Midlife Crisis Crossover was launched April 28, 2012, as a creative attempt to do something different with my spare time, my ostensible talents, and four decades of accumulated monumental mistakes and mental minutiae. Though it wasn’t my first blog, it was my first time attempting a blog without an immediate support system or preexisting audience. The MCC experience has been eight curious months of dedication, persistence, failures, sleep deprivation, loneliness, stubbornness, prayer, and occasional wild luck. Over the course of the first 240 posts I’ve discovered new peers, made new friends, learned new things about myself and HTML, improved 2% at photography, and remembered one or two stylistic rules I’d forgotten since college, with several more still repressed and yet to be rediscovered.The WordPress.com Weekly Writing Challenge has encouraged us to look back at our year and remember where we’ve been. Even before I began assembling my MCC year-end lists, I already knew which post would top most of them: “The Day an Empty Chair Ruled the Internet” was the watershed event that drew the most Likes, Comments, and Shares (and nearly the most traffic) of anything else I’ve written this year, arguably even in my full thirteen years of Internet participation, thanks in large part to its “Freshly Pressed” status that saw it spotlighted for all WordPress users to see over Labor Day weekend.
For its outstanding achievement of Attracting an Audience, “Empty Chair” is the first and only entry in the MCC Hall of Fame, even though it was about political events and my incredulous disdain for same. If we set it aside in a class by itself, my memories of 2012 look like so:
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MOST SHARED MCC POSTS OF 2012:
1. GenCon 2012 Photos, Episode 2 of 4: Media Guests and More Costumes!
2. GenCon 2012 Photos #1: Costumes! Costumes! Costumes!
3. GenCon 2012 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Last of the Famous International Costumes
4. They Might Be Giants Dance Number on “Bunheads” Wins My TV Week, and It’s Only Monday
5. Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Brave” End Credits
I conclude from these results that I must now attend GenCon every year for the rest of my life, or at least repost photos from my previous GenCons and turn MCC into a real party.
Those same five posts also constitute my Most Popular Posts of 2012 in terms of traffic, except the order becomes 5, 2, 1, 4, 3. Believe it or not, GenCon traffic at its height even trumped my “Empty Chair” traffic, thanks to shots of a very special gathering of League of Legends cosplayers, indisputably the greatest gamers of all time.
MOST COMMENTED POSTS OF 2012:
1. “Very Inspiring Blogging Award” Nominee Begins Saving Up for Full-Page “Variety” Ad
2. GenCon 2012 Photos, Episode 2 of 4: Media Guests and More Costumes!
3. A Photo Salute to Green, Before it Retreats into Hibernation for the Winter
4. (tie) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Trick-or-Treaters
4. (tie) How Not to Drop Out of College Twice
4. (tie) Grateful for “Freshly Pressed” Status, Hoping Not to Turn into Egomaniacal One-Hit Wonder
Extremely gracious thanks are owed to my most regular commenters/supporters who help drive away the forces of evil, overbearing Internet silence, and to any other non-bot non-spammer who wants to reply to anything ever.
MOST “LIKED” POSTS OF 2012:
1. A Photo Salute to Green, Before it Retreats into Hibernation for the Winter
2. Reflections in a Giant Magic Bean
3. 2012 Road Trip Photos #37: Tow Mater Welcomes You to Route 66
4. (tie) 2012 Road Trip Photos #27: Lamar, Colorado — Last Stop, This State
5. (tie) 2012 Road Trip Photos #28: Kansas Flatland Interlude
Conclusion: people love photos. Creative captioning helps, not to mentioning posting them during prime Internet usage hours instead of in the middle of the night.
In a very special category of its own: the hardest post to write all year was “Aurora.” It wasn’t the greatest epic ever, but writing it while stifling emotional reactions kept me up till after 2 a.m. In retrospect, I’m saddened that my reaction to Newtown has been muted by comparison, possibly even repressed.
Speaking of things that haunt me:
MOST HATED POSTS:
These are the five most recent posts to elicit zero Comments, zero Likes, and zero reactions from the Viewers at Home. None of them even got so much as a token pity-Like. These all occurred before “Empty Chair”, kept me humble, and probably ruined my mood the next day. They were either lousy, offensive, useless, or just published under a bad sign.
Readers love convention costume photos. Pics of the actors and comics creators, not so much.
My movie reviews are often too long and laborious, even when I break them down into bullet points.
Who doesn’t love an Internet opinion that represents an extremist minority? Answer: everyone.
When I put more work into the title than into the post itself, you can just tell.
We close the MCC Year in Review with two photos. The first is my hands-down favorite moment of the year, previously presented in 2012 Road Trip Photos #17 — standing 14,000 feet above sea level upon scenic, thin-aired Pikes Peak. This too-brief moment resembled absolutely no other minute of my life. Highly recommended.
The other photo has never been posted on MCC until now, because I’ve had trouble finding a premise. My favorite photo that I personally took this year was at my wife’s cousin’s college graduation party. Her amazing, craft-minded boyfriend designed a super-sized Jenga set that stood over five feet high with its base, made entirely from wood blocks scaled to exacting proportions. If we’d been careless, this thing could’ve injured or killed someone.
We were careful, but sooner or later someone had to lose. The impact was jarring, but a blast to watch.
Here’s hoping Mega-Jenga isn’t symbolic of my future writing adventures.
Thanks for reading! See you in 2013.