The MCC Swag Box! As Seen on TV in My Head!

MCC Swag Box!

When your humble Midlife Crisis Crossover narrator was a kid, Hickory Farms ruled the gift-set market with their carefully arranged and packaged snack assortments that were perfect for holidays, birthdays, and weddings for couples who forgot to register anywhere. The big HF put presents inside their presents so you could gift while you gift. They’re still in business today, but their marketing is more selective than it used to be in those halcyon shopping days when we could drive to the nearest mall and stock up on summer sausage anytime we felt like it.

In recent years the burgeoning geek-demographic market has taken the idea in a different direction. For those who’d rather buy hodgepodges for themselves and keep them rolling in like clockwork, Loot Crate offers a monthly subscription service that fills fans’ mailboxes with bobbleheads, remaindered toys, unpopular overstock, weird reading matter, and more bobbleheads. Sensing a possible fad in the offing, Wizard World launched its own copycat club called ComicConBox, which does much the same for more than twice the price. If you want your house filled with random knickknacks and characters you’ve never heard of, either service is a fine way to accumulate future Goodwill donations.

I recently exchanged words with a rep at a company called Man Crates, which returns the gift-set idea to its roots as a single-package special event, but expands the paradigm beyond the old meats-and-cheeses domain. Mind you, those are still on the table, in sets with names like “Cow-pocalypse”, “Pit-Master”, and one that sells itself with the one-word name “Bacon” (kinda like “Madonna” or “Thunderlips”). As befitting the name, several Man Crate options focus on other manly-man pursuits such as golfing, grilling, tools, shaving, large dogs, hot sauce, and zombie defense (because YOU NEVER KNOW).

For other not-manly-man folks like me, they have gift sets for gaming, coffee, baby care, and Asian snacks (my son would love this). When thinking of me, the Man Crate rep thought of their nostalgia-riffic “Old School” crate, which teams up classic playthings like Rubik’s Cubes and Pez dispensers with an array of candies as seen in the drive-ins, drugstores, and corner convenience stores of my youth. If you or your loved ones have the means to open an actual wooden crate, they have a Man Crate in mind.

The rep posed a question to me: what would I pack in an “Old School” crate?

That brings us to a little spinoff invention I’d have to call…the MCC Swag Box!

Right this way for my idea of what made the ’80s!

MCC Q&A #7: “Revolution”: Who Dies Next?

Revolution cast, NBC

Our Heroes bide their time, waiting to find out who’s next to be chopped. (Left to right: Mat Vairo, Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke, David Lyons.)

“Nothing will prepare you when one of your favorites pays with their life!”

The last line of the promo for NBC’s next episode of Revolution has driven fans to the internets in search of hints or spoilers for the identity of the show’s next victim. In thirty-seven episodes the lengthy role call of the dead already includes two Matheson Family members, a British doctor anyone barely remembers, two high-ranking villains, countless minions, the entire populations of Philadelphia and Atlanta, and nearly every ex-girlfriend we’ve ever met. Judging by the search terms and traffic surge I’ve seen over the past two days, the fans are livid and demand to know: who’s the next Revolution character to die? And whose ex-girlfriend will she be?

Full disclosure: I do not have that answer, only my guesswork. But I’m less interested in the question of “Who will die?” than I am in the question, “Who should die?”

This way for my half-baked Revolution theories, 100% accurate on some alternate Earth!

MCC Q&A #6: Captains Courageous or Otherwise

Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp

Captain Jack Sparrow. Just because a reader asked.

I rarely trumpet this service, but Midlife Crisis Crossover maintains an open policy of Ask Almost Anything, which extends not only to regular readers and commenters, but also to constant Likers, silent Followers, and fleeting passersby. If you have a question, a suggestion, a comment that’s constructive or Dadaist, or a listicle request that the mainstream media refuses to attempt, simple reply here or to any other post of the vaguest tangential relevance, and our trusty MCC staff will be happy to escalate it into a Main Topic for a future entry and explore the subject further in depth. Or I might just reply to your comment, who knows.

Every so often we also review queries and curious sentence fragments from passing search engine users, because even the silent, fleeting passersby deserve to be heard, even if they’re no longer around to find the answer they needed. Because I need a break from movies and I’m working six days this week, a quick dive into the ol’ mailbag feels like a nice way to relax for a few minutes.

* the real life of capatian jack sparrow/ not the movie

Few moviegoers realize the character of Captain Jack Sparrow is based on the exploits of real-life pirate Jakub Sperovicz, a pirate from Warsaw who was renowned for his lifelong battle with rum addiction, his eventual arrest on multiple counts of boatjacking, and his CG monkey. During his heyday Sperowicz was in his mid-60s and suffered from chronic psoriasis. His story was tweaked a tad for typical Hollywood purposes.

More questions, more answers…

MCC Q&A #5: Of Sandmen, Midlife Crises, and Comic Con Updates

RoKenhrontyes, Marti Matulis, Sleepy Hollow, Fox

Sometimes even Ro’Kenhrontyes has questions that need answering, and mirror images are terrible at trivia.

Though I don’t advertise it heavily with an intricately crafted banner across my “About” page, 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), which extends not only to regular readers and commenters, but also to constant Likers, silent Followers, and passing Googlers. If you have a question, a plea, an intensely thoughtful comment, or a request for a fun brainstorming list that can’t be answered in a short, simple reply, we’re happy to elevate it to Main Topic status for a future entry and explore the subject further in depth. Caveat: you must prove you’re not an illiterate spammer in order to qualify for this offer.

From time to time we also review queries and curious sentence fragments from passing search engine users, because even the silent, fleeting passersby deserve to be heard, even if they’re no longer around to find the answer they needed. We haven’t checked the ol’ MCC search-term mailbag in ages, and the suggestion box has indeed been stuffed silly. Tonight seems as convenient a night as any to dig in and bring closure to the unclosed.

Let the questioning begin!

* “is there any biblical parts in the movie the crood”

There’s a flood. Close enough?

* “does rachel and matheson due from the grenade in revulution”

If only we’d been so lucky. So far, still ticking.

* “train floats”

No, it won’t. Please think twice before making this misconception integral to your next heist caper.

What else do our Googlers demand to know?

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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MCC Q&A #3: How “Kill Bill Vol. 1” Ruined Revenge Flicks for Me

Vernita Green's daughter, Kill Bill Volume 1Whereas the first two editions of “MCC Q&A” were comprised of tongue-in-cheek responses to odd queries and sentence fragments that brought search engine users to my humble doorstep, this one is devoted to a single question from an MCC commentator. Far be it from me to allow the plaintive mumblings of nameless strangers to monopolize this slightly recurring feature.

In my previous entry about Django Unchained, I mentioned in passing that Kill Bill Vol. 1 remains my least favorite Quentin Tarantino film to date. To be fair, that statement was limited in scope since I’ve seen neither Kill Bill Vol. 2 nor Death Proof. I’ll concede that either or both could be worse. As of this writing, I wouldn’t know.

In response, reader Tommy Gardner wrote:

What do you have against Kill Bill? It was a perfect live-action anime. I don’t watch much anime because I think very few of them are really good (Trigun, Ghost In Shell, FMA) and Kill Bill nailed the genre in a very R rated way.

My answer involves the little girl in the above photo. Continue reading

MCC Q&A #2: Terms of Befuddlement

Casey J. Adler, Carl Cramer, Bunheads

Is this actor 15, 25, or 55? The world demands an answer.

Just so we’re clear, I’m grateful for my readers no matter how they discovered Midlife Crisis Crossover — whether you’re a fellow WordPress user, a fan of the MCC Facebook page, part of my Twitter contingent, a longtime ‘Net-community neighbor, or one of the very few people I know in person who’re aware of MCC’s existence. Thank you for your comments, your Likes, and your various forms of intangible support, even the forms I can’t perceive.

Also crucial to MCC’s everyday traffic patterns and my daily motivational requirements are the most silent and transient visitors of all, those unknown passersby who drop by MCC momentarily in their pursuit of their diverse search engine results. No matter how interface technology progresses, no matter which social platforms succeed which obsolete circles, even if microblogs killed the blogosphere star, rest assured the Internet will always be filled with people questing for knowledge, seeking answers to life’s hardest questions, or just needing someone to talk to. I welcome those occasions for MCC to provide those answers, that trivia, or this shoulder to cry on. If even one of those bystanders is an angel entertained, so much the better.

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MCC Q&A #1: Burning Questions from the Fleeting Studio Audience

search resultsStrictly speaking, this morning’s impulse sharing of the freshly minted Iron Man 3 trailer fulfilled my self-contractual post-a-day quota, though it was shamefully light on word count. I normally don’t post before work because I’m not a morning person (vociferously anti-morning, really), but I was excited and wanted to pass along the neat thing, even if I didn’t have time to add 500 words’ worth of elaboration to accompany it while scarfing my bagel.

It was also my hope that my hasty entry would save at least a few of my readers the effort of searching for the trailer on their own. Time is precious, especially when you have entries of your own to compose, an income to go earn, or Angry Birds to hunt down to extinction. If you’re among those who located this blog through the magic of Internet searching — whether yesterday, last month, or three years after this was posted — I thank you sincerely for sticking around for more than one minute.

Part of this evening was spent on light reading and general site tinkering, perusing some of the dashboard sections that provide interesting data on what search terms attracted readership and casual passersby to this humble site. Many are TV or movie fans seeking general info about their favorite creations, but it’s intriguing how many people are driven here in search of specific answers to their burning questions. Because I hate to leave those folks hanging and feel guilty about this morning’s slapdash entry, please enjoy this impromptu Q&A comprised entirely of queries from random Internet surfers who are probably all long gone by now. If they should return, I’ll leave a light on for them right here.

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