Midlife Crisis Crossover Celebrates Two Years, 700 Entries, Countless Stories Yet Untold

WordPress 2nd anniversary!

Your official 2nd-anniversary notification from WordPress looks like this. Printing, framing, embossing, and/or enlarging to poster size are optional at the writer’s expense.

It’s that time again! Through the grace of God and the stubbornness of me, Midlife Crisis Crossover reached and surpassed its second anniversary on April 28, 2014. I postponed the party because I didn’t want to interrupt my annual C2E2 photo journal marathon at its height, and I fancied the idea of coinciding with this, MCC’s 700th entry. That’s two milestones nailed at one time, both highlighted without passing on the extra costs to You, the Viewers at Home!

For those interested in reliving the creation of MCC and/or time-traveling to key points in its distant past, the following moments are recommended for historical purposes:

* The first official MCC entry, basically a satire of the Indianapolis majority’s unseemly, senseless hatred of mass transit. I spent a full week writing and refining this launch post, researching blogging platforms, and experimenting with the control panel once I’d made my decision. After going live on April 28th, it had maybe seven whole views in its first week of existence. With almost no promotion and nothing in mind resembling a quote-unquote “marketing strategy”, I like to think that’s seven more views than I had any right to expect.

* The original MCC “About” page, which was much too long and written in the days before I cared whether or not each post included at least one picture. But hey, there’s a smidgen of origin material there, too. I was careful to stay in character and therefore avoided explaining how I spent hours brainstorming possible site names, rejecting dozens of ideas until I had a bizarre “Eureka!” moment made possible by my bemusement with the Wheel of Fortune “Before and After” category. This is why people shouldn’t let me name things.

* The true origin of MCC! Most of it, anyway. I already linked to this over C2E2 weekend, but it fits in this list as well. To be honest, this tale needs a prequel entry about the tiny blog I’d kept on and off for several years before I upgraded to a more independent, less hermetic stage.

* The MCC first-anniversary entry, which ate up a lot of my MCC reminiscing material.

In reviewing these, I’d forgotten the 1st-anniversary entry included seven bonus questions that I’d hoped to address in year 2:

11. Will there ever be an official MCC logo?
12. Can I take a day or two off each week without panicking about my stats?
13. Did I use up all my best ideas in year 1?
14. Will that “faith” part of the MCC mission statement ever stop being overshadowed by all the other parts?
15. Can the Freshly Pressed fairy strike a completely unfair third time?
16. If there’s no Number Six, how about a Number Sixteen?
17. Will I ever discover an idea worth exploring at book length?

Most of these issues remain works in progress, current statuses as follows:

Action Comics #700

Fun “700” pic #1: Action Comics #700, the first American comic to reach that signpost. My copy of this issue was sadly among the four longboxes’ worth of casualties pruned from my collection when we moved in 2007. And I quit collecting Batman, Detective Comics, and Amazing Spider-Man long before they each reached #700.

11. I do think about this from time to time, and one chronically helpful blogger was kind enough to offer a few suggestions, but nothing’s crystallized in my head yet. I haven’t found the perfect font, banner image, or word shape that screams “ME”.

12. To my relief, yes, a day off each week is permitted without becoming a source of self-conscious anxiety. I faintly recall a few weeks where I took two days off without repercussions. Thanks very much for allowing an old man his rest.

13. Open to debate. More on this in a second.

14. Faith and Scripture infrequently take center stage for various reasons, but they remain nonetheless important to me and pop up as Easter eggs all the time if you know where to look.

15. Lo and behold: I was floored last September when WordPress awarded Freshly Pressed status to MCC a third time with “The Last Stand of the Drive-In Theater: Upgrade or Perish“, which was enormously gratifying because I think it’s one of the few times where something I wrote truly felt like a magazine article. Writing it kept me up till 2 a.m., so it was nice to see some of that foolish physical stress technically, retroactively justified.

16. NO.

17. I like the idea of seeing my pre-MCC material in a collected format someday (and there is a fair amount out there), but who has time for learning how to self-publish when you’re working full-time plus overtime and writing a thousand words a night, 5-6 nights per week? (If I thought more than five people might buy a copy, I suppose I could ease down to writing only 4-5 nights a week and spend the extra time self-teaching…)

Pat Robertson, 2008

Fun “700” pic #2: Our 2008 road trip to Virginia Beach included attending a live taping of The 700 Club even though I’ve never seen an episode. This Bigfoot-quality 35mm photo shows you the closest any of us were allowed near TV’s Pat Robertson.

Returning briefly to question 13: the best part about waiting four decades to kick off an endeavor like this is that it gave me time and opportunity to accumulate experiences, anecdotes, frames of reference, and a few extra skill sets before throwing caution in a cardboard box and setting it on a forgotten shelf out in the garage. So far it’s worked well enough that none of MCC’s 700 entries begins with “Sorry I haven’t posted in a while!” or “Please give me lots of Likes for these five reblogs from other sites even though I didn’t actually write anything myself” or “I got nothing to say, so here’s a Dalai Lama quote I pasted onto a photo of a puppy.” I’m sure writer’s block will clobber me and leave me witless for days on end at some point before I die. So far I remain block-free. For now.

As long as new movies keep luring me into theaters, geek news keeps occurring, and strange creative ideas keep popping into my head, I expect it’ll be a while before shortage of material becomes a concern. That’s a primary benefit of running a one-man show with no specific topical focus where pretty much anything is fair game if it provokes a response from me that’s more than 140 characters long. On the other hand, I’m sure it can feel like a curse to some readers whenever I shift gears from one area of interest to the next. Thanks sincerely to those among you who’ve patiently put up with me through those irksome subject changes until I circled back around to your bailiwick once more. (Would this be a bad time to mention that the recent marathon of comics-related entries is pretty well wrapped up and I’ll likely be moving on to other matters now? Yes? No?)

As some sort of gift or anniversary feature or minor announcement, here’s one new thing I’m pleased to share: Midlife Crisis Crossover now has a Contact Page for easier and/or more clandestine communication! Dunno why I didn’t add this months ago. Please feel free to use this to let me know whenever questions and whims strike you. Remember, though: comment responsibly.

Beyond this positive quality-of-life adjustment, my game plan for MCC’s Year Three remains identical to Year Two’s: keep writing and keep going, until and unless. We’ll see what happens. As always, thanks for reading!

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