Men in Gorilla Suits
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

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 14: Last Seen...Acting Peeved!

This week, it's all about those little things that get under our skin: pet peeves! What's the difference between a pet peeve and a complaint? We talk about that as well as how so many people inflate pet peeves into bigger issues. Is social media part of the problem, or does it all depend on how we use things? When is a pet peeve a sign of a bigger problem, and how can pet peeves actually be good? We talk about that as well as revealing our own pet peeves. Somewhere along the way, Shawn talks about eating chalk. Seriously. That part alone is worth the listen, but even beta listeners admit -- from start to finish -- this is one of the best episodes of Men in Gorilla Suits to date!

Feel free to share your pet peeves in the comments, or leave a rating or review on iTunes if you like this.

Direct download: migs14.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 8:44pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 13: Last Seen...Managing Time

If you think you don't have time to listen to this episode of Men in Gorilla Suits...you probably need to listen to this episode of Men in Gorilla Suits. This week it's all about time management!

We'll tell you how to find the right time management system...for you! We discuss how having a day job can help you find time for your creative endeavors, and we praise the smart phone as a time management tool. (But probably not in the ways many "time management gurus" would tell us to use our phones.) We chat about time management tools and systems -- including how some can take up more time than they may be worth for your needs. We share ways to identify bad uses of time, and how sometimes you just gotta suck it up and not do the things you want to do because other things take priority in your life for awhile. Hell, we even discuss the importance of allowing yourself to occasionally give in to being lazy (i.e. the Netflix Marathon).

Christopher shares the big time management tip that helped him tame his to-do list, and Shawn's big tip for time management feeds itself each time he's busy. There's even a little Zen moment when we discuss if we're like concrete or water in the way we create. Also: is waiting for "The Muse" a good idea, or is she a massive time management killer? (Spoiler: she's really a succubus out to drain you of time you should just be creating!) Finally, we talk about the difference between multitasking (ick; you can't do it, even if you think you can!) and task stacking (Hooray for task stacking!!!).

We know it's asking a lot for an hour of your time, but that's the length of a commute for most of us. We hope that by the end of this episode, you'll get that hour back...and then some...

Direct download: migs13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.12: Last Seen...Being Creative

Last week we talked about the independent pursuit of creative endeavors. Before you can get there, though, you have to make something -- and that usually means dealing with some level of creativity.

For many, creativity is an ominous thing, the fickle Muse that may or may not show up and shower you with inspiration. We're here to tell you that the Muse is BS and that creativity, like anything, can be attained by simply working hard. Some highlights from this week's show:

  • Tips for people who doubt they have creative abilities.
  • Rethinking what creativity is -- The Creative Physicist and Programmer.
  • The power of breaks from creative pursuits.
  • How to take breaks from the things that distract you from finding time to create.
  • Why we're not so enamored with those labeling themselves "Creatives." (Hint: actions speak louder than...well, you know...)
  • How to deal with those wanting to exploit your creativity. (What we really mean: those who want to exploit your willingness to actually do the work!)
  • Some of our creative heroes. (Including a bit about Shawn getting email from his hero.)

It's our hope that anyone doubting they have some creative ability in themselves will see that's not the case by this episode's end. As long as you're willing to work hard, it's amazing what's possible.

Direct download: migs12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 11: Last Seen...Being Indie-pendent

This week, we talk about the benefits and pitfalls of independent pursuits and the benefits and pitfalls of going the traditional route. Some sides are all or nothing: extolling independence over all, or shunning anything remotely done completely on one's own. With recent leaps in technology, though, the lines are blurred -- even people who have spent decades going the traditional route with the things that matter to them are finding success blending working with established companies and doing it themselves. In many ways, there's never been a better time to do your own thing, even though it might be harder to be seen in the crowd.

We'd love to hear about (or see) the stuff you make -- feel free to share stories and links in the comments.

Direct download: migs11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.10: Last Seen...Being Positive (And Negative)

This week's podcast is all about the creative power that comes with being positive...and negative. This episode is about much more than just attitude's effect on productivity, though. We talk about the power of apathy as it can relate to happiness (or at least reducing stress from one's life). There's a bit about Pollyannas vs. Doomsayers, and how being extremely positive isn't always a good thing. We ask if one's attitude really is as simple as making a decision to be a certain way; also, how people use social media as a platform for their moods. Finally, the episode wraps up with a simple conclusion about life.

Disclaimer: We make a very clear distinction between negativity and depression in this episode. We know that negativity and depression are not synonymous, even though they sometimes move in each others' shadows. When we speak of negativity in this episode, we are talking about learned behavior or making a choice to be a certain way -- not the clinical reasons for some people's moods beyond their control. At various points in our lives, we have both struggled with depression. At various points in our lives, we were simply negative. We know the difference and do our best to make that distinction in this episode.

Direct download: migs10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.09: Last Seen...Having Hobbies

This week, it's all about hobbies! Are they inherent things we're coded to do, or something that came about in more recent times? We discuss how people look at hobbies at different times in life, and how they can enrich all we do. We also talk about the downside of hobbies: when we become too involved in them or try making them a career and see that we sometimes lose the joy when a hobby becomes a job. Shawn and Christopher share their childhood hobbies, current hobbies, and talk about what hobbies they may find themselves doing in the future.

We want to know what hobbies you love -- please take a moment and tell us in comments.

Direct download: migs09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.08: Last Seen...Being Fanboys

We've established that Shawn went to school wearing a Star Trek costume. "No problem," you say, thinking he may have worn it on Halloween. But he just wore it on a normal school day because...why not? We've also established that Christopher did everything in his power to use the Force to convince the world to call him Luke. It was a Jedi mind trick that didn't work.

These stories establish an early stroll into becoming fans of properties, which is what we're talking about today. This week, it's all about fandom!

We're not talking about past attempts at living a geeky dream (well, not entirely); we're talking about all kinds of fandom and how it's either all silly or all okay. We make the argument that the guy in the Klingon costume is no more odd than the guy wearing his favorite sports team's jersey. We talk a little bit about Rocketeer wannabe, Curtis Hart. (You may remember Curtis from an earlier entry.) All kinds of fans -- whether deemed normal or labeled extremely weird -- are the subject. About the only thing we don't get into is what's better: Star Trek or Star Wars.

We know better than that!

Warning: For those who listen to the podcast while driving...there's a section in the podcast (when we talk about Jodi Foster) that gets very loud, very fast. It's an accident Shawn had -- not a wreck or something about to hit you in traffic!

Direct download: migs08.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

MiGS Ep.07: Last Seen...Building New Worlds

This week, it's a full-blown episode all about writing; specifically, all about world building. What is world building? Simple: it's a writer taking time to craft believable settings for their stories, even if their stories are set in places that don't even exist. But it's more than just creating a world -- it's the rules of that world and how everything affects the characters. Along the way, we talk about what ails literary fiction, Star Trek, Barry Eisler's mistakes, and plenty of talk about the power of Dungeons and Dragons. It only took seven episodes to get two writers to actually spend an hour talking about writing! Thanks for listening.

Direct download: migs07.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 12:56am EDT