So You Want to Be a Super Awesome “Freshly Pressed” All-Star

WordPress "Freshly Pressed" badgeA fake reader lurking within my subconscious writes:

Dear Mr. Crossover,

Hello! How are you? I am fine. I have been using for four years. Please follow my blog and reblog all three of my posts so far, because I just Liked a random post you wrote last month without reading it and now you owe me. I have another question. I read your About page and it says you had three different posts on Freshly Pressed, which is a really big deal because it means WordPress likes you best. I think that’s really unfair and you didn’t deserve it and I want to know your secret. How can I be more like you and get Freshly Pressed so that I can become famous and everyone will like me and then I can write for Hollywood and make enough money to buy your website and set it on fire and run over the ashes in my new Humvee? Also, I nominated you for a Liebster Award and I will Follow you if you Follow me.

N.V.S. Strawman
Exposition, WY

Dear Mr. Strawman,

I wish you hadn’t asked, but I can tell you what I’ve learned from the experiences that changed my life forever and made me Hero of the Internets. As you begin reading, prepare to rethink your entire existence piece by piece, until every second becomes retroactively spectacular from Day Zero onward.

Click here for handy tips on how to be me!

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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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 “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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“Freshly Pressed” Post Saves Earth, Foils Millennia-Old Mayan Armageddon Scheme


If there were a Mayan Galactus, he would dress exactly like Tomazooma.

One of the first things I noticed when I woke up December 21, 2012, is that I woke up December 21, 2012, a day that The Powerless Who Wish They Were The Powers That Be duly notified us years in advance would not exist. In direct defiance of this premonition, there I was, groggy, breathing, existent, and hearing my wife out in the living room yelling at our dog. None of these things could possibly be happening. Pundits had told me so.

Clearly someone had meddled in the long-term machinations of those pesky Mayans. Who could have saved the day, and all the days after it? Did God smite them? Was their forbidden stronghold located and smashed to pieces by a South American super-hero team? Did a suspicious policeman stumble upon their ringleaders and call in reinforcements? Did their primitive doomsday device slip a cog? Or did their sleeper agents forget to set their alarm clocks for the right time to rise up and decimate?

I was clueless. My mostly ordinary work day failed to shed any light or unearth new evidence to this mystery…for the first half of the day, anyway. At lunchtime I found my answer.

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Grateful for “Freshly Pressed” Status, Hoping Not to Turn into Egomaniacal One-Hit Wonder

WordPress "Freshly Pressed" badgeFirst things first: I owe a truckload of gratitude to the WordPress staffer who selected last Friday evening’s entry, “The Day an Empty Chair Ruled the Internet” as a feature selection for the Freshly Pressed page. Before that happened, I honestly thought the page was automated and random. Based on the gracious emails I received that offered me some proofreading and specific content input before the FP slotting went live, I’ve confidently shelved that theory.

I also owe many sincere thanks to you, the Viewers at Home, who were kind enough to give it a look-see and leave feedback. The response has overwhelmed me more with its kindness and generosity than with its appreciable volume. My Labor Day weekend took a vastly different direction than the quiet doldrums I’d anticipated. Keeping up with the replies has been a fun ‘n’ lively time, and I’ve also found myself with a plethora of new blogs and writers to check out.

For anyone who’s returned here and sampled any fare beyond the Empty Chair Blues, it’s my sincere hope that other future entries will be of some use or entertainment value to you as well. I aim for one entry per day, based on whatever’s preoccupying my mind at any given moment. The inconsistent MCC experience is fairly consistent with the scattershot nature of my aging mindset. Nine times out of ten it’s entertainment (comics, movies, TV, whatever) because of my lifelong unapologetic nerdist tendencies and my never-ending curiosity about the arts and assorted acts of creation from a variety of perspectives. Every so often I open up about my faith, though not nearly as often as I should. As special events have been occurring of late, I’ve shared experiences with fan conventions and our family’s annual road trips. Once in a blue moon I’ll write something about Indiana, even though no one ever reads those, not even other Hoosiers.

I assume “Empty Chair” will be escorted off the FP page in due time, and my daily experience here will remain on track. I’ll do my best to hold onto my sense of proportion and not print up thousands of business cards bearing the FP stamp and the obnoxious, self-anointed title of CERTIFIED WRITER. If I do, please shoot me down…and feel free to take a card.

Thanks for reading, and a round of hugs for everyone.

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