an unnatural fear of clogged drains.

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odontophobia

Here’s the thing:  I’m terrified of going to the dentist.  This has nothing to do with the drill, the blood, the pain, the guilt, or the loss of control that people normally associate with the dentist’s chair.  I’m terrified that, whatever’s wrong with my teeth, my insurance isn’t going to cover it.  Because the insurance I have, in the year and four months since I got it, hasn’t covered a goddamn thing.

Now, my parents owe me a huge “I told you so,” here, because they thought my choice of health plans was a bad idea, but I went ahead anyway.  See, they’re actually paying for it.  I’m 28, by the way, and I honestly can’t tell whether I’m pathetic or my country is.  I am nearly 30 and my parents are paying for my health insurance.  It should be noted that I’m a radio personality who, by virtue of being a part-timer hired after a certain date, doesn’t get benefits from work.  Sucks to be me.

I had Fallon (FCHP), which I liked, but as they kept doubling their monthly premiums, it soon became necessary for me to seek out other options.  I settled, out of desperation, on Healthmarkets/ Mid-West Life.  I would highly recommend that anyone in a similar position, when contacted by anyone from Healthmarkets, not only refuse their services, but do so in the rudest way possible.  I suggest screaming obscenities at the top of your lungs into the phone at whatever clueless shill tries to sell you their “health plan.”  It doesn’t matter what the obscenities are; if your religion forbits such things, you can shriek “fiddlesticks!” until your throat gives out.  Just so long as it’s ear-splitting and annoying.

These are fiddlesticks, by the way.  Just looking at this makes my molars ache.

They don’t cover psychiatric drugs, so I was sort of forced off Adderall by the price.  That’s fine, as it turns out people prefer “moody and stupid Andy” to “workaholic jerk Andy,” but the principle still sucks.  What if I had clinical depression?  What if I was epileptic?  They don’t cover doctor’s check-ups for the first year, for reasons that escape logic.   Particularly disgusting is this: they don’t cover STD or AIDS tests.

And now, with definite tenderness in the right side of my mouth, receding gums, bloody spit in my sink when I brush, and over-sensitive to cold, I need to go to the dentist.  I’m not dying, though, so Healthmarkets probably isn’t going to cover shit.  I called their hotline a while back to see if I could score myself a trip to the dentist, and they said “oh, just go to any dentist, and they’ll send us the bill, and we’ll see how much we cover.”  This wasn’t very reassuring, and no matter how much I prodded or asked, the clueless stooge in customer service wouldn’t or couldn’t go into further detail.

So: going to the dentist is for rich people.

Now, granted, I did just get a new computer, so I should quit my whining.  True, I can use my new one to work on projects that may one day make me rich enough to see a dentist (this is very unlikely).  True, my old computer would occasionally shut down and restart in the middle of stuff for no particular reason.  True, it also had two faulty cd drives, and wouldn’t boot up unless you had the XP startup disc, and we can see where this is going.  I obviously did not have to spend $799 on this computer, plus whatever the “Special Care” plan cost, plus the cost of a snazzy new case to keep it in.  Instead, I could have spent that exact amount of money on one dentist visit.  Apparently, I’m the irresponsible one around here, as you can clearly see by this snapshot of my little cousin Beppo.

Andy and Beppo: Adventures in babysitting.

So, I’ve got to go see the dentist, and my health plan isn’t going to cover anything, I just know it.  Sure, they sent me a big ol’ book detailing exactly what I get and don’t get, and I’m sure somewhere in there is something about dentistry.  But here’s the thing:  according to their website, some dentists are covered by their plan, and some aren’t.   According to their customer service person, all dentists are more or less covered by their plan (at least, as much as anything else.)  Every local dentist I’ve found on their website, by the way, either doesn’t exist or hasn’t worked at that office in years.  It’s getting pretty silly.

So, in conclusion:  my teeth hurt, my media conglomerate doesn’t give a shit, and Healthmarkets is pretty much a scam.  If anyone can recommend a low-cost health plan that actually provides preventative care of any kind, I’d be very happy to know about it.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2008 in bios, politics, self-deprecation

 

we don’t have to take our clothes off….

Readership is down on this blog – I’ve only received 66 hits today.

Don’t make me get naked.  I will.  I so will.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 4, 2008 in self-deprecation, tomfoolery

 

GeekUSA Most Wanted, March 31, 2008

All blogs are self-congradulatory in one way or another.  They all hinge on the basic idea that someone out there gives a flying fig what you have to say, which is a pretty egotistical prospect, if you think about it.  Unless you’re Joss Whedon or MC Hammer, no one cares but you and your Mom.  And your Mom’s only reading because she wants to spy on you. 

However, WordPress (god bless ’em) makes it real easy to believe that you are, in fact, hot shit; a “new-media mogul” with a virtual audience of cyber-millions.  They do this in a couple of ways, but the most noticable is the “Most Wanted…” feature at the side of your blog.   This is where they list your top 10 posts in order of popularity.  

So, in the interest of disappearing up my own ass finding out what brings people to this blog in the first place, I’ve decided to revisit my “most popular posts”.   Enjoy if you can.

(ed. note: I forgot to mention that GeekUSA recently cracked the 4,000+ hits in a month mark.  Again, thanks, Mom!)

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liberal ennui

Blah di blah di Bush is an idiot blah di unjustified invasion blah blah Katrina blah blah Karl Rove dippity doo Supreme Court bleh di bluh dick cheney is evil blah gas prices blah corporate control fascism skabadoo health care crisis bleh redistribution of wealth blah blah fox news.

ennui.jpg

Look, mates, it’s getting old.  Things suck.  Things continue to suck.  Things will continue to suck for a very long time.  I hate easy answers.  Still, let’s be honest here: one way or another, it’s all Bush’s fault.  AND FRANKLY, IT’S FUCKING BORING!

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Posted by on March 28, 2008 in books, history, politics, self-deprecation, tv

 

brief note, and the onion needs to stop making fun of me.

First off, thanks to Julia, Alyssa, Lauryn, Lauryn’s mom, ChrisClark, and everyone else who hung out with GeekUSA on Super Tuesday.  There was many a witty and insightful comment that was, unfortunately, eaten by the interwebs as I consolidated all my posts into one.  For the record, Lauryn said something really funny that I can’t remember and Julia schooled me on Super-delegates.

Secondly, the big Onion article everyone’s passing around these days is called The Knights Who Say “Nerd”: Twenty Pop Culture Obsessions Even Geekier Than Monty Python.  As I’ve stated previously on these pages, there’s a slight but significant difference between geeks and nerds.  If you’re a nerd, you’ll read the article and start indignantly composing a list of factual errors.  Geeks, however, will start counting the number of geek obsessions they have, and half-seriously blog about it in the following way:  dude, I got six out of twenty!  WHO WANTS TO DATE ME??

I would have had seven out of twenty, but I gave up on MySpace months ago.

 

This Is The Story of…… “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car”

re-written/re-posted 6:51pm, 12/11/07

(note: I wrote this about two years ago, as part of my “Worst Years In Music: 1988” entry. Eventually, I’ll make a podcast, and that’ll be the pilot episode, because it’s seriously the funniest thing I ever wrote. However, this morning, as I sat at the Boston Convention Center registering young professional women for the Massachusetts Conference for Women, my ears perked up as that infamous song wafted o’er the pleasant but sterile architecture through the Muzak, and it reminded me of writing this, and I’m proud enough of it to post it all over again.)

This Is the Story of Why I Suffer A Mild Panic Attack Whenever I Hear “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car” by Billy Ocean.”

By Andy Hicks

(originally published on geekusa.wordpress.com)

 

When I was eight, my parents got kind of fed up with having to come down to Robinson Elementary School every day to remove their child’s head from the loo, so it was decided that I would try Catholic school on for size. I lasted one year – third grade, which is why I write cursive in the Palmer method but couldn’t recite the Apostle’s Creed if my life depended on it.

One fine day, I was sitting in Mrs. M_____’s homeroom at Notre Dame Academy in Tyngsboro one morning. She was running late, which basically meant that you had twenty unsupervised third graders going all Lord Of The Flies all over the damn place. One of those rapscallions was a young gent we’ll call Tim.

Tim was one of those scary hyperactive kids who thrived on making life horrible. His best friend was this absolute asshole named John. Now, before we go on, I should point out that, yes, kids are cruel; no, it’s probably not fair that I’m using such language to describe a nine year old, and; yes, I’m over it.

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