Our 2002 Road Trip, Part 5 of 5: The Day the Vice Presidents Took Over

Man in Space!

Anne hanging out with Jud Nelson’s “Man in Space”, our greeter at the Ford Museum. Per aspera ad astra, and all that.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: a flashback to our fourth annual road trip, a meetup in Grand Rapids with fellow Star Wars fans for opening day of Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. Before and after the movie, we spent our first time in Michigan hitting a few key tourist attractions in the vicinity.

Our miniseries finale begets a confluence of regrets, as eventually came the time to take our leave of our gracious hosts and hit the road home. We had three more stops planned along the way. Two of them worked out. I’d love to share a thousand solid words and a couple dozen photos from what we did that Friday. Yep. Sure would be cool. I’ll get to what we do have in just a moment.

Caution: travelogue finale contains some meta elements of writing about writing…

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Mamaw’s Big Fat Fraudulent World Tour

firefly bear!

What’s wrong with this picture? The answer may shock you! Or possibly not!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: in November my wife Anne and I made our annual excursion to the Indiana Christmas Gift & Hobby Show, a beloved special event for her grandmother as it’s one of the few times she gets to venture more than two miles from home. Last month we shared a selection of our photos with MCC readers from here in Indianapolis, along with a light summary of who we saw, what we did, and other truthful statements about the occasion. It’s just this thing we like to do.

As we pushed Mamaw’s wheelchair around the East Pavilion, perused the wares, and sped past every pesky DirecTV huckster, meanwhile on Facebook I had fun sharing real-time photos with our family and friends who enjoy seeing our little outings, some of whom know Mamaw well and love to see her enjoying herself. This time for a couple of reasons I threw in a value-added twist to our live-at-the-scene reports:

LIES.

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Midlife Crisis Crossover 2016 Year in Review: The Likes, the Loves, and the Losers

Monument Circle!

May: a rare selfie with my wife Anne on Monument Circle downtown on the day of the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade.

Hey-ho, reader! Welcome to the fifth annual Midlife Crisis Crossover year-in-review. This unassuming site was launched on April 28, 2012, as a cathartic experiment in writing whatever came to mind without waiting for other people to start my conversations for me, and so far it’s been a fulfilling use of galleries and essays that might otherwise either languish unwritten in my head or collect endless rejection emails from every professional website ever. Sometime this spring we’ll be reaching our 1,500th entry, reflecting once more on the hundreds of man-hours expended to date on this self-expressive non-profit project, and rationalizing new excuses not to stop, even if by the time I die it’s just me and ad-bots posting harsh emojis at each other down inside the spam filter.

Right this way for our rundown of MCC’s best and worst of 2016!

5 Reasons Why Glitter Guy is No Chewbacca Mom: Our Searing Hot Take

WRTV interview!

No one wakes up in the morning and thinks to themselves, “I wonder if someone will slap a chyron under me today.”

Misleading Headline Disclaimer: this is really more of an “If We Were Having Coffee…” kind of entry, but I’m finicky about my entry titles, and sometimes I can’t let go of a useless, self-deprecating joke that’s been bouncing around my head for days.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: the great Carrie Fisher died unexpectedly some thirty or forty years too soon, and MCC remembered that time we met her. As if 2016 weren’t already a frontrunner for Worst Year of the Millennium before these last-minute additions, the next day brought the equally shocking news that her mother Debbie Reynolds had also died. We can’t and won’t imagine how their family is faring and can only add our prayers for the caring and guidance of others around them through this unfathomable time.

Meanwhile here in less important spheres, the week has been sad and unusual and frustrating on a lower level. If we were having coffee, I’d be apologizing for keeping a minimum safe distance because I’ve been waging war on a nasty cold that’s been digging at me since Christmas Eve and finally took me down Wednesday, turning me into a hacking, sniffling, irritating noisemaker that my coworkers kept trying to shoo out the door. I’m now typing this at the end of a much-needed sick day and…well, at least I’m alive and typing, and I was on TV Monday night, so this is me trying to tone down my complaints.

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Carrie Fisher 1956-2016

Carrie Fisher!

Star Wars fans worldwide are reeling from the sorrowful news that Carrie Fisher, the valiant Princess Leia who could take any of us in a fight, passed away today at age 60, four days after a massive December 23rd heart attack had her in headlines and in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. The post-surgical prognosis from her family was positive at first, but…alas.

I trust I don’t need to summarize her vast and varied accomplishments at length here beyond the Star Wars universe. My wife Anne and I thought well of her comedic turn in Soapdish. When we were best friends but determinedly not-dating, When Harry Met Sally… was our New Year’s viewing tradition, with highlights including Fisher’s turn as Sally’s best friend whose bad decisions made dating look all the more resistible. It’s been a good decade or more since I read and enjoyed Postcards from the Edge, though I never saw the movie version and can’t speak to whether or not Meryl Streep did justice by her words. But every page, fictional or otherwise, reveled in the barbed candor that was a trademark of her post-Star Wars life.

Pictured above is a scene from one of our all-time favorite convention days, when Anne and I had the pleasure of basking in Fisher’s inimitable, unstoppable presence at the second annual Indiana Comic Con back in 2015. If you read only one entry on Midlife Crisis Crossover today, I recommend you skip this one and jump over to “The Alderaanian Glitter Bomber Strikes!”, our flabbergasted, in-the-moment recount of our unforgettable hours in the Carrie Fisher autograph line, featuring photos of the very special flourishes she yearned to share with every adoring fan she could, whether we were ready for it or not.

If we learned one thing from that occasion, it was the same lesson she taught Hollywood, interviewers, hucksters, and any other thoughtless interlopers who obstructed her path throughout her career: whenever that unflappable leader of the Rebel Alliance wanted things a certain way, only fools tried to tell her “no”.

* * * * *

UPDATED 12/28/2016, 12:15 a.m.: Late Monday afternoon, our local ABC affiliate, WRTV Channel 6, interviewed me about our Carrie Fisher experience. Click here for their write-up and video, which originally aired on their 11 p.m. edition. It was a quick get-together, as you may be able to tell from my post-holiday-weekend no-care hair.

Bow Down Before “The Genius of Water”

Genius of Water!

Honesty up front: “The Genius of Water” is the name of a fancy fountain, not a movie or a pet name for whoever invented Evian.

Sometimes when it’s freezing outside and newly dangerous open air stings at every uncovered part of you, it’s therapeutic to look back on warmer, prettier times and remember what sunshine and comfortable temperatures felt like. The past few days’ weather advisories had me yearning for flashbacks to our September visit to downtown Cincinnati, where, among other points of interest, my wife and I dawdling in scenic Fountain Square, one of the prettiest city blocks the Queen City had to offer.

Also, sometimes it’s good to finish a project you started two months ago and then suspended halfway through for no quantifiable reason. Triple bonus points to any readers out there who noticed and were kinda wondering. Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s convention time yet again! This weekend my wife Anne and I have driven two hours southeast of Indianapolis to attend a show we’ve never done before, the seventh annual Cincinnati Comic Expo. With her birthday coming up in a few weeks, which usually means a one-day road trip somewhere, we agreed this would count as her early celebration.

(Anne subsequently spent the birthday itself hanging out at home. It was a bit anticlimactic, but on the upside she still looks half her age.)

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