Introducing the MCC Rerun Smiley!

PeeGee 2016!

You can click him now and be teleported somewhere inside MCC’s timeline, or you can read this entry first and then take the plunge. YOU make the call!

If you’re like my wife, sometimes you’ll flip through your TV channels, find everything new is boring, and instead go paging through the lesser networks and stations for amusing episodes of defunct series that were once beloved by ancient civilizations. In recent months she and/or I have found ourselves inexplicably, temporarily mesmerized at times by the likes of Doctor Who, Supernatural, Grace Under Fire, The Facts of Life, Amen, 227 (we found an episode guest-starring Pee-Wee Herman!), Columbo, Adam West’s OG Batman, and more. When you’re not in the mood to choose your own specific entertainment, sometimes it’s relaxing to turn to your TV, yell “HIT ME!” and see what happens.

And now, you can do the same with Midlife Crisis Crossover!

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Everything We Know About Air Travel is Wrong, We Hope

WWII Plane!

Spend five minutes peeking at Midlife Crisis Crossover and you’ll notice my wife and I do enjoy a bit of travel. We have our annual week-long road trips to other states and time zones, where we can discover new environments and attractions, such as the New Orleans establishment shown above. From time to time we head off to our sometimes annoying neighbor Illinois for geek conventions, and we’ve discussed expanding our scope in other directions. We like spending our respective birthdays visiting other parts of Indiana and seeing other Hoosiers like or unlike us. We may devote a lot of time to screens with entertainment on them, but we place a certain importance on getting out of the house and seeing the world beyond our front door.

However, our family, friends, and longtime MCC followers know our expeditions come with a limitation: we don’t fly. We’ve never bought a plane ticket, we’ve never soared in or above the clouds, we’ve never been across the oceans or even to California, even though we have friends living there we simply must meet before we all die of oldness. By our standards air travel is expensive; the boarding requirements are invasive; you miss all the interesting sights and stops between points A and B; and it doesn’t help that the news outlets love to tell us about all the crashes but they never celebrate the hundreds of successful non-crashing flights that I’m told are theoretically possible and maybe even real.

We’re well aware Superman loves to tell everyone who’ll listen that, statistically speaking, flying is the safest way to travel, but that’s easy to say when you’re so invulnerable that not even actual dying keeps you down for long. For all these reasons and more, we’ve never been in a position to give planes a chance.

Until now.

Right this way for a very special MCC news release!

The Official MCC Guide to Finding Joy in Blogging All Wrong

Lucky!

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!

Experiment #3: Red Sonja

Red Sonja.

Right this way for 150 brief words or so…

The MCC 2014 Pilot Binge: Kickoff and First Down

Utopia!

Not a codeword for the new fall TV lineup.

And now for something completely regrettable:

I have a short list of TV shows I follow every year, but I don’t watch nearly as much TV as the average internet user my age. I don’t connect with what many of today’s sitcoms consider “humor”. The Wire ruined all ordinary police shows for me for all time. We don’t subscribe to any premium cable channels. I’m not remotely interested in any show that describes itself as “sexy”. My list of disqualifiers goes on and on.

This year I’ve decided against my better judgment to dare myself to do something different. I spent time this weekend reading the official annual “Fall TV Preview” cover features in the latest issues of Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide, and compiled a list of the new shows that merited full articles or capsule previews. I omitted a few premium-cable shows for the one reason mentioned above (the pirating option is off the table) and a few online-only streaming shows for assorted logistical reasons. That left me with a list of twenty-six TV shows in all.

Right this way for the details…

Granny Driving in Tractor Parade (experiment #2)

Granny on tractor

Sample image from our day spent strolling around the 2014 Indiana State Fair. As you might expect from a state fair, there were unhealthy new food items and small entertainment spectacles and amateur art and general Hoosier happenings all around, such as the driver seen here, one of several participants in a midday parade around the fairgrounds’ long racetrack alongside numerous other farmers on tractors.

More photos to come in the next couple days, here on MCC…

Because Not Every Movie Should Be Turned into Joyless Homework

film reel canisters, Underground Vaults and Storage, Hutchinson, Kansas

Movies are fun to look at, even when they’re boxed up and stacked on shelves. I enjoy writing down my thoughts about them — whether inspired or incredulous, amazed or aggravated — before too much time passes and the details vanish (if not the entire movie, in some cases). But I’ve grown to despise my self-imposed assignments of constructing an English-class essay every time I come home from the theater.

When something that’s supposed to be fun isn’t, then something needs to be done differently to rediscover the fun in it.

This way for an announcement/experiment…

The Experiment

This year for my birthday, my wife and I visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art because I wanted to see the traveling Ai Weiwei exhibit while it was in town. Fascinating collection of provocative, disturbing, convicting works and images.

My wife captured this thought, one of several typeset on the museum walls for the occasion.

Study questions:

If the artist works hard but doesn’t change any aspect of the world, not even a minute tweak, is the result still art? How many tries should they be allowed?

If the artist has no definitive aspiration, can they still effect change? What sort of deadline should we give them?

(Mood: contemplative. Music: Bob Mould, Black Sheets of Rain.)

An MCC Reader Survey for Every Man, Woman, and Spammer

Once again I’m reporting live from the Department of Trying Something Completely Different and extending this opportunity to YOU, the Viewers at Home, to share your feedback about your Midlife Crisis Crossover reading experience. This may be an imperfect structure (I’ve already encountered one unresolved bug), but I beg your forgiveness and your willingness to humor me in this flighty endeavor.

Assuming I didn’t break anything, embedded in this entry should be a simple survey — two pages, five questions in all — providing statistical info on the MCC readership at large to satisfy my curiosity, to help me think a little harder about what subjects to incorporate here in future entries, to show me whether or not the PollDaddy survey function is worth reusing, and to determine once and for all how many of you are real and how many of you are Matrix holo-henchmen.

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“MCC Request Line” Prologue: What Do YOU, the Viewers at Home, Think I Should Try Out?

I’m trying something new here. Bear with me while I work out the details and set up my premise.

A few of my MCC commenters, the greatest Internet citizens of all time, have suggested works they think I ought to check out, either because they might be aesthetically rewarding, or because they’re likely to instill the kind of garment-rending anguish that I can only exorcise through verbal backlash in this particular venue. Some are things I’ve thought about but merely never took the time to sample. Some I’ve not tried or have actively avoided because of the awfulness I can sense emanating from them at a great distance. As my way of showing my appreciation for your suggestions, I’d like to give them a shot and then write about the results here. Since I have a few such requests lined up, an umbrella title seems in order.

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