Sorry Your Gift Came from a School Fundraiser

glassware!

Looks dandy. Fails spectacularly.

It’s never too late to regret a Christmas gift whose inherent flaws were kept hidden at the time of unwrapping only to manifest weeks later like a time-delayed disappointment bomb.

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How the Emperor Stole Christmas

How the Emperor Stole Christmas!

“At last we will reveal ourselves for Christmas. At last we will have presents.”

[DIRECTOR’S NOTE: The following Christmas poem, written by Star Wars fans for Star Wars fans, works best if read in the deep, laconic manner of Boris Karloff, James Earl Jones, Keith David, or Epic Voice Guy. As this piece hews more closely to the original book than to the Chuck Jones animated adaptation, we leave it to the individual reader to invent and insert musical numbers at their own discretion.]

Every Jedi down on Coruscant liked Christmas a lot
But the Emperor, who lived just this side of Coruscant, did NOT!
The Emperor hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now please don’t ask why. He’ll kill you without reason.
It could be that electricity in his eyes was too bright.
It could be, perhaps, that his robe was too tight.
But I think the most likely reason of all
Was that his heart was two sizes too small.
But whatever the reason, his robe or his eyes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating Jedis.

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The Very First Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is nigh again! Time for gratitude toward those wonderful people who endure us, another round of overeating, more complaints about What the First Thanksgiving Was Really Like in Case You Haven’t Heard That One Before, and both budgets and self-control thrown out the window for the sake of the longest Friday of the year.

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Trump: Trump trump Trump? (Trump…Trump?)

Trump Trump!

Trump trump trump Trump Trump trump trump, trump trump trump trump trump trump trump Trump trump trump.

Trump. Trump, trump.

Trump trump trump trump trump trump trump trump trump trump trump trump Trump Trump trump trump trump trump trump trump-trump trump trump trump. Trump Trump trump trump trump trump trump (trump) trump trump trump trump Trump trump trump Trump Trump trump Trump. Trump trump trump trump trump trump trump trump trump trump.

Trump trump trump trump…trump, Trump. Trump.

Ten Tips ‘n’ Tricks for a Terrific (or at least Tolerable) Family Reunion

White Room!

Come on down! It’s fun for the entire family here at Fire Station THX-1138!

Every year my wife and I attend two family reunions, both of them on her side. My family reunited exactly once about thirty years ago at some public park two hours away from home, where two cousins and I were the only attendees under 35, and the overall average age was somewhere in the lower 60s. That trivia and the crushing boredom are the only takeaways I remember. If they ever attempted an encore, I wasn’t informed. I’m fine with never knowing.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover, we shared photos from the 2016 edition of Anne’s dad’s side’s reunion, once again held the Sunday after Labor Day at the exquisitely sylvan, rugged, sprawling, visually arresting Turkey Run State Park in western Indiana. It’s a compromise between us central-Indiana Hoosiers and a healthy, distant branch of cousins and cousin-like hangers-on who live out in eastern Illinois. It’s a bit of a drive for all of us from our respective directions, but everyone agrees it’s pretty and non-boring.

This past weekend was the other reunion.

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Pokemon in All the Wrong Places

Rattata!

Teaser image of Rattata from Eli Roth’s next horror film I Catch Pokemon on Your Grave.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: while waiting at Indianapolis International Airport for our (delayed) flight to Manhattan, I downloaded Pokemon Go as an amusing experiment just to see what would happen. Three weeks later, I’m still toying around, curious to see how much longer it’ll take me to get bored with it and move on. Yep, that should happen any week now.

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MCC Live-Tweeting: July 4th Sportsball

Fireworks!

Longtime MCC readers know I’m not the world’s biggest sports fan. I probably wouldn’t rank among the top 2 billion sports fans alive. I know more about baseball than any other sport by a slim margin because in third grade I read a book about baseball that contained a thorough glossary. I learned; I tried to stick with it; I fell away quickly. The passion never developed, but the vocabulary remained.

From time to time I’ll find opportunities to attend ballgames anyway. Our hometown minor league team, the Indianapolis Indians, provide occasional diversions, free tickets, and/or reasons to get out of the house. For tonight’s feature presentation, the primary objective was to get my mom some fresh air and holiday spirit. She hasn’t been out of the house much since her retirement at the end of May, but she does love some good old-fashioned fireworks displays. Anne and I could take or leave ’em. Nevertheless, we figured the outing would do her some good.

Occasionally, though, I got bored. Or in a mood. Some light phone usage may have occurred.

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“Ghostbusters”: Best Film of the Year, Possibly, Let’s Assume

Ghostbusters!

For Your Film Award Consideration. Like, all of them, because we have a dream.

Normally I wouldn’t review a film till after I’ve seen it, but I get the impression from some corners of the internet that cause-and-effect are now passé and prejudging is all the rage with the poorly parented kids these days. I’ve been watching the ongoing Ghostbusters debates for months from the sidelines, but the following tweet kind of broke me Monday evening:

I can’t figure out which shopping site he was browsing, but honestly, that’s how we’re playing armchair critic, guys? By shooting things down that make us frown without even trying them? With attitudes like that, I’m guessing none of those faux advance reviewers ever gave vegetables a chance, either.

Hi, geese. Call me gander. Let’s go ahead and review Ghostbusters like it’s the greatest thing in the galaxy, 100% sight unseen, three weeks before it opens. Free country! Free speech! Free boorishness! Free self-immolation!

Right this way for a heavy-duty shot of positivity adrenaline for Generation Shouty!

Top 10 Changes When “Supergirl” Moves to The CW

Supergirl!

One of our souvenirs from C2E2 last March. Follow the link for our even better Supergirl photo!

My wife and I were pleased to learn this evening one of our favorite shows now on the air, DC’s Supergirl, has been renewed for season 2 after a few rounds of negotiated compromises. Up front we’ve been told the show will be relocating from Los Angeles to Vancouver for cheaper filming, if they can find a few square feet not in use by the 300 other shows and movies already shooting there. Biggest change of all (for now): Supergirl will be moving from CBS to The CW, which is bad news for fans in numerous cities without their own CW affiliate. Here’s hoping your internet access is higher-quality than your local broadcasting industry is.

What else does this mean for the show? What other corners will be cut? What wrongheaded executive demands will ruin everything and turn us all against it? I shudder to contemplate what the future holds for our beloved stars and the only CBS show I’ve followed within the last four years.

Right this way for the countdown!

Top 10 Most Shocking Surprises in Puppy Bowl XII

Puppy Bowl XII!It’s that time again! On Sunday 99% of America will be watching Super Bowl 50 and joking about how calling it “Super Bowl L” would’ve made the whole thing sound too Kryptonian. Meanwhile, we eclectic 1% have our own viewing plans: the twelfth annual Puppy Bowl! The geniuses at Animal Planet once again acknowledge that people like me exist and counterprogram for our tastes with a repeated two-hour pretend-competitive event in which a bunch of animals frolic and gambol with a bunch of other animals, and the announcer and referee each take turns making the worst puns of the year. Puppy Bowl is mostly a dog’s field, but other animals such as cats, hamsters, and even penguins have assumed roles at times in this increasingly diverse production.

As is our custom, we here at Midlife Crisis have dinner plans that night in an empty restaurant with no TV. Before our big date, rest assured we’ll be tuning in for Puppy Bowl XII even though we’ve convinced ourselves we already know what the showrunners are planning to unleash that’ll really shake up this year’s judgment-free dog show.

Right this way for the list!

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