The Official MCC “Not About” Page

Randall A. Golden, Midlife Crisis Crosssover

Shirt probably from Kohl’s; shorts probably from Wal-Mart. Wristwatch definitely from Wal-Mart. Most expensive item: ticket to visit Manhattan’s Top of the Rock. (2011 file photo.)

Consider this another hearty greeting to the continuing influx of new subscribers, real or otherwise, to this humble blog of mercurial intent. If you have no idea what we’re doing here on MCC, feel free to check out the official “About” page for a vague explanation festooned with a smattering of concrete details. Would-be MCC historians unaware of this site’s early days can check out the original, full-length version before I was overcome with a rare rewriting impulse and vaporized several hundred words.

For those who find both versions no help whatsoever, the following is a new companion piece to clarify the broad MCC mission statement by confirming some of my areas of weakness, insufficiency, disinterest, and/or mild anitpathy. It’s my hope that outlining the opposite of me should help manage expectations for future passersby who might be tempted to tap the “Follow” button with misguided hopes for the future of our reader/writer relationship.

For those tentative visitors, please be aware Midlife Crisis Crossover is 99.99% guaranteed to be not about:

* Fashion. No one wants wardrobe tips from a guy who flinches at a thirty-dollar price tag on a shirt. Occasionally I’ll feel a twinge of jealousy at those men who have the clothing budget to wear suave, name-brand outfits from classy outfitters whose newest offerings are featured in men’s-magazine pictorials before they reach upscale store racks. Even if I reconfigured my mindset and funneled all my comics/movie funding into a new monthly allowance for fabulous clothing, the best-looking items are never manufactured in my size anyway. The best you could possibly see from me here is a column called “New T-Shirt of the Month”. (For the record: my most recent acquisition was a Hawkguy T-shirt. See what I mean? And it’s even worse if I have to explain a joke.)

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100 Posts, 100 Bullet Points: My MCC Magical Retrospective Celebration Featurette Hoedown Extravaganza

When I inaugurated this open-ended project as an excuse to exercise my brain on a daily basis, I figured I was good for ten or fifteen posts, tops. Burnout was/is inevitable. 100 posts later, one per day and with three double-shots, it hasn’t happened yet. Setting aside a few short entries (so I’m a sucker for new movie trailers — I do try to offer something beyond HERE IS NEW MOVIE IT IS COOL AM I RITE), I’m surprised at how much processing capacity exists when I’m not just reading, lurking, passively consuming, and living vicariously in various corners of the Internet while other people enjoy themselves actively and sometimes even make a living at it.

I’m marking the occasion in the best way I know how: with a list. Stuff about me, around me, in my head, or otherwise tangential to my existence, all somehow surfacing at once and dying to make the Top 100 Me Factoids of the Month to commemorate this subjective mathematical milestone.

Super-lengthy special-occasion list is GO:

1. I’ve lived in Indianapolis all my life.
2. I’ve been an Internet user/dweller since 1999.
3. I’ve been reading comics for roughly 34 years.
4. My favorite class in high school was a senior-year single-semester creative writing course. Easy A.
5. My entries are usually posted late at night because I’m an evening person.
6. My favorite color is purple, because it’s pretty and less common.
7. My first job was at McDonald’s. I stayed with the company for twelve years, which were worth it in many ways I wasn’t aware of at the time.
8. I don’t care for sports. Mind you, it’s apathy, not antipathy. In Indiana this complicates most attempts at friendship with other males.
9. In my previous blog, 110 entries took me six years to amass.
10. I prefer mayo to ketchup.
11. If you care about astrology more than I do, I’m a Taurus.
12. I don’t do any amusement park rides that turn upside-down or spin at cyclonic speeds.
13. My first comic book convention that utilized more than one conference room was Wizard World Chicago 1999.
14. I spend every Wednesday evening hanging out with my son. Friends and family know better than to interrupt our schedule.
15. Between July 2004 and July 2005 I lost 98 pounds. I’ve gained some back since then.
16. My favorite movie has always been Die Hard, though it’s become difficult in my later years to recommend it to others in good conscience.
17. I’ve seen every single film that’s ever won an Academy Award for Best Picture, from Wings to The Artist. Some of them weren’t worth it.
18. My first car was a 1986 Grand Am lemon.
19. If you want to see me at my worst, put me in a leadership position.
20. My first rock concert was the 1992 Guns ‘n’ Roses/Metallica twofer at the Hoosier Dome. I was more interested in the opening act, Faith No More, who only played for 45 unenthusiastic minutes.
21. In high school my original plan was to become an artist. That changed during my junior year when I realized how impatient I was with my drawing.
22. My car repair skills rank Very Poor for my gender.
23. My most-Liked post to date is part 1 of the two part “Road Trip Clip Show“.
24. I don’t drink. Not even in moderation for recreation among oenophiles. Not even wine coolers or wedding champagne. In America this complicates most attempts at friendship with other humans.
25. I’ve never played any MMORPGs because I know how carried away I would get. If these had existed in my youth, I could’ve easily spent 40+ hours a week on one without remorse.
26. I’ve been divorced once. I filed for bankruptcy the following year. The divorce lawyer was cheaper than the bankruptcy lawyer.
27. My favorite food group is breakfast.
28. I learned to tie a necktie at age 19.
29. My first Internet writing piece was a turn taken in a Usenet round-robin story when I was still a newbie to the newsgroup.
30. I took German in junior high, high school, and college. I remember more of it than I think, and at the oddest times.
31. My favorite Disney movie is Aladdin.
32. Since this blog began, I’ve received two Facebook Friend requests from complete strangers, up from zero strangers for the twelve previous months. I have no idea if that’s coincidental.
33. I still cry at an occasional movie. Examples from recent years include Up and Serenity.
34. So far I’ve visited 26 of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Niagara Falls, Ontario.
35. I saw four of the Friday the 13th movies in my youth, but no longer have any need or desire to complete the set.
36. Have I mentioned my wife’s awesomeness here yet? Consider it mentioned.
37. My nervous habits include chewing on my lip and gnawing on the thumb knuckle where there once was a wart.
38. I’ve read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations a few times, but several more times definitely won’t hurt.
39. A Green Arrow show without Justin Hartley is no Green Arrow show of mine.
40. I prefer “geek” to “nerd” because its consonants can beat up those other consonants.
41. My first entry into a writing contest was a high-school short story called “The Cybernetic Wilderness”, which was sabotaged by a lousy typist whose clumsiness managed to spell “variation” with twelve letters.
42. I once cryptically wrote on a Post-It Note, “Tow Mater / Tow Maine / Tow Backy”. I’m afraid to find out what I plan to do with these thoughts.
43. The first Bible verse I ever memorized was Matthew 11:28 — “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” It’s still my favorite.
44. The Valiant/First C2E2-panels two-parter resulted from a brief nanosecond when comics journalism became an infinitesimally possible option.
45. I met my (second/current) wife in 1987 in high school German class.
46. My son and I have played 11 of the 13 Final Fantasy games. FFII was the indisputably worst; I can’t decide which was best between FFVII and FFXII.
47. I’m terrible at memorizing Scripture because English classes spent years successfully beating the moral “Put it in your own words” into my head.
48. My favorite album is Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade.
49. I’ve never touched an illegal drug in my life. The strongest substance I’ve ever taken was arguably Vivarin, once when I stayed up overnight to write a term paper about satire in popular music.
50. My highest-traffic post to date is the complete list of what’s not after the Brave end credits.
51. I had my very first taste of alcohol on my 21st birthday, and not one second before.
52. I had a brief stint as a co-writer of a few Star Wars fanfics, some of which are still online.
53. I’ve attended GenCon twice even though I haven’t played a tabletop RPG since junior high, and have never played a CCG, unless you count Triple Triad or Tetra Master.
54. My first date was at age 19.
55. Persuading family and friends to read this blog seems a Sisyphean task. I expect that’s for the best anyway.
56. I’m not too great with tools or home improvement. In Indiana this complicates most attempts at friendship with other males.
57. The first video I ever saw on MTV was “Since You’re Gone” by the Cars.
58. I’m not surprised Trust Us With Your Life was cancelled. I blame Ryan Stiles for not saving the day.
59. Our dog’s name is Lucky. His previous owners named him before they decided they’d rather have a hamster.
60. I once made a fanfic writers’ email list cry by being too candid about my opinion of their “columns”.
61. My first known comic book was Marvel’s Scooby-Doo #9 by Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle. The Scooby Gang teamed up with Cap’n Caveman and the Teen Angels against the threat of a surfer ghost.
62. If my TV schedule ever eases up, I’ve been meaning to start The Wire season 4 next.
63. My second entry here, “The Train Job”, was a satirical labor of love that took days to fine-tune before I launched this blog. Unfortunately all the Hoosiers in my life don’t venture into the Internet beyond the boundaries of Facebook, so its target audience will never read it, let alone get it.
64. Last night my wife brought home Chik-Fil-A for supper. She was nearly two hours late because of the lines.
65. When I’m bored in a grocery line, I use the cart’s leg hole closure as a makeshift drum and tap the intro to Primus’ “John the Fisherman”.
66. The first Star Trek actor I ever met was Garrett Wang from Voyager.
67. I refused to touch soft drinks from ages 5 to 16.
68. I dropped out of college. Twice.
69. My mom used to buy me subscriptions to kids’ magazines without even asking me. What kid ever asked for a year’s worth of Cricket or Cobblestone?
70. My favorite pop song is John Mellencamp’s “Small Town”, and not just because he’s from Indiana.
71. Sometimes I worry that if I take a single night off from writing here, the whole thing will collapse and I’ll wake up the next morning to find my writing talent has vanished forever.
72. People are always surprised when I struggle to break it to them gently that I absolutely cannot stand The Big Bang Theory.
73. When my brain is firing on all cylinders, my writing voice tries to find a happy medium between George Will and Dave Barry.
74. Post-Modern MTV and 120 Minutes permanently altered the course of my musical tastes.
75. In 1992 I registered to vote as a Democrat because gas prices had skyrocketed to $1.29 per gallon and the incumbent President was a Republican.
76. On Sundays after church service, I’m on a one-man independent Bible study in which I’m going through Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest.
77. In junior high I wrote and drew my own comics. I still have them, but show them to no one.
78. People compliment my reading voice, which I built up by necessity during the years I spent working in a fast-food drive-thru with a terrible speaker.
79. I’ve seen every Best Picture Oscar nominee from 1997 to the present, including a few truly awful ones. I plan to work backward to 1996 and beyond if Secrets and Lies is ever granted an affordable re-release.
80. My Free Comic Book Day 2012 reviews inexplicably attract more spam than any other entries.
81. My Google+ feed is a wasteland where DC and Marvel PR reps battle daily for void supremacy.
82. I thought Ernest Borgnine pretty much ruled the four-hour Jesus of Nazareth.
83. The list of classic books I’ve never read is shamefully not short.
84. I once took second place in a college poetry contest that my poetry professor entered me into, without my knowledge and some weeks after I’d already dropped out.
85. I’m pleased as punch that the Bunheads clip of Sasha dancing to They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” is online once again. FOR NOW.

86. I’ve been drunk exactly once, New Year’s Eve 1993. Once was enough.
87. As a child, the only pet I ever owned was a carnival goldfish who lived two weeks.
88. I had no idea which of my high school acquaintances were Christian or gay until long after graduation.
89. I don’t get Pink Floyd. At all. On Earth this complicates most attempts at friendship with other males.
90. This year I subscribed to Forbes on a lark, and now the mailman won’t stop stuffing the mailbox with Republican fundraiser ads.
91. I can’t remember if the first comic book professional I ever met was Tony Isabella or Don Rosa.
92. “Aurora.” was one of the painstaking things I’ve written in years, and is my most widely shared entry to date.
93. I’ve never flown before. Ever.
94. I accept and welcome suggestions, questions, and recommendations that don’t come from spammers.
95. Sometimes I like to think of every purchase as a donation of sorts.
96. In my combined three years of college, I made exactly zero (0) friends.
97. I’m currently reading Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist Way. It’s funny, constructive, creative, crude, and irksome at the same time.
98. The last time someone recommended something to me, it was Rob Liefeld’s Grifter. I stand by #94 anyway.
99. I’d like to pause here for a little game we like to call “Hoedown”! We’ll call this one “The 100th Post Hoedown”. Take it away, me:

[cue Laura Hall/Linda Taylor intro]

o/~ Thank you if you’re reading, I appreciate your time
I know the ‘Net is busy and this hardly is sublime
I’m sorry that my subject matter sometimes seems so random
Some nights I’m lucky if one reader can understand ’em…

Nerd or geek or in-between, and sometimes both and neither
I can’t believe I’ve kept it up without a single breather
Will I do a hundred more? Forgive me if I fail
Can I dare hit 200 without quoting Holy Grail? o/~

100. I reserve the privilege to expand or repurpose some, all, or none of these as subjects for future entries. Hopefully none of them is a thousand-word paean to the color purple.

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