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A Day in the Waiting Rooms

Mom.

Last Friday we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. when the waiting room doors were supposed to open. The nurses were running a bit behind, leaving us waiting on the waiting room. While I paced back and forth, Mom sat quietly and tried to compose herself before her big transplant operation.

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Our 2017 Road Trip, Part 9: The Washington Monument, Mark I

Washington Monument!

The other tourists were too tired to get out of our way. We know the feeling.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. For 2017 our ultimate destination of choice was the city of Baltimore, Maryland. You might remember it from such TV shows as Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire, not exactly the most enticing showcases to lure in prospective tourists. Though folks who know me best know I’m one of those guys who won’t shut up about The Wire, a Baltimore walkabout was Anne’s idea. Setting aside my fandom, as a major history buff she was first to remind skeptics who made worried faces at us for this plan that Maryland was one of the original thirteen American colonies and, urban decay notwithstanding, remains packed with notable history and architecture from ye olde Founding Father times. In the course of our research we were surprised to discover Baltimore also has an entire designated tourist-trap section covered with things to do. And if we just so happened to run across former filming locations without getting shot, happy bonus…

On our 2003 road trip to Washington, DC, one of the must-see marvels on our to-do list was of course the Washington Monument, that distinctive obelisk at the heart of the National Mall. It’s been a vital part of the DC landscape since 1885.

But it’s not the only Washington Monument around. It wasn’t even the first structure to bear that name.

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A Bridge Across the Monongahela

Monongahela River!

Once again my wife and I are on the road, now in the middle of our nineteenth annual road trip to another land not exactly our own. Above is a sneak-preview snapshot from where we spent our Sunday morning in the middle of the American heartland. It’s one among many images we’ve been taking and curating for our eventual 2017 Road Trip miniseries. But first we have to finish experiencing it.

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Give Me All the Health Care You Have, Please and Thank You

Health Care!

Workers Who Pay Higher Medical Insurance Premiums for Cigarette Breaks Disturbed by Medical Insurance March


Wednesday afternoon during my weekly brisk walk to and from the comic shop, along the way I passed a genuine protest march, something we don’t see every day in downtown Indianapolis. I counted at least several dozen people heading west on Market Street toward Monument Circle, chanting what sounded to my ears like:

“WHAT DO WE WANT?”
“HEALTH! CARE!”
“ARGLETY-BLARG?”
“BLAH! BLAH!”

…because sometimes my hearing’s not great.

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Keeping the Ships in Order

TARDISes!

I like to imagine myriad Doctors from across the multiverse fighting over which TARDIS is whose.

Pictured above is a forgotten scene from Indiana Comic Con 2016, a perfect example of how much work goes into planning and executing a convention, and how organized and squared everything appears to onlookers if you pull everything off without a hitch. Every large-scale convention requires a lot of moving parts — much in plain sight, a few under the hood, plenty moving across the counter if buyers and sellers each play their parts. Maintaining the order is no simple feat.

As the routines go for those behind the counter, so goes a different set for those of us approaching the counters, bringing our offbeat interests to the party, our want lists, our spending impulses, and other critical factors that make comic, toy, and collectible shops a viable career track for anyone. Planning is vital for the sake of the geek economy.

Right this way for not much more than this!

Our 2005 Road Trip, Part 6 of 10: Riverwalk Wanderlust

San Antonio Riverwalk!

If you think the only Texas greenery are tumbleweeds and tobacco, the San Antonio Riverwalk begs to differ.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Welcome to the first installment of another special MCC miniseries, representing the original travelogue from our 2005 drive from Indianapolis to San Antonio, Texas, and back again in far too short a time…

Our hometown of Indianapolis has its own Downtown Canal Walk, patterned after similar, larger pathways developed and fostered in other states. There’s something about a swath of nature cutting through the heart of civilization’s artifices and escorting tranquility and beauty into an otherwise hard-shelled environment. Anne and I have also visited riverwalks in Pueblo and in Milwaukee, but my favorite is still the first one we did through faraway San Antonio. Once we started up its staircases and across its bridges, it wasn’t long before wanderlust kicked in and I wanted to see every path through to its end, or as far as they’d take us before we collapsed in the dry Texas heat.

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