Midlife Crisis Crossover #0: the One-Man Dramatis Personae

Welcome! Turn Back!

Welcome! Turn back! Welcome back! Hie thee hence! Join us! Shoo! Whichever!

Welcome to entry #733 here at Midlife Crisis Crossover! If this were a mainstream comic book, I would’ve already stopped and relaunched a new site with a new #1 at least thirty-seven times by now. Fortunately, I have no marketing department giving me marching orders. Unfortunately, I have no marketing department spreading word of me to the four corners of the planet. The compromise is so aggravating.

If you’re just joining us or recently discovered the site, you may be a bit disoriented, even after reading the “About” page I wrote two years ago and have amended a few times since then. That version contains the “in-story” reasoning behind the site name without confessing that it was contrived using the Wheel of Fortune “Before and After” method. I’m sure it sounds like rubbish if you’re not a comics fan who knows what a “Crisis Crossover” was. The bottom-line truth is I needed a name that no other writer, blogger, or sensible creative type would want. That’s one objective met, then.

In the days of yore, comics writers followed a helpful rule of thumb: “Every issue is someone’s first.” New readers appreciate accessibility. Most sites use the “About” Page to catch visitors up to speed and don’t look back. (I offered baseline advice on this one time.) While mine does its job to a certain extent, it doesn’t summarize every version of me that readers have seen in these pages. Sometimes each me can act as though they exist on a different Earth apart from my other selves. Sometimes those worlds drift apart. Sometimes the me of two worlds vibrates in harmony as one. Sometimes worlds collide.

With each new entry the loyal MCC follower is left to determine which me they’re reading today. MCC topicality runs the gamut of whatever’s in front of me at any given moment, and life contains a lot of moments. Here’s a handy guide to the most common varieties of me you’re likely to see vying for the soapbox during the course of an average week:

Comics Are for Everybody!

Yes, this shirt is now available for purchase! #IamComics

* The Aging Geek: At age 42 I still retain several brain cells at my disposal, but I can feel my powers of trivia weakening in some subjects, and my urge to collect All The Things subsiding, but I’m not ready to limit my life to a diet of sports, home repair, financial planning, and CBS. Some segments of the entertainment industry are dedicated to finding new ways to alienate me, but I still like what I like, even if I’m among the weird few who do.

* The Theater-Going Guy: Say what you will about the rudest, crassest theater patrons who ruin the experience for everyone because they can’t grasp the concepts of manners or selflessness. I don’t run into these too often, and when I do, I don’t let them stop me. Our local theaters still contain bigger screens and better speakers than our home setup. I enjoy being among the first wave whose dollars are partly responsible for the first weekend or two that determine a movie’s fate. And I enjoy sharing thoughts about the experience with friends. I’m not now and will never be a professionally trained critic. All I do is copy down the thoughts that pop into my head and see where they lead me.

* Mr. and Mrs. Road Trip: Every year since 1999 I’ve driven somewhere out of state for one to nine day and discovered lands and works beyond the confines of the big computer-holding box I call “home”. At my side for every step is Anne, the best friend who became my wife in 2004. Sure, many people use their vacation for tanning, drinking, partying, or relaxing. We create our own agendas. Finding offbeat ways to spend quality time together. Sidling up to towns and attractions our peers wouldn’t be caught dead visiting. Searching for gems in unusual places — sometimes geek-related, sometimes peculiar, sometimes normal yet above average.

We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

* The Lone Hoosier: Sometimes I’m inspired by events here in Indiana. If there’s no geek convention involved, it’s one of the fastest ways to deter site traffic other than pulling the plug outright. If that’s where the muse leads I’m game to follow anyway, regardless of the cost. Far as I can tell, most MCC readers live anywhere but here. Indiana has its share of geeks, but I’m wretched at networking and I communicate regularly with nearly none of them. Kind of an odd state of affairs.

Jazz hands!

My wife’s grandmother demonstrates the invigorating power of Jazz hands!

* The Family Fellow: (I had to settle for this because “Family Guy” and “Family Man” are taken, and “Family Dude” sounds disjointed.) Besides approaching our tenth wedding anniversary soon, I also have a son who just finished his freshman year in college, a mother who recently downscaled for retirement prep, the peccadilloes of my in-laws, and other various relatives who come and go with their own offers of fellowship or lists of demands.

* The Too-Quiet Christian: Of all my components, I’d wager it’s my faith that turns me into an oddball in the most crowds. There’s a lot to unpack on the subject for which a single capsule won’t do justice, so you’ll forgive me for avoiding the danger of being too reductive about it. The hardest part in terms of devoting proper site space, more than the quizzical looks from others, is discovering writing inspirations that aren’t merely large passages of Scripture copied-‘n’-pasted from Bible Gateway. Here’s a link to a personal favorite example that’s rooted firmly in what I believe, while stubbornly insisting on putting it in my own words, sins and all.

* Listmaster General: Lists are keen. Lists don’t stink. Lists are how I constantly think. I wrote many months ago about why list-making is a super-awesome activity and I refuse to cram that list inside this list because bullet points inside bullet points are an aberration against internet nature, so check out that entry and pretend I rewrote it here in its entirety. In case you refuse to click the link and it’s not obvious from the fact that you’re now reading a list, allow me to ditch subtlety and get to the point: Yay listing!

* Weekly TV Recapper: Now on hiatus until Sleepy Hollow returns. Still stinging from the loss of Revolution and Bunheads. Disappointed that none of this summer’s new shows have caught his attention yet.

* The Conventioneers: My wife and I attend a few conventions every year, including Wizard World Chicago, GenCon, C2E2, and Starbase Indy. Last year we tried our first HorrorHound Indy show, though not normally our thing. This year we’ve also attended the inaugural Indiana Comic Con and the subsequent inaugural Indy PopCon. We love sharing photos from the experiences with fellow fans and curious onlookers. She tops me in this area as a twenty-year convention veteran, dating back to when Creation ran Trek cons here in the late ’80s. We kept our itinerary modest during the years my son was small and in need of raising, but empty-nesting has allowed us some schedule expansion. There may be long gaps between cons, but they remain a viable attraction for us.

* * * * *

…and these are just the more common ones. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll spot rarer alt-me’s running amok: Chef Amateur, the Workplace Secret Keeper, Hater of Headlines, Admiral Apolitical, Annoying Prude, Stealth Wallflower, Power-Pop Pete, WordPress Watchman, and the comics collector who’s been into the hobby every week since age six but rarely writes about what he’s following. Mark them on your scorecard as you go; earn double points when they cross over and fight, triple points if they compare notes and team up against another me.

Each and every one of them is a key player in the Midlife Crisis Crossover experience. If one of them gets too pushy, just wait ten minutes for him to clock out and the next one to take over.

3 responses

  1. Pingback: An Aged Self: The 19th of April 1999 – Portland, Maine | Forgotten Correspondence

  2. Pingback: Could the real me, please stand up? | chey being

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