Men in Gorilla Suits
Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 24: Last Seen...Cooking and Eating

Break out the knives and get that fire and oven going--this week, we're all about cooking! We begin by talking about our first memories of food and move on to whether or not cooking was an important thing in our households growing up. (Spoiler: it was!) We talk about family recipes passed down through generations, and then talk about the first thing we learned how to cook. But this episode isn't all about the past--we talk about what we like to cook now and who does the cooking in our households these days. Then we get a little philosophical, asking if different kinds of foods can bring people together and give us a better understanding of the world. (Spoiler: we think so!)

In the middle of it all, we talk about restaurants: restaurants we've worked in, our favorite restaurants, and suggestions for some good places to eat if you ever find yourself in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. While singing the praises of restaurants, we'd be remiss to not mention our favorite guilty pleasures when it comes to going out and grabbing a bite to eat. Some of our heroes worked in restaurants...we talk about celebrity chefs before moving on to the effect they had on our cooking. And that's not all that affected our cooking--we talk about television and the Internet's effect on what we like to cook.

In the final stretch, we talk about our favorite late-night snacks, and devote some time to the best things we cook. There's a little bit about the last truly wonderful thing we've each eaten, and we wrap up the episode on imaginary death row, talking about what we would have as last meals.

It's a fun episode, all about one of our favorite things: cooking and eating!

Direct download: migs24.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:08am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 23: Last Seen...Being Healthy

Number one reason you want to listen to this week's podcast? Christopher figures out how much he'd have to weigh to have Godzilla's body mass index (BMI). From there, we talk about how food and shopping has changed and ask if it's possible to eat healthy on a budget any more. Is health what we see in magazines, or is it possible to be small and strong? Really, what is healthy? What can we learn about health from other countries?

From there, a bit about whether or not there's a conscious effort to keep people unhealthy for profit. (Can that even be something done by design?) Are bad health habits really that bad, or can what some deem as unhealthy actually be healthy? Holistic health management: bunch of BS or is there something to it? And finally, as a society with a large percentage of people who work while sitting, what are some of the best things a desk-bound jockey can do for better health?

If you've been listening and enjoy the podcast, consider going to iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you find the show an leave a rating or review. We're two episodes away from #25! Thanks to everybody who's been listening!

Direct download: migs23.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:31pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 22: Last Seen...Failing!

This week, we're all about failure! We kick off talking about our first failures in life and move on to how some people take failure so personally that they become terrified to try anything. (That's called failing at life!) We devote a bit of time to self sabotage as a ridiculous form of "defense" from the possibility of failure and why some people deal with failure better than others. For those who have a tough time with failing, we talk about how failure can lead to better things and offer some ways to not be so afraid of failing at something. What differentiates those who give up easily and those who stick with things? We talk about that...as well as devoting some time to if there are times one should give up on something. Along the way, we talk about The Cult of Fail: people who seem almost excited to get out and fail...and how that's good and bad. We close out the show by discussing our funniest failures because we believe it's important to be reminded that it's important to see humor in failure.

Direct download: migs22.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 21: Last Seen...Being Critical

This week's show is all about criticism. While it leans heavily toward writing criticism, we do talk about general criticism and criticism as it pertains to the arts and jobs in general. So here we go:

We begin with an important question: is criticism even helpful for writers and artists, or is it counterproductive to creating "pure" art? Along the way, we discuss how to offer criticism and take criticism that comes your way. We share some personal stories about criticism: the best and worst criticism we've received as well as some other tales of being criticized. With anyone with an Internet connection able to review someone's work online, the review has become a type of criticism. We discuss ways writers and artists can use reviews to see how people feel about what they are doing and maybe even improve their work. We close by looping back to the beginning and asking if criticism is a necessary component of art, or if great work can be created with no outside influence.

Direct download: migs21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 20: Last Seen...Under the Influence

This week, we're talking about influences. Find out our earliest influences--and what/who later influenced us to write. Discover our strangest influences, and what influences changed as we got older. We take a detour and discuss creating under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It's easy to think about people and things that influence us, but we take time out to acknowledge that we all have the ability to influence others. Christopher shares a great story about somebody he influenced without ever knowing. And because not all influences are good, we talk about negative influences. Finally, we wrap up with our most recent influences.

As always, we'd love to know what has influenced you over the years; leave a comment and we'll reply!

Direct download: migs20.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 8:21pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 19: Last Seen...Predicting the Future

You probably didn't know this, but Shawn was once a reserve "mathlete" as well as a benchwarmer for his school's classical music team. (Those nutty Germans!) Christopher was good friends with the first kid on the block with an Apple II in his house. But that's all in the past...

This week we're talking about...THE FUTURE!!! More specifically, we're talking about fiction's importance on the future. From cyberpunk to warp drives (even penises drawn on the surface of Mars), we have it covered. Along the way, we discuss stories that got the future right -- and those that got it very wrong (including the movie that made Shawn almost fashion a noose from Red Vines and hang himself in the theater.)

While much of this episode is about the future as it pertains to science fiction, we also talk about predictions we got right, and what we think will happen to the world in the next 10 and 20 years. (Clearly, we are seers!) Also, our hopes for the future of fiction and for the real world of tomorrow.

We'd love to hear what you think will happen in the next 20 years; feel free to tell us in the comments. (We expect CMStewart to put us to shame!)

Direct download: migs19.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 8:49pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 18: Last Seen...Being Afraid

BOOOOOooOOoOoOOOOOooooOOOO!!!

This week, it's all about fear! Find out what things from childhood still creep us out--and what our greatest fears are today. Listen to us talk about how we've overcome many of the fears we've faced. Learn about how anger and fear are related. We all have a phobia or two, but what happens when we give into irrational fears? We talk about how statistically, most of us are safer than ever, and yet many people we talk to have never seemed more afraid. Many of these people watch a lot of "news." We discuss how the media, in a race for ratings, benefits when it can play to our fears and keep us on edge.

Fear isn't just about things that go bump in the night--the stresses of working in a time when layoffs are not uncommon leads to fear at work. We talk about how to break those fears, and most other fears you have (including how to use fear to overcome fear). Finally, sometimes we love being scared. We close this episode talking about why some scary things bother us, but yet we gravitate toward amusement parks, scary movies, and haunted houses.

Beta listeners have said this is one of their favorite episodes, and we won't argue with them. We haven't had this much fun doing the podcast...

Direct download: migs18.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:26am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 17: Last Seen...Doing Research

Ah, microfiche! We friggin' LOVE microfiche, even today (especially today)! Libraries? Wonderful things -- perfect places for...research! This week, we're talking all about research: online, in libraries, and research obtained simply by living a cool life! More specifically, we're discussing writing research.

Does every story need to be researched? Shawn spins the adage, "Write what you know," on its head, making much better sense of the saying. Christopher gives in and is forced to admit that he researches much more than he thought he did. Along the way, Shawn mentions why cramming 10 pounds of poo into a 5-pound bag is not a good writing move, and Chris sings praises to Jim Lynch. We also discuss some of our specific research methods (Christopher: "ALL HAIL EVERNOTE!!!"), and it's revealed how Shawn's 47 Echo series is really all about tap dancing mimes!

Whether you research for writing, school, hobbies, or other reasons, we hope this episode has something that can help you.

Direct download: migs17.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:11pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 16: Last Seen...Working Obsolete Jobs!

Ah, to live the life as a National Hockey League rover, or to entertain the cigar-rolling masses as a lector. To pump gas or serve as the director of photography on pornographic movies. To open your own Blockbuster Video store franchise or manufacture cassette tapes. These are jobs...some totally obsolete, some on their way out...

This week, it's all about jobs that no longer exist: some long gone, and some we've seen die in our own time. We talk about jobs that are fading, many jobs shoved into one catch-all job, and even discuss why outsourcing may not be the evil many believe it to be. (We might not be in the majority on this one.) We discuss how the "Good ol' days," were only good for some, and why our jobs these days is to simply figure things out. Of course, Shawn works Star Trek into the discussion, and Christopher entertains what a future in which computers write novels might be like. (Smash Gerbils reference goes to Deacon McClendon.)

We wrap it up by discussing how the Internet and nostalgia have brought some obsolete or dying jobs back -- kind of a grudging praise for...the Hipster! Also, wanna be a blacksmith? It's still a better option than many jobs that are on the way out! Don't believe us? Then give this episode a listen!

Note: This episode was recorded under the influence of copious amounts of caffeine (Shawn) and a couple Martinis (Chris). It's a bit frantic and wacky, and that, dear listeners = fun!

Direct download: migs16.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Episode 15: Last Seen...Building Character(s)

This week we're talking about characterization -- in particular, characterization in fiction. While the episode skews a bit toward writing, what makes a good character should interest everybody. We talk about some of our favorite characters, characters that don't work so well for us, and how we go about tackling strong characters in our own writing. No matter how grounded or out there a story is, chances are, one of the things that keeps you coming back to certain stories are the characters. Find out why some characters have such a strong appeal in this episode.

Direct download: migs15.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT