Obligatory “Freshly Pressed” Follow-Up Thank-You Ramble

WordPress "Freshly Pressed" badgeIs it okay if I feel proud and sheepish at the same time?

The gracious editors at WordPress liked a post of mine from last week well enough to showcase it as “Freshly Pressed”, meaning a temporary spotlight in the WordPress commons area where thousands of other writers might give it and other folks’ recent “Freshly Pressed” posts a look. It’s extremely kind of them and thoroughly unexpected.

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MCC Q&A #4: Because Blogging Award Disqualification Can’t Stop Me

Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music

Now taking requests! Anyone wanna hear “Edelweiss” for the 300,000th time?

Though I don’t post gigantic blinking .GIFs begging for it, Midlife Crisis Crossover maintains an open policy of Ask Almost Anything (because in my lifetime, AAA has been far more beneficial to me than the AMA), provided I’m aware that I’ve been asked questions. Thanks to a moment of well-timed stumbling, I discovered eleven questions aimed in my general direction from C.v. Heerden from Bridging Worlds, who was actually bestowing upon me the honor of a nomination for the Liebster Award for meritoriousness in the field of blogging. I’m much obliged for the nod.

Two slight problems:

(1) I already did a Liebster Award entry previously, and probably shouldn’t repeat myself any more than I already do. Unless that somehow draws more readers, in which case I suppose I can spend the upcoming MCC Year Two simply reblogging my previous twelve months’ entries one by one and live the high life at the corner of Easy Street and Lazy Boulevard.

(2) According to the Liebster Award rules set forth in myriad versions by the mysterious governing body that refuses to step into the spotlight and claim authorship of their works, it was my understanding that the Liebster Award nominations are permitted only for bloggers with a limited number of followers.

Thanks to MCC’s social media connections, a growing number of live readers (for whom I remain humbly grateful, and from whom I always welcome input), and an even more rapidly growing number of spammer followers (about whom STAB STAB STAB STAB), I believe my current Follower count, though still puny by the standards according to pro bloggers who earn a living at this (in front of whom I remain consistently humbled), still disqualifies me from the Liebsters based on the limits I’ve seen in other Liebster Award entries (200, 500, 1000 whatever).

Regardless of my heartless exclusion from the proceedings by that Mysterious Governing Body, the nominating post did include questions for the nominees. If the MGB would like to emerge from the shadows and try holding me back, I welcome the chance to meet them face-to-face in the light of day.

Anyway. Mrs. van Heerden’s questions, answered in order:

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“Very Inspiring Blogger Award” Nominee Considers It an Honor Just to Be Allowed Internet Access

Very Inspiring Blogger AwardI’m well aware that my scattershot topical approach, my avoidance of narrow specialization, my complete lack of millions of share-happy friends, and my refusal to curse probably sabotage the chances of Midlife Crisis Crossover ever being seriously considered for the sort of major awards that have committees, budgets, perks, or multiple voters. I appreciate it, then, when another writer in the Internet trenches takes the time to send an encouraging gesture in my direction.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is one of many such gestures available to us. It’s not an official commendation with a nomination process or a governing body or a brick-and-mortar hall of fame that our family could visit on our next road trip. Quite the contrary, the VIBA is a pass-it-on pick-me-up that comes when least expected, means no harm, and provides opportunities for networking and paying forward to others.

Special thanks are owed to Tony Roberts at A Way With Words for this duly acceptable nomination. It’s especially noteworthy to me because Tony is one of only three other WordPress.com users from Indiana that I can recall encountering in MCC’s eleven months of existence. If I include WordPress.org, the head count expands to a whopping four. Truly we Hoosier bloggers are a mighty, tiny army. (If any other Hoosier bloggers are out there, that’d be nifty to know. I can’t even hear you breathing.)

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How The Empty Chair Stole Christmas

I’m not usually one for reblogging, but this post represents a milestone: my very first guest post on another blog!

The folks behind “Freshly DePressed” blog invited me to share a synopsis of my experience with having two entries slapped with the WordPress.com “Freshly Pressed” label. In previous FDP posts, past Freshly Pressed candidates have listed common symptoms associated with their fifteen minutes of fame, such as temporary euphoria, post-Pressed depression, and misplaced sympathy for actors who refuse to sign on to any movie that’s not instantly Oscar-worthy.

Enjoy! Also I may have to begin soliciting possible names for my theoretical new mascot. Please keep in mind “Obamachair” sounds lame and partisan, and “Chairy” is already taken.

Freshly DePressed


Hi, my name is Randall at Midlife Crisis Crossover.  I was Freshly Pressed twice. Once for The Day An Empty Chair Ruled The Internet and again for Midlife Crisis Crossover 2012 in Review, Assuming the Next Thirteen Days are a Complete Write-Off. It’s been four months since I was first famous; three weeks since my encore.

One evening while pondering my blog’s tiny but breathing audience, I noticed millions of Americans were ignoring me and paying attention to an empty chair.  I could write and entertain.  It could not.  This imbalance seemed unfair.  However, the chair had the advantage of being lectured on live TV by a famous actor/director.  I can’t say for certain that that’s happened to me yet.  Advantage: chair.

Out of frustrated cognitive dissonance I wrote “The Day an Empty Chair Ruled the Internet”, the underlying moral of which was, “No chair should be this famous.”  Imagine…

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“Liebster Award” Nominee Ruins Own Ceremony by Forgetting to Make Any Controversial Remarks

Liebster Award!In recent months I’ve received notification not once, but twice by fellow bloggers who were kind enough to think of me and notice my low follower count when brainstorming their nominations for the Liebster Award. For readers new to the blogosphere: most blogging awards aren’t decades-old ceremonial traditions determined by committees or democracy. Most of them are congenial badges passed from blogger to blogger as a way of promoting each other’s talents, encouraging networking, and spreading good cheer whenever our malicious Site Stats page is lying to us about our traffic stats. In my mind, I think of them as Mega-Likes.

I’ve dragged my feet on my Liebster Award acceptance post for a few different reasons. I kept forgetting about it. Other writing ideas kept crowding past it to the forefront of my brain. I didn’t feel worthy. The Internet got in my eyes. The dog ate my acceptance notes. That sort of thing. However, I knew I needed to move forward on it soon, because I may be in imminent danger of disqualification. The Liebster Award can only be gifted to bloggers with a low number of followers. Evidence shows the threshold was 3,000 followers or less at one point in Liebster Award history; as of the most recent Draconian revision, new nominees must now have less than 200 followers. A lucky streak last week left me dancing on the edge with exactly 200 followers for a day, until the balance and my humility were restored when a bitter Twitter spammer dropped me after I refused them the courtesy of an undeserved return Follow. Even at 199 followers as of this writing, my hard-earned Liebster Award is two new spammers away from getting me summoned before a Liebster Award Internal Affairs review board, surely a fate worse than zero-traffic.

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