“Sleepy Hollow” 10/1/2015: Red Hide, White Eyes, Blue Crane

Sleepy Hollow goes to Colonial Times!

Also mentioned tonight but not pictured: the I Cannot Tell a Lie Cherry Pie. With a name like that, the first ingredient had better be real cherries.

Sleepy Hollow is back! The third season kicked off tonight in its new time slot, where it’ll be competing against ABC’s invincible Shonda Rhimes lineup instead of CBS’ Scorpion. I’m not sure this move is an upgrade. More troubling was the departure of the previous showrunners and several cast members, including the Headless Horseman and the great Orlando Jones, who’ll be truly missed. Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, and Lyndie Greenwood are still around, joined by new cast members, new monsters, presumably a new Big Bad, new artifacts, new vocabulary words, and wacky new collisions between our man Ichabod Crane and the bemusing 21st century America. Midlife Crisis Crossover previously brought you speedy, after-show recaps of Season One and Season Two, and we’re stubbornly sticking with the tradition until it’s canceled or turns unwatchable, whichever comes first. I’m pretty okay with neither eventuality happening, really.

The season premiere, “I, Witness”, as directed by Robocop‘s Peter Weller, kept our reunion simple with a straightforward demon hunt, leavened with a flashback to a historical friend, hints of another sinister long-term scheme in the works, and a merry visit to a themed restaurant called Colonial Times, which is like a Medieval Times sequel with a longer, cheesier menu.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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The MCC Swag Box! As Seen on TV in My Head!

MCC Swag Box!

When your humble Midlife Crisis Crossover narrator was a kid, Hickory Farms ruled the gift-set market with their carefully arranged and packaged snack assortments that were perfect for holidays, birthdays, and weddings for couples who forgot to register anywhere. The big HF put presents inside their presents so you could gift while you gift. They’re still in business today, but their marketing is more selective than it used to be in those halcyon shopping days when we could drive to the nearest mall and stock up on summer sausage anytime we felt like it.

In recent years the burgeoning geek-demographic market has taken the idea in a different direction. For those who’d rather buy hodgepodges for themselves and keep them rolling in like clockwork, Loot Crate offers a monthly subscription service that fills fans’ mailboxes with bobbleheads, remaindered toys, unpopular overstock, weird reading matter, and more bobbleheads. Sensing a possible fad in the offing, Wizard World launched its own copycat club called ComicConBox, which does much the same for more than twice the price. If you want your house filled with random knickknacks and characters you’ve never heard of, either service is a fine way to accumulate future Goodwill donations.

I recently exchanged words with a rep at a company called Man Crates, which returns the gift-set idea to its roots as a single-package special event, but expands the paradigm beyond the old meats-and-cheeses domain. Mind you, those are still on the table, in sets with names like “Cow-pocalypse”, “Pit-Master”, and one that sells itself with the one-word name “Bacon” (kinda like “Madonna” or “Thunderlips”). As befitting the name, several Man Crate options focus on other manly-man pursuits such as golfing, grilling, tools, shaving, large dogs, hot sauce, and zombie defense (because YOU NEVER KNOW).

For other not-manly-man folks like me, they have gift sets for gaming, coffee, baby care, and Asian snacks (my son would love this). When thinking of me, the Man Crate rep thought of their nostalgia-riffic “Old School” crate, which teams up classic playthings like Rubik’s Cubes and Pez dispensers with an array of candies as seen in the drive-ins, drugstores, and corner convenience stores of my youth. If you or your loved ones have the means to open an actual wooden crate, they have a Man Crate in mind.

The rep posed a question to me: what would I pack in an “Old School” crate?

That brings us to a little spinoff invention I’d have to call…the MCC Swag Box!

Right this way for my idea of what made the ’80s!

2015 Road Trip Photos #15: Jazz After Sunrise

Three Amigos!

We are…the Three Amigos!

Day Three, we awoke in New Orleans before 7 a.m., excited and peppy and ready to go. Sadly, most of the French Quarter was still asleep, but we found a place to hang out while we waited for them to catch up with us. No matter where you go, Mondays are Mondays.

Right this way for breakfast and a jazz trio!

Live Under a Blood Red Speck

Super Blood Moon!

10:51 pm.. EDT — See that tiny, funny-colored dot at upper right? That’s no space station.

No, the above photo was not necessarily my best attempt at capturing the soul of tonight’s much-ballyhooed “super blood moon” very special astronomical event, but it’s the first one I took when I discovered my Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS has a setting called “Handheld NightScene”. The moon is visible in that shot, but wasn’t for long. Here in Indianapolis we’ve been under cloud cover all weekend long, and they refused to let up even for something as unusual as a lunar eclipse, let alone an oddly hued one. I’d describe this as “once in a blue moon”, but I’m not sure which moon color is rarer and I’d rather not spark any sky-science semantics squabbles over this.

I didn’t take the greatest SuperBloodMoon photos of all time, but at the very least, the pics leading up to the feature presentation were the best moon pics I’ve ever taken in my life. For a thoroughly amateur photographer, I’ll take that little victory.

Here’s the best takes on what we saw before the clouds solidified the gaps between each other and ruined an otherwise cool evening. All time stamps are Eastern Daylight Time, and for once I’ve resisted the urge to crop or resize any of them.

Right this way for the light of the silvery moon! Featuring cameos by the color red!

2015 Road Trip Photos #14: The Road to New Orleans

Bourbon Street!

One of the G-rated stretches of notorious Bourbon Street on a Sunday evening. Even Party Central needs its downtime.

There she was at long last — New Orleans!

We reached our primary objective at the end of Day Two, thankfully before sundown. All the post-Katrina tourism resources we consulted in our vacation research (books, travel sites, AAA brochures, message boards with supporting posts from wary New Orleans residents) seemed unanimous on one important message: anyone caught outside in New Orleans at night will be swiftly, repeatedly murdered. Perhaps that’s not the reality, but we weren’t prepared to call Fodor’s bluff during our first hours in town. No matter how long we spent in Alabama or at stops along the way, we wanted to be in New Orleans and checked in at our hotel while the sun was still on our side.

We met our objective, and all it took was a long, nearly featureless drive through an unrelated state, braving the cramped hallways that pass for roads in the French Quarter, and cutting a major stop from our itinerary.

Right this way to, at long last, New Orleans! Eventually!

Everything We Know About Air Travel is Wrong, We Hope

WWII Plane!

Spend five minutes peeking at Midlife Crisis Crossover and you’ll notice my wife and I do enjoy a bit of travel. We have our annual week-long road trips to other states and time zones, where we can discover new environments and attractions, such as the New Orleans establishment shown above. From time to time we head off to our sometimes annoying neighbor Illinois for geek conventions, and we’ve discussed expanding our scope in other directions. We like spending our respective birthdays visiting other parts of Indiana and seeing other Hoosiers like or unlike us. We may devote a lot of time to screens with entertainment on them, but we place a certain importance on getting out of the house and seeing the world beyond our front door.

However, our family, friends, and longtime MCC followers know our expeditions come with a limitation: we don’t fly. We’ve never bought a plane ticket, we’ve never soared in or above the clouds, we’ve never been across the oceans or even to California, even though we have friends living there we simply must meet before we all die of oldness. By our standards air travel is expensive; the boarding requirements are invasive; you miss all the interesting sights and stops between points A and B; and it doesn’t help that the news outlets love to tell us about all the crashes but they never celebrate the hundreds of successful non-crashing flights that I’m told are theoretically possible and maybe even real.

We’re well aware Superman loves to tell everyone who’ll listen that, statistically speaking, flying is the safest way to travel, but that’s easy to say when you’re so invulnerable that not even actual dying keeps you down for long. For all these reasons and more, we’ve never been in a position to give planes a chance.

Until now.

Right this way for a very special MCC news release!


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