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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Happy 2nd Earth Day Birthday, Giant Office Plant Monster

Earth Day Plant!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On Earth Day 2015 as a fun perk, my employer marked the occasion by giving out free tiny potted palms to every home office employee. They were three inches tall, probably the kind that professional greenhouses give out to kids visiting on field trips. Most of them were probably dead within a week.

Just for kicks, I decided to conduct an experiment by seeing what would happen if I actually tried to take care of it.

Two years later, what was once a cheap greenhouse keepsake is nearly ready to audition for Little Shop of Horrors. Lucky for me it’s not empowered enough to escape my workplace or hitch a ride. Yet.

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The View from Atop the Badlands (and 1,500 Entries)


Call it “South Dakota Gothic”. Photo taken by my son, age 14 at the time and too happy to stay off-camera whenever we’d let him.

Dateline: July 2009. Our road trip east across the length of South Dakota took us to Badlands National Park, which is end-to-end entirely made of geology and panoramas and tourist taking turns whispering, “Whoa.” The above photo from that particular road-trip collection is one of several I’ve never shared online before now. The wide, wondrous view from atop one of the Badlands’ many peaks has come to mind more than once today, least of which was a late showing of Logan in which Our Heroes take their own road trip up through the Dakotas and enjoy a scene in these familiar surroundings. To be honest, said scene was set in North Dakota, not South, but the coloration, texture, and height are identical. And in our case we saw a lot less bleeding. Otherwise, close enough.

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Yesterday’s Entertainment Repurposed

Event Horizons!

We talk, joke, and moan all the time about Hollywood’s constant reuse, recycling, and rebooting of the movies and TV shows of our childhoods and of the childhoods before ours. We enjoy, or just as often roll our eyes, when today’s musicians cover or sample all the favorite songs of previous generations to present echoes of them to new audiences repulsed by old stuff, regardless of its anointed “classic” status.

Last month we found one artist who asked: why stop with cannibalizing the works themselves? Why not repurpose their very containers? What if you take all those shiny, reflective objects that served as portals into our homes for Hollywood and the record labels alike, and converted them into brand new, abstract doorways to imagination?

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If We Were Having a Coke and a Smile But You Stole My Name…

Randy v. Randi.

…I would try very kindly not to make a big deal because you’re one of the only six people on Planet Earth named “Randi”. Despite your rarity, whenever someone writes my name down on a form, application, sign-in sheet, Starbucks cup, or speeding ticket, your kind is the reason I’m too frequently asked, “Is that with a ‘y’ or an ‘i’?” I try to keep an open mind here in the 21st century, but I’ve been fielding that largely nonexistent dichotomy since the 20th.

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Lord, Grant Me the Resilience of a 91-Year-Old Great-Grandmother


Photo by loyal wife and granddaughter Anne Golden, taken at the 2016 Indiana Christmas Gift & Hobby Show.

Pictured above is my wife’s Mamaw, one of the most resilient people we know. When she was born, Calvin Coolidge reigned as the 30th President of the United States of America. Her husband, who served as an ambulance driver in WWII and refused to discuss the experience with the grandkids, passed away in 1996. To this day she lives in the two-story house he built for them decades ago, with assistance from family as needed for transportation, errands, groundskeeping, major repairs, and her biennial special outings — the Indiana Flower & Patio Show and the Indiana Christmas Gift & Hobby Show. Each year they’re her World Series and Super Bowl.

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