Happy 9th Anniversary to My Tiny Wordy Hideaway

Chocolate cupcake with a #9 candle.

“TREAT YO’SELF!” one of the voices in my head yelled as I threw myself a cupcake party.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: I launched this li’l site on April 28, 2012, three weeks before my 40th birthday as a means of charting the effects of the aging process on my opinions of, enthusiasm for, offense at, and/or detailed nitpicking of various works of art, expression, humanity, inhumanity, glory, love, idolatry, inspiration, hollowness, geek lifestyles, food, and Deep Thoughts. MCC has also served as a digital scrapbook for our annual road trips, entertainment conventions, and other modest travels. It’s a general repository for any other content that strikes my fancy and inspires thoughts more than one tweet long.

Basically it’s me me me me me, plus special appearances and other invaluable contributions from Anne, my wife of 16 years and #1 fan. When the most tedious entries yield the poorest traffic figures, she still thinks I’m cool.

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Kings Island King!

Author file photo, taken at an uncertain theme park circa 2006-2008, the years I used the Kodak EasyShare you see dangling from my lanyard. I ultimately decided not to buy the crown.

Welcome to Midlife Crisis Crossover’s 1200th entry! In the grand tradition of 20th century comic books and sitcoms that ran five seasons too long, every 100 entries we mark the occasion as a sort of accomplishment and sometimes celebrate it. Not all those 1200 moments have been winners, but they’re integral components in the comprehensive mosaic of the last few years inside my head — the distractions, the fancies, the traumas, the endless parade of lists.

Before I launched MCC on April 28, 2012, I’d already been writing here and there online for years. My early efforts at self-expression and public entertainment comprise a couple thousand Usenet posts (a few longform pieces in the bunch, mostly irretrievable and irrelevant now), several thousand message-board posts (much easier to sort through, a few of them previously transferred and preserved here), and a LiveJournal I kept for a few years but can barely stand to skim now. In 2006 the longtime message board that Anne and I call home received a software upgrade that added blogging functionality for any member who wanted their own little playground contained within the site itself. Between April 2006 and March 2012 I penned 110 intermittent entries before I decided to stake my own separate claim here among the WordPress territories. That virtually invisible blog was good practice in a number of ways, most of them involving some balance of creativity and humility in the face of a mostly empty studio, so to speak.

As part of this MCC celebration that I just realized could technically double as a “Throwback Thursday” nod, we present the following flashback to an essay originally published May 16, 2006. This oddity, which I’ve lightly edited for a broader audience, represents my very first “meta” post about the odd act of blogging. It was written within and for the confines of the internet equivalent of a shed with a single skylight, but I’m a little surprised how much of my nascent impressions still ring a bell today. Please enjoy, and thanks for being here.

Right this way for a very special Throwback Thursday!

WordPress.com Magic Elves Offer Colorful Second Opinion of My 2015

Happy New Year, internet! Here’s hoping everyone’s 2016 is a vast improvement over the unbelievably tragicomic 2015, just like the genetically superior Star Wars: The Force Awakens helped everyone put Revenge of the Sith behind them for good.

As in years past, those all-knowing stats overseers at WordPress.com have compiled an automated 2015 Annual Report for each and every blogger on their roster, complete with vaguely art-deco New Year’s fireworks that you can use for Twitter Profile wallpaper or whatever.

In addition to revealing the 148 countries that visited us last year, as well as the identities of MCC’s five greatest commenters of the year who deserve cash awards, there’s also this sample statistic that you can use for comparing where we stand against millions of other, actually popular sites:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 49,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 18 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report! It’s short and they made pictures an’ stuff.

But wait! There’s more!

Right this way for a rundown of MCC’s memorable 2015 moments that you may have missed!

The Official MCC Guide to Finding Joy in Blogging All Wrong


If you’re pressed for time, please feel free to pretend this photo of our dog Lucky wearing a bandanna is today’s entire MCC entry, toss him a happy “Like”, and read no further. He’s used to that kind of fleeting attention from strangers.

Welcome to Midlife Crisis Crossover’s 1100th entry! In the grand tradition of comic books and The Simpsons, every 100 entries we mark the occasion as a sort of accomplishment and sometimes celebrate it. Those 1100 moments have been an interesting way to spend the last 3½ years of my internet time, but odds are it’ll take another two or three hundred years of consistent blogging before I stand a chance at becoming a household name. By then I’ll be more renowned for my refusal to die than for any paragraph I’ve ever written.

Every blogger who somehow makes a living off it has their official list of blogging tips that you’re supposed to follow in order to achieve fame, success, impact, and/or income. I’m happy for them and I wish them well as they make lasting contributions to the world at large and change the course of mighty rivers. Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum, stubborn folks like me keep plugging away at their sites without regard for conventional wisdom, official procedures, or dime-a-dozen “Blogging for Dummies” articles. My approach to the game can be summed up in two words: “low-key” and “counterintuitive”.

Wanna blog like me? Here’s ten tips for how it works in my world, through happy times or blah:

Right this way for the official “Be Like MCC” list!

Midlife Crisis Crossover: 3 Years and 1000 Entries

Dick's Last Resort!

An outtake from our Awesome Con 2014 lunch at Dick’s Last Resort. Our waitress made us each a hat. The last words you can’t read are “BACK HAIR”. And that’s why Nikola Tesla (probably) invented the concept of the “outtake”.

April 28, 2015, marked Midlife Crisis Crossover’s third birthday. Our preceding nine-episode C2E2 miniseries comprised MCC entries #991-999. Here we are, two blogging milestones in a single week, and no celebrity endorsements or twelve-book contracts or “Participant” ribbons to show for it.

Three years of personal expression, idea-vetting, photo-sharing, “think” pieces, geek-outs, lists, outbursts, road trips, memories, punchlines, political eye-rolling, awestruck husbandry, pop-culture references, faith-based exploration attempts, movie trailers, movie “reviews”, MS Paint doodles, old man’s pains, middle-age tantrums, family gatherings, home improvement disasters, live-tweeting jags, oddly colored scans, Kickstarter grudges, late-night mood swings, holiday cheer, overlong miniseries, zeitgeist misdiagnoses, gratuitous mentions of The Wire, and more, more, more, more, more.

1,000 ways to be me.

To those I thanked at the previous MCC milestones, consider your thanks hereby extended — doubly so if you’re my saintly, patient wife and put up with a heck of a lot from me for such a questionable return on your investment.

To those I’ve never thanked before, or to those I already thanked but insist I owe them even more gratitude: if you’ve ever genuinely read and enjoyed an MCC entry, and provided sincere feedback in a detectable method, even if it was just the one time and you think I’ve been going downhill ever since…thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of the solution.

As always, thanks for reading. Here’s to the next 1000 entries and all the goofy hats yet to come.

WordPress.com Magic Elves Offer Colorful Second Opinion of My 2014

Happy New Year, internet! Here’s hoping 2015 personally comes to your house, pushes 2014 down a staircase, pushes a piano down the stairs after it, blames it on 2013, and works double overtime to be a vastly better year for you. I won’t tell on 2015 if you won’t.

As in years past, those all-knowing stats overseers at WordPress.com have compiled an automated 2014 Annual Report for each and every blogger on their roster, complete with New Year’s fireworks that you can pretend is a handy screensaver by leaving your computer on and your browser open 24/7.

Right this way for the link to the report, and a rundown of unique MCC entries you may have missed!

Top 10 Ways I’ll Be Celebrating MCC’s 800th Entry

Sundae in Salem!

I had no idea how to illustrate this entry. After 28 months I still have no site branding to showcase. I’m not in the mood for anything prideful. Please randomly enjoy this outtake from our 2013 road trip — me eating a sundae at the Witch’s Brew Cafe in Salem, MA. Why not.

We interrupt our Wizard World Chicago 2014 galleries to bring you this brief intermission noting the occasion of Midlife Crisis Crossover’s 800th post!

Neither writer’s block nor Hollywood’s siren call nor reckless abandon nor typing-finger tumors have stayed me from my appointed fixation yet. If and when MCC crashes and burns someday, I hope I can think of reasons to blame anyone and everything except myself.

From the Home Office in Indianapolis, IN: Top 10 Ways I’ll Be Celebrating MCC’s 800th Entry:

10. 10,000-word all-star salute to me, myself, and I

9. Have a WordPress “Freshly Pressed” banner tattooed across my chest

8. Reprint a past entry no one else liked except me; grovel for pity-Likes

7. Eight-hour scenes-after-end-credits marathon

6. Saccharine love letter to my wife that makes all other readers nauseous

5. Write epic fanfic crossover “Bunheads Go to Sleepy Hollow”

4. Buy a PS4 and one game; play until my gamer-cred upticks; then go settle every Quinn/Sarkeesian rage-war single-handedly

3. Prize drawing to get rid of all my unwanted DC New 52 comics

2. Live-tweet a Dog with a Blog rerun

And the number one Way I’ll Be Celebrating MCC’s 800th Entry:

1. Family road trip to Ferguson!

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.

This way for more topics, answers to forgotten questions, ruminations on possible futures, and possibly more!

WordPress.com Magic Elves Offer Colorful Second Opinion of My 2013

Happy New Year, readers and skimmers alike! Here’s hoping 2014 proves to be the Greatest Year of All Time. At the very least, maybe it’ll help us forget the parts where 2013 let us down and still has a lot to answer for.

For MCC’s second New Year, the happy-go-lucky stats wranglers at WordPress.com have compiled an automated 2013 Annual Report for each and every blogger on their roster, complete with fireworks and eye-popping design work and a world map in case you prefer practical gifts. In addition to the facts and figures I already reported yesterday with my own manually culled year-end review, this report also helpfully confirms which WordPress bloggers left me the most comments last year and therefore deserve innumerable treasures in Heaven and possibly also baked goods. You should subscribe to all of them so they can rise to fame and I can write entries about how I’m one of the Little People who knew them way back when.

For the intensely curious, WordPress’ report also reveals which of my 2012 entries absolutely refuses to die. It didn’t exactly go viral or receive attention from any major online sources I’m aware of, but passersby just keep clicking it and clicking it and clicking it and now the report thinks I ought to consider churning out more daily posts exactly like it, despite how impractical this would be on multiple levels.

Have some sample artwork as an additional incentive. Ya like colors? It has colors.

The weirdest statistic it reveals:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 80,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the report in all its scintillating wonder!

That most important part, once more with emphasis:

Happy New Year!

Midlife Crisis Crossover Celebrates 1st Birthday, Threatens to Begin Repeating Itself

Midlife Crisis CrossoverOn April 28, 2013, the blog you’re presently skimming celebrated its very first birthday. Strange but true! I would’ve marked the occasion sooner and in a timelier fashion, but longtime readers might’ve noticed I had a hard time shutting up about that blasted C2E2 event for a few minutes. Even though our official six-part photo gallery is completed, I still have at least three posts’ worth of C2E2-related material in store from a different angle. Out of respect to my readers who might not be as enthralled as I am by local comics conventions, a broader, general-audience digression seemed in order. Also, I’d like to mark the occasion sometime before next New Year’s.

It was a singular event that inspired me to launch this humble site out of a combination of frustration and curiosity. (Expect the story behind said event in an upcoming entry. Enough time has passed, I think, that I can share it with fewer sour grapes.) I set forth on this strange journey to discover the answers to a long list of questions for myself, including but not limited to:

1. How many consecutive evenings in a row can I find a reason/excuse to write about something before I stumble and fail?
2. How much am I willing to sacrifice for the sake of writing?
3. Can I start such a project without a preexisting audience?
4. Is it possible to build an audience from the ground up? Not counting spammers?
5. What sorts of writing will I like best? And what kinds might become a dreary chore?
6. Is there a question #6?
7. Can I enjoy myself without being jealous of those who do this regularly for money?
8. Will anyone I know even care?
9. Am I alone in this?
10. Do I really like writing? If not, what am I supposed to be doing with my life?

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