Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Oct 29, 2010 - The Louisville YMCA

When: 10/29/2010

Where: The YMCA - Louisville, KY

Who: Stupid loud old guy bothering me

How: My YMCA pass is transferable nation-wide, so while in Louisville this week I've been going to the gym. Unfortunately, today I forgot my headphones. At first I thought this wouldn't be so bad since I could use the free mental space to write and work on jokes in my head. That's how it would have happened if Cap't Listen-To-Me hadn't shown up. He was in his 50's or 60's, had a green tank top on and I'm pretty sure his nipples sagged to the floor. I never saw them but that's just how it goes in my head. He was using the bench next to me and whenever he'd raise his dumbbell he'd whisper "3...2....1". Damn dude you can't count in your head? I'm easily distracted enough as it is. Are you practicing the world's quietest shuttle lift off? You know I can hear you, right? How am I supposed to remember what count I'm on when it sounds like Peter Pan is whispering in my ear? Then he belched loudly. And then his cell phone went off (clipped on his belt as is the rule for all men over 50) and he answered it in the gym! I don't know what he said because I was too blind with fury but I'm pretty sure it was about Applebees and liking dumb things.

I realize that my pet-peeves make me mildly insane, so I'll try to put a positive spin on it. Maybe this guy was raised in a family of mimes and was never allowed to make a sound until the freedom of his 18th birthday when he could leave forever. So now he lives his life counting out loud and burping and being a douche as an act of rebellion against the tyranny of his imaginary box growing up. Boy, it's not often that the best-case scenario for something is mimery.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm getting married

Hey guys...

You know how some movie reviews say "Spoiler alert" as a warning before they ruin the ending? Well, this blog today has a "Gag alert". I'm going to be talking about the woman I love and am marrying and if you get weirded out by lovey-dovey stuff then turn back now! I mean it. Now's your last chance. It's gonna get gross.

We met on Match.com. She HATES admitting that. She's come up with almost every other story imaginable so she doesn't have to tell people that. "We met while white-water rafting." "We met in a pie-eating contest". "I was at a petting zoo and a magical fairy turned a goat into a boy." Anything but the truth. Match.com! Not only that, we were each other's #1 Match. Yep. They oughta make a commercial out of us.

I didn't immediately respond to her because her profile had no pictures. I had a paranoia about people without pictures being dudes or CIA agents or something so I avoided it. She still gives me shit about it. We exchanged some emails and decided to meet.

Here's the thing...

...I grew up watching crappy Disney movies where love seems to come naturally and easily. I believed in it. My whole young life, just like a 12-year-old girl, I waited to meet the perfect person that the movies promised me was real. And then life happened. I became cynical. I decided that it was all Hollywood bullshit and that I'd live a solitary existence and that was that. I thought I was strong because of this realization. I didn't need anybody. Past relationships hadn't worked...

...Flash forward to January 2010. Cynical old Mike Brody lays eyes on Zan Godschalx. And it was love at first sight. It's real. How can it be real? That can't be right. Are unicorns real too? Maybe! Because I swear to you, Blog World, I fell in love with her right then and there. Luckily, so did she. Six days later we told each other so. A couple months later I was living with her. Six months (almost to the day) we decided to get married.

It's going to happen in a treehouse in Arkansas in September. Just the two of us and the person who marries us. No frills. (Unless you think a treehouse is frilly. It kind of looks like the Ewok Forest, so perhaps!) Why Arkansas? Why not? And then we're going to stay in a tiger wildlife refuge. Awesome! Why such a small wedding with no guests? Because that's how we wanted it. We love our family and friends dearly and a big celebration would be flattering, but take a look around. Marriages are failing left and right. We wanted ours to be based on the things we love about each other. Like love and adventure and common-ground. Not money and cake and bachelor parties. If the trend is for marriages to fail, then we're going to start ours off with the statement that ours is different. It's not a knock on other people's weddings, but a declaration of "us".

So right here and now, I want to say thanks to all the family and friends who supported us when we told them the news.

Thanks to my parents. They were shocked for the first 10 minutes after I told them. They were completely blind-sided. But once they heard me spilling my heart out about Zan, they realized this was for real and their shock turned to joy. Thanks so much Mom and Dad and Lisa. Your support means everything to me.

Thank you to Zan's family. You guys are wonderful. I've only just met you, but you welcomed me in with open arms and I felt like I was immediately one of you. I could not ask for a better family to be marrying into.

And the biggest thanks goes to Zan.

Thank you for being the person I always knew existed.

Thank you for making me believe in soulmates.

Thank you for running to hug me every time I come home.

Thank you for calling me pet names and saying you love me 300 times a day.

Thank you for leaving me Ziploc bags of watermelon in the fridge.

Thank you for making me, a man who's never sure about anything, 100% positive about something for the first time in his life.

Thank you for being artistic and original and multi-talented and genius.

Thank you for noticing the little involuntary squeaky noises I make when I'm secretly proud of myself.

Thank you for supporting my comedy career. It can't be easy that I have to travel so much. You make me not feel guilty about it somehow. Incredible!

Thank you for agreeing to share this life with me. I promise to love you with all my heart until we're old and gray and poopy and we both squeak whether we are proud of ourselves or not.

I love you Zan. :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Labyrinth 4 - Valparaiso Resurrection Labyrinth - Valparaiso, IN


Shhhhhh.....

Indiana's got a secret: It doesn't totally blow.

I guess I wouldn't have known before. See, I'm a stand-up comedian. But even though I travel all over the country, I rarely actually see anything. That's because I am a lazy, lazy bum. All I do all day is sleep and look up stuff online and eventually get onstage. As pathetic as it seems, I usually only see my hotel room and the comedy club. And I never cared. In most places, I assumed that there was nothing in the vicinity that was of any beauty. Are you kidding me? By the McDonald's? Screw it. Why should I roam? All I'm going to miss is a Best Buy. I never looked for the secret treasures that any "average" neighborhood in the country could hide. Secrets? In Indiana? Young Larry Bird's gotta be full of it.

Luckily, thanks in part to this labyrinth project I've been fiddling with, these close-minded ideas of mine have begun to change. Already, in just a handful of times, I've seen landscapes and architecture of such magnificent beauty that I'm kicking myself for all the wasted years. And it's always been right here. It's in Indiana and Iowa and Estonia and...anywhere!

Which leads me to The Valparaiso University Chapel of the Resurrection's labyrinth. Let me explain what I do as quickly as I can. I travel to a town (usually for comedy). I go to labyrinthlocator.com and find a labyrinth that is within 25 miles of where I'm staying. I go to it. I write about it. So here we go!







Forgiveness factor: High. As you've probably figured out - I have a thing against Indiana. Look, I grew up in Iowa so I realize I don't have the right to talk smack about states. I get it. But bad things always happen to me in Indiana. Someone smashed my car window out here for no reason and I've been called a homo more than I'd like to admit. People with peach-fuzz mustaches have generally gotten very aggressively in my face in Indiana and I don't know why. What the Valparaiso Resurrection church and labyrinth made me realize is that it had more to do with my tour itinerary than the state itself. Maybe I've been going to the crap Indiana towns? Because clearly, especially in a college town like Valparaiso, intelligent people exist. What a relief! I mean, I'm not particularly cultured myself. But as of now, no longer will I call all Indiana residents "Those John Cougar Mellancamp lovin' mother$#@&ers." I feel like re-enacting that scene from Good Will Hunting where they hug. I'm Robin Williams and Indiana is Matt Damon. "It's not your fault, Indiana. It's not your fault."

Distraction factor: Through the roof. Literally. So the whole point of going to a labyrinth is to walk through it slowly and meditatively while you contemplate your spiritual journey through life. Do you have any idea how hard that is to do when the most beautiful church you've ever seen is directly next to it? It's like the tower of Sauron if he weren't a jerk. (Nerds?)



Mild revelation factor: Once again - High! I think I'm starting to figure these labyrinths out. It's not about the labyrinth itself; it's where it takes you. Because if I hadn't found it online, I would never have ended up at this gorgeous chapel. I'm not going to lie - I coasted through this labyrinth. I just couldn't take my eyes off of the church the whole time. I had to get inside and take a look, which is exactly what I did. There were two weddings going on that day and I just happened to arrive in the down-time between the two. Other than a few people cleaning up, I was essentially alone in the most breath-taking building I've ever been inside of.

So that's it. No more writing. I dedicate the rest of this blog to the sloppy, amateur pictures I took inside and hope that it shows even 1% of the beauty that the place actually has. Thanks Indiana.

(Click on pics to get a larger version.)



















Mike Brody - Six Minute set at the Rick Bronson's House of Comedy in the Mall of America

This is from the January of 2010. I had it embedded, but the whole screen wouldn't fit on my blog. So click here to watch it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Labyrinth 3 - Utech's Rainbow Dairy Goat Farm - Merril, WI


What's that? You think labyrinths are only for religious and New Age people? Are you saying that because my first blog was about a Catholic basilica labyrinth and the second was a Metaphysical store? Well guess what, suckas?

Boom!

GOAT FARM!

Where's your preconceived judgments now? I went to a goddamn goat farm in Wisconsin for this labyrinth! Fit goat people into your closed mind, maaannnnn. (That was supposed to be a hippy saying "maaannnn" not a goat. Although I find the goat-speak strangely appealing.)

I was on my way to a stand-up comedy gig in Wausau, WI, and decided to head nine miles north to the little town of Merrill and check out a labyrinth I discovered in Labyrinthlocator.com. The place is called "Utech's Rainbow Dairy Goat Farm" (click here for all the info on their labyrinth)

Awkwardness factor: Through the roof! Here's an uncomfortable phone conversation:

GOAT FARMER: Hello
ME: Um, hello, is this 3880 Rainbow Drive?
GOAT FARMER: Yes.
ME: Yeah...are you the people with the labyrinth?
GOAT FARMER: Yes we are.

Can you imagine how weird that would've been if he said no?
ME: Are you the people with the labyrinth?
GOAT FARMER: No.
ME: Ok-ayyyy, I'm a freak. Bye-bye then.

But he did say "yes". And then I said:
ME: So can anybody just, you know, come over and look at it?
GOAT FARMER: Yes, but it's not mowed. So you'd probably have to give us some warning so we can take care of it.
ME: I'm in your drive-way.
GOAT FARMER: Oh. Well, I'm busy but I suppose I can just point you to the field.

Possible serial killer factor: Pretty good! The goat farmer I spoke to on the phone wasn't outside when I pulled up, but two teenage kids listening to Screeching Weasel of all things were. One wore a hat and spoke, while the other remained speechless and did a lot of mouth-breathing. I asked Hat-guy if they've ever had anybody come out to look at their labyrinth. "We get visitors everyday," he said. "Lots of Japanese." Huh. Then, as we were walking towards the field, I asked if they were the ones who put up the info on the webpage. Hatty stopped, looked me dead in the eyes and said "Weren't not webpage people." Something about the way he said that, plus the supposed "lots" of Japanese who I didn't' see anywhere made me think I may have stumbled into the Wisconsin Chainsaw massacre.


State of Labyrinth: Unkempt. For the second time, I believe I got to a labyrinth before it was amply ready for the season. It was barely visible and flooded with dandelions. It felt like I was walking the yellow brick road, but instead of Munchkins, there were creepy-eyed goats and cockleburs. That being said, I actually think this is a time of the season I should be taking advantage of. When the labyrinths are nicely mowed and kept-up I'm sure they look great and you know where you're going without question. But when it's all scraggly you are intensely doubtful that you're going in the right direction. That's the whole point of the labyrinth: To put faith in the fact that no matter how long it takes, you'll get there. It's a metaphor for life and/or the spiritual path. Both going to the center (called "Jerusalem" sometimes) and on the way back, I doubted that I was going the right way. But I kept going. And both times I got through without fail. It's a good exercise in trust.

(Caption: The Beginning.)

Holy cra
p that's not what you want to see at the end of a "spiritual journey" factor: 100%


What is that, a goat-man? The Devil?! Why does he have a mustache? All creepy! I'm not easily weirded out, but that gave me the willies. I half expected to turn around and see the kids standing behind me as they calmly say "It's hoe-down time" and hit me over the head with a Garden Weasel. But no, they weren't there. I later found out that they were all tiles they made at school. If I'd have looked closer I'd have noticed two Rock Em Sock Em Robots, Tom Servo from MST3K, and Burt Reynolds if he were a star-system of some sort. Not entirely evil, I suppose. But still...Zen and peace and then Hitler Goat is not exactly what I expected.


Overall rating: This was somehow was the worst and best labyrinth so far. Worst because it was in shambles and barely perceptible. And the best because it truly tested my trust. For one, it didn't go or end how I expected. This was the first time that I wasn't sure if I was going to finish correctly. But I kept going and decided to put my faith in the path and I came out okay. This is the stuff I want to apply to my life, when I'm feeling stressed or scared about life. Just keep going...there's cockleburs and creepy goat-tile men, but in the end if you persist you will survive.

For further reading:
Labyrinth blog #1
Labyrinth blog #2

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Labyrinth 2 - Eye of Horus

Secret Garden Labyrinth - Eye of Horus


What's the complete opposite of a labyrinth on the lawn of the first Catholic Basilica in America? How about a labyrinth in the backyard of a Metaphysical New Age store called "Eye of Horus".

And yet, they are essentially the exact same thing with an identical purpose. Meditation, spirituality, contemplation and all other kinds of whatever googly-moogly you're into.

And both have pamphlets! I've been to two labyrinths so far, and BOTH have pamphlets about it. I don't know why, but this pleases me to no end. Are there people who diligently produce fantastic labyrinths and then skimp on the pamphlets? I haven't seen them yet, but when I do I may slap them in the face with a glove all French-duel style.




Incognito factor: I have been going to this store for a while now (I have a problem with rock/crystal buying, it's a fact) and I never even noticed that this labyrinth existed. It's all tucked away in the backyard. I would have said it's the "ninja of labyrinths", because of it's camouflageness, but I hear that ninjas are hack now. So I'll have to go with the less common and much less poetic "It's like the tree-person-that-you-didn't-realize-was-a-tree-person-until-you-got-too-close-and-grabbed-it's-apples-and-now-you-can-see-it's-face-and-it's-all-mad of labyrinths." That's a fairly accurate analogy, if you forget that labyrinths aren't malicious because they don't have the power of cognition, or apples.

Windy factor: That's windy like "Wind up the toy, Jim!" Not like "Man, Jim's butt smells bad. I wish it were windy!" (Believe it or not, I spent five minutes thinking it over and those were the two best examples I could think of.) The labyrinth looks tiny (at least compared to St. Mary's) when you first walk into the backyard, but it is deceptively intricate. It twists and turns 12 times. I felt almost kind of disheveled and turned around at all times. That's where I suppose the meditation comes in. If you keep walking, you'll get to the center no matter what, so you just keep focused on one foot in front of the other.

Spiritual/weirdness factor:
Like I said in my previous journal, they say that with practice, you might start to experience visions or revelations on your journey. So I remembered to keep my senses opened at all times. And half-way through, sure enough, like the Four-Horsemen of the Apocalypse, louder than all Hell came thunderous Mexican tuba music from the next door neighbors. Strangely enough, it's not bad meditation music. The rhythmic tuba really sets the pace for your feet. "Doot" Left foot forward. "Doot" Right foot forward. "Doot" Left foot forward. And so on.

Target paraphernalia spotting: There is a really cool, small Buddha statue to the side of the labyrinth. I love Buddhas. I practiced Buddhism for two years and it still holds a very dear place in my heart. Also, I recognized this particular Buddha as one that is sold at Target stores across the country. The very one I have in my apartment. So I felt much better that I'm not the only person getting my spiritual items from the same store that sells plungers and Miley Cyrus notebooks.


Meditations from the pamphlet: "When you walk a labyrinth, it is with a focus. This focus could be a question or situation, a need for peace, celebration, inner connection, clearing the mind of clutter, or a desire to reunite with the Earth, your Spirit, or with the Divine.

The journey can consist of three parts: the entrance walk is "Purgation" or cleansing of the affairs of the mundane world; attaining the Center brings "Illumination", the enlightenment of the Spirit; and the exit walk effects "Unification" or spiritual self becoming one with mundane self.

At the entrance, stop and reflect on your focus, intention or prayer. As you walk the paths, shed everything else as a snake sheds it's skin. Let go with each step, with each turn, knowing that even as you turn away from your goal, you are actually coming closer to the center, to rebirth.

At the center, step onto the Triquetra stone and take the time to reflect. You have reached not just a physical center but a spiritual location. Let in any guidance you are seeking. When ready, walk out by the same path, uniting the mundane and the spiritual as a whole being."

Overall experience: I liked this one a lot. Like I said in my previous labyrinth journal, I'm not exactly an expert yet. But I felt like this one did a pretty good job of keeping you on your toes and constantly guessing. And since I started a small savings account in order to some day buy that $80 chunk of Amethyst that Eye of Horus has, I'm sure I'll be back to traverse to tubas again!

From Labyrinthlocator.com:

Address:
2717 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408
United States
view map

Directions/notes:
About 3 blocks north of Lake Street in Minneapolis on Lyndale Ave. Look for Eye of Horus Store (labyrinth is walled off from the street by a false-front).

Contact:
Store Phone: 612-872-1292
Email: jane@eyeofhorus.biz

Web:
http://eyeofhorus.biz/minneapolis/labyrinth

Schedule:
Always open
Open during store hours, may be reserved for a private event, so call the store first.

Admission:
none

Type:
Medieval
5 circuit

Material:
Rock or Garden

Designer:
Jane Hansen

Builder:
Jane & Friends of the Labyrinth

Size:
20 feet diameter

Date installed:
June 7, 2005

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Labyrinth 1 - The Mary Labyrinth


I think things are all in how you phrase it.

Some people would say that I get mildly obsessed pretty easily. I like to call it "inspired". What's the difference? One person's "romantic" is another person's "stalker". I'm not a stalker. Yes, I'm sure that's what stalkers always say. Oh boy, off to a bad start.

Anyway, the point is, I am now mildly obsessed/inspired. My girlfriend, Zan, just randomly tipped me off to something called a "meditation labyrinth". No, it doesn't involve David Bowie's crotch. It's actually a winding path of varying styles that leads one through a contemplative metaphor for life and the spiritual path. Labyrinths have been around for close to 4,000 years and were used by the Egyptians, Minoans, Romans, Indians, Native Americans and many more. Even the Christians got in on it, starting around 400 AD. (Then they kind of banned them because they were too New Age-y, then recently decided to get back on the boat.) They can be made in the grass, with stone, on a tarp, you name it. Supposedly people have had visions on them. More realistically, people claim that they are excellent sources of walking meditation and calming relaxation. The path is supposed to be like the journey through life, in that you don't know where it's taking you. You only know that if you keep walking, you'll get there. How could I not have known about this?

So Zan showed me a website called www.labyrinthlocator.com. Somehow, this thing that I'd never even heard of yesterday, is catalogued all over the world. They're everywhere! Tons of them! There's a few a couple of blocks from where I live, there's some in Japan. Big ones, little ones. It's nuts. So I've decided that I'm going to go and walk as many Labyrinths as I can and see what happens. Since I go on the road, I'll be able to go to Labyrinths all over the country if they have them. Here's what I figured...If they have them in Toledo, OH, they'll have them anywhere. Labyrinthlocator.com SAYS: There's like six there! It's on!

So maybe I'll go to 100. Maybe I'll get bored and only go to one. But periodically and sporadically I'm going to update this blog with new pictures and thoughts on a different labyrinth. Starting with the one a couple blocks away:

--------------------------------------

The Mary Labyrinth at the Basilica of Saint Mary
(Click on the link above for a cool aerial photo of the labyrinth in season.)


Faith: Christian. This one is located at the giant Basilica off of Hennepin Ave in downtown Minneapolis. Christian labyrinths use the path as symbolism for a pilgrim's, um, pilgrimage to the Holy Land. So the final part of the labyrinth, right before you turn back and go the opposite way, is called "Jerusalem."



(Above) The start and "Jerusalem".

State of labyrinth: Fair to poor. The design is beautiful and elaborate, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it hasn't been mowed since last fall. There are barely discernible spray-paint lines and it's kind of hard to see where you're supposed to walk. It doesn't look at all like the aerial photo from the link above.

Embarrassment factor: High. It's right off of Hennepin between downtown and uptown. Lots of cars driving by. Bums from under the bridge staring. But I think the worst case scenario is you just look like a crazy person walking in circles on a church lawn. I can deal with that. That might actually be a very good description of me.

Spiritual/weirdness factor: Half-way through the labyrinth, and as I was in the peak of zoning out into meditation land, I looked down and immediately in front of me was an adult robin. (See picture below.) He was just staring up at me, without an ounce of fear. And he was close. So close that I kind of assumed that he was injured. As I kept on walking (gotta mind your bird-business, don't want to get attacked by rapid robins!) he suddenly flew away across the street. That was the tamest robin I've ever seen. Actually, it was the only tame robin I've ever seen. Pretty neat.


Meditation from pamphlet: "All pilgrimages begin with a first step. It's the act of walking that makes you a pilgrim - in life or on a labyrinth. Open your mind and heart as you walk. Let yourself experience the changes of direction. You may get turned around, but you are never lost: trust that the path will lead you where you need to go. As you follow the path, let yourself relax. Take slow, steady steps to quiet the mind and enable full-body prayer. Walk at your own pace. Spend as much time as you like in "Jerusalem". Journey out and bring the peace of your labyrinth walk into the pilgrimage of you daily life."

Overall experience:
I am hoping that as I do this more often, I'll get a sense of why people do this. Right now I am overwhelmed with self-consciousness. I think that's part of the process. As you do it more, you'll stop thinking about your surroundings and start thinking about the meditation. I thought, despite the obvious state of disrepair that the St. Mary Labyrinth (hopefully temporarily) was in, that it was a pretty cool first one to go to. And due to it's proximity, I'm sure I'll go back again. So there. That's my first labyrinth review: "Pretty cool". I'm kind of easy right now. Maybe later I'll become the Simon Cowell of labyrinth critics. But for today, I'm pleased and excited to do more.


From Labyrinthlocator.com:
Address:
88 North 17th Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
United States
view map

Directions/notes:
We are located on Hennepin Avenue between 16th & 17th Streets in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Mary Labyrinth is on the west facing lawn.

Contact:
Basilica Labyrinth Initiative
Phone: 612-333-1381

Web:
http://www.mary.org

Schedule:
Always open
Seasonal, daylight hours only

Type:
Contemporary
The Basilica of Saint Mary's labyrinth is dedicated to Mary, the blessed mother of Jesus. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the Basilica Mary Labyrinth.

Material:
Outdoor Grass

Designer:
Lucinda Naylor

Date installed:
July 2008

GPS:
44° 58′ 2° Lat.; 93° 17′ 9° Long.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Three Scariest Movies

Here is my list of the three scariest movies ever made (in my humble opinion).

1) The Exorcist -


Maybe this movie isn't scary to people who saw it as an adult, but I first saw this movie in seventh grade and I didn't sleep without the covers over my head for a year. Eeek, the voices. The voices! The scariest things are the ones you don't see. And throughout this movie you never see the actual demon, just the girl it possesses. It leaves your imagination alone to go wild and it's infinitely freakier than a CGI monster or a dude in a suit. Also, they made a new re-edited version about ten years ago. The movie is basically the same, but with a few minor changes. When I saw the new one for the first time, it seemed just like the original...except BLAMMO out of the blue suddenly there's a crazy spider girl that runs down the stairs on all fours upside down! UPSIDE DOWN!!! Holy balls! Why did they leave that out of the original? It's easily the most startling thing I've seen in a horror movie. Although, I just re-watched the clip on Youtube and I have a slight problem with the actress who plays the mother's acting. Her daughter just spider-walked upside down a staircase with blood dripping out of her mouth and she lethargically says "oh my god" as if she forgot to pay the electric bill. I think if I were that mother, my reaction would be 1) "OHHH MYYY SWEETTTT GODDD IN HEAVEN MY DAUGHTER IS A FREAKK CONTORTIONIST DEMON CHILD!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" 2) Then I would crap my pants 3) Then I would scream "I JUST CRAPPED MY PANTS!" 4) Then I would play dead. 5) Then I would check to make sure she wasn't eating me 6) Then I would crap my pants again and scream some more.

Not: "Oh my god. Yawn. This is highly irregular that my child is acting this way. I should put her in a time out. Is the Brady Bunch a re-run this week?"

2) The Blair Witch Project


I know I'll take some flak for this, but this movie really flipped me out. I saw it in a local old-timey theater in Iowa City in 1999 before all the hype hit. I wasn't stupid enough to think it was real, but still it felt real enough to shake me up. Once again, it's the things you don't see. This movie was masterful at that, with just a bare-bones budget. I love Chris Rock's joke about this movie: "The Blair Witch Project cost $60,000 to make. Somebody's walking around with $59,000 in their pocket right now!"

If I were those kids lost in the woods, I wouldn't have died off so easily though. My solution would be easy. Screw Smokey the Bear. I'm burning the whole damn forest down. Either one of two things happen: 1) The firefighters see it and come rescue you. 2) You burn to death. Either one is better than getting your soul eaten by a dastardly witch! She took the guy's tongue! And there was a lot of standing in corners! That's no fun. If I'm gonna get killed by a witch, I don't want to stand around and wait like it's a paranormal DMV. I'm not taking a ticket to end up trapped in a house for eternity. I'm just saying. Screw Greenpeace. I'm burning the forest down. Does Greenpeace do forests? I usually just associate them with whales. If there were a whale in the forest too, I'd Chinese water torture it until Susan Sarandon came swinging on a vine to save the day. Can whales be tortured with water? Maybe I'd just tickle it. Everybody wins that way.

3) Larry The Cable Guy - Health Inspector


I still have nightmares to this day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Winchester Mystery House


I think there's a kind of crazy that only rich people can achieve.

Case in point: Sarah Winchester. Sarah was the widow and heiress of William Wirt Winchester, of Winchester Rifles fame. Long story short, Sarah's husband and small child die. Sarah consults a psychic. Said psychic tells Sarah her and her family are cursed. Because of the pain and death that the Winchester Rifles have caused, she must continue building her house or she'll die too (presumably at the hands of the spirits who died from the rifles). So Sarah did what any normal, everyday person would do: She used her massive wealth and inheritance to fund construction non-stop on her mansion from 1884 to her death in 1922. Among other things, there are 10,000 windowpanes, stairways that lead to nothing and 47 chimneys. Right? That's normal.

The thing that I don't get is, how does construction keep ghosts away? Are ghosts afraid of unions? Do the construction workers' taunts keep the spirits away? "Lookin' good Ghostie! Woo hoo!" I read that she thought they'd get lost in the stairways, but really? Really? How stupid are ghosts? They've pierced the veil of immortality but can't figure out the steps? Maybe they should think this through. "Gee, I've come back to earth to extract revenge and now I'm stuck in a hallway that shrinks into nothing. Maybe my skills of deduction aren't as keen as I'd hoped. Well, back to Detroit." (Detroit is the site of Purgatory in my head. Wanna argue about it? It's got abandoned skyscrapers.)

This all made me think. If, by this logic, ghosts can get lost, then that must mean they are susceptible to physical things. So if I were Mrs. Winchester, I'd have quit being passive and built some quicksand pits. Eh? I came here to do two things: Kick some ghost-ass and chew bubble gum. And bubble gum hasn't been invented yet. (Yes, I took a quote from "They Live" and modified it to fit the early 1900's. Deal with it!) Time to stop whining like a typical rifle heiress and start taking names, Home Alone style. Oh, don't follow me up to this stairway, ghost...I don't know if it's a dead-end! BAM! Paint can to the ghost-head! Hey spooky, it's dark in here, you should pull on that light bulb string...OHHH, an iron to the kisser! And then we'd meet a scary old person who ends up having a heart of gold.

Problem solved.

Or spend $80 million on elevators. Whatever.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Toby Keith is a space alien


UFOs exist. It's 100% positive.

"UFO" stands for unidentified flying object. That means anything can be a UFO if nobody can identify it. If Estonia could fly, it would be a UFO to 99% of America. (Keep reaching for the skies Estonia, I believe in you. Don't let anybody doubt you just because you used to be a part of Canada.)

The argument people really have is whether or not aliens from another galaxy exist. And have they visited our planet? I heard a guy once say "There's no way alien space-ships have been to Earth because the amount of fuel it would take is astronomical." They don't drive Ford Focuses, dummy. Do you think they use ethanol or E85? But if they did have Space-Focuses, that would explain the crop-circles. They're oil leaks.

If extraterrestrial aliens exist, they'd be nothing like us. They wouldn't have days like us because (presumably) they'd have a different sun or suns. They wouldn't take their goobles (that's what I call baby aliens) to soccer practice. Maybe they're the size of fleas? Maybe we're the size of fleas to them? Maybe they eat through their butt? Maybe they don't have butts? All they want are butts!

The point is, we can never really know one way or another. We're still a really stupid creature, us humans. We don't even know about the bottom of the sea, so how can we know about the furthest reaches of the universe?

I personally think that Toby Keith is a space alien. Just look at him. Something's wrong.


One of his eyes is bigger than the other. His nose is deflated. And he's either coming out of the clouds or the mud, but either way it ain't natural. What are you hiding, Toby Keith? What are you hiding?! What in the name of Kodiak does he want? Well, I'll tell you. I deciphered an anagram of "Toby Keith" and it spells out "Be oh kitty". B.O. kitty. It also spells "Hi Betty OK."

Toby Keith is here to tell us our cats smell and to say hi to Betty. So people of Earth, wash your felines! And make sure to be nice to Betty, or Toby Keith will put a space-boot in yer ass!

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Open Letter to Leprechauns


Leprechauns - It's time to modernize.

Everybody's laughing at you. It's 2010 and yet you insist on wearing a bright green top-hat (with a buckle - you have to have that buckle) with matching green coat and pantaloons and all that fruity stuff. Did you lose a bet? You look like a magical Amish person. And what's with the shillelagh? I hate to break it to you buddy, but it's just a stick. It's a stick! Just because you can dance on rainbows and turn people into toads doesn't mean that you get to call your stick something whimsical. Stop it! No, never mind...keep it up. Because I'm going to start calling all my ordinary things something outlandish. I'm not drinking out of a coffee mug, it's a Boot-boot-wibble. There! Stupid, isn't it? You're a jerk!

And you know what, Lucky? If I want your Lucky Charms I can just go to the store and buy it. You can get it at the most ghetto-ass gas-station, so don't act like you're all fancy. And honestly, I'm more of a Cap'n Crunch man. When I was in 4th grade, I won $100 in one of his boxes of cereal. I used it to buy a basketball, a Risk board-game, a Bell Biv Devoe tape and I spent the rest on Twix bars. Now that's magical. And yeah, the Cap'n is a little stuck in the past too stylistically. But he's a goddamn captain and a generous man. He doesn't hide in trees and constantly get duped by little kids.

Even in horror movies, you're played by a guy who also portrayed "Willow" and "Wicket" from Star Wars. That's your big guns, huh? Real scary.

Listen. There's a lot of good things about leprechauns. I love the Celtics and I'm a little bit Scottish so I appreciate what you've done for my people. But I need to bring this tough love because you're making a fool of yourself. You hoard gold. What are you, a dragon? Nobody uses gold anymore. The only time you hear about it is on infomercials at 3am where they tell you to buy it for some reason. It's wedged right between the Russian Miracle Spring Water and the Sham Wow Guy. The fucking Sham Wow Guy.

It's time to wake up, leprechaun. Get a savings account. Put some damn jeans on. Stop frolicking. I'm not telling you to be just like everybody else. Express yourself! But dammit, you look like The Riddler's dad.

Now gimme your gold.

Sincerely,
Mike Brody

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gnomes



They say that the lore of mermaids first came about when land-deprived sailors saw sea-cows on the horizon and mistook them for fish-women. The same is said about unicorns and rhinoceroses. This fact tells me one thing: People were stupid. Either that or eye-glasses were not in everyday use yet. Also, sailors are/were desperately horny.

So if many of our mythological creatures were created due to mistaken identity, how did gnomes come about? As far as I can tell, they look nothing like any kind of animal or natural structure of any type. They have big, pointy red hats. Did they have traffic cones in Renaissance-era Europe?

At the same time, I am supremely jealous of a time when magic still existed in the hearts of the people. Yeah, it's ignorance maybe. But how much would the world kick-ass if you thought there were little leprechauns and gnomes and brownies hiding around every shrub and tree?

If I lived in Olden-Times, I think my day would go something like this:

9am: Get up and milk my gryphon.
10am: Play Wack-a-Troll
11am: Sponge bath from water nymphs
12pm: Lunch with Merlin
1pm-3pm: Nap
4pm: Steal Bilbo Baggins' ring
5pm: Almost die from Black Plague - saved by fairies
6pm: Nap
7pm: Righteously burn some witches
8pm: Nap
9pm: Go to blood-letting center
10pm: Be cursed into a frog. Have frog sex just to see what it's like before being saved by fairies.
11pm: Invent time machine.
12am: Spoon for night with Scarlett Johansson. Yell at her for making stupid Tom Waits cover album.

REPEAT

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ectoplasm


I could never be a fraudulent psychic. It takes a dedication and willing swarthiness that I don't think I could muster.

Case in point: Ectoplasm. Ectoplasm is defined by Dictionary.com as "The visible substance believed to emanate from the body of a spiritualistic medium during communication with the dead" and "An immaterial or ethereal substance, especially the transparent corporeal presence of a spirit or ghost." During the Spiritualist Movement's heyday from the 1840's to 1920's, many seance mediums claimed to be able to produce the gooey substance from their orifices. And when I say orifices I mean any and all orifices. And when I saw all orifices, I mean the orifices even Skinamax wouldn't show.

What really freaks me out about the whole thing is that the shyster mediums used cheese cloth to mimic the ectoplasm. I'm going to be honest, I'd never even heard of cheese cloth before I discovered this fact. It sounds delicious. I would eat a cheese cloth burger in a second. But can you imagine shoving something up your hoo-ha just to make someone believe you were in touch with the dead? It's gross and it's brilliant. Who's going to check? Here's a sentence that's never been uttered in all of human history: "Excuse me, but is that cheese cloth dangling out of your butt-hole?" Say it to someone at a bar sometime. If that person doesn't punch you or call the cops, run for your life. Because that person is hiding something up their pooper and it's dangerous enough to keep restrained in a sack.

Apparently this whole debacle went on for a number of years before people started to catch on to the truth. I think the worst part would be the inevitable drudgery of the whole thing. "Ugggg, it's Tuesday. Time to stick some more cheese-cloth up my ass. I shoulda been a zookeeper."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Crystal Balls


I am addicted to buying stupid shit.

My room is littered with Buddhas, shark jaws, Nordic chess boards, a two foot Bigfoot statue, funky rocks and crystals. Because of this, I often times find myself in stores called things like "The Eye of Horus" and "Then the Oracle." I'm a 32-year-old man. Is this acceptable? Last time I checked, I hated Enya. I don't dress like Stevie Nicks. I like manly things like basketball and punk rock. How did I get so New Age? Gross!

The fact of the matter is, if I see a Tibetan singing bowl or a Amethyst lamp, I'm probably going to buy it. Lately I've had my eyes set on a crystal ball. What would I do with a crystal ball? I'm not psychic. I'm not going to tell anybody that their bike is in the basement of the Alamo. But the sheer audacity of having a crystal ball in my room makes me giddy. Also, it can be used as self-defense against burglars. If someone breaks in, I can bash them over the head and yell out a witty Die Hard-esque line like "Shoulda seen THAT coming!"

Usually when someone sees my room, there are one of two reactions:

1) They say "This room is so you, Mike Brody." Then they smile and leave.

2) They look uncomfortable, nod politely and say "I'm going to go now." Then they smile and leave.

Whatever! If you can't handle a Megalodon tooth and my 15 minute spiel on how old it is and how I totally bartered a clueless shark tooth salesmen in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for half-price, then you don't deserve to be educated. You don't deserve to see goblins coming by looking through my Fairy Stones (I prefer to call them Odin Stones - once again, manly!)

So I guess the point of this post is this: Do you have a crystal ball for sale? How much and what color is it? Can it be used as a dangerous weapon and do I need to burn sage to cleanse it?

It's a miracle that I have a girlfriend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

75% chance of awesomeness



Did you know that it can actually rain fish?

This isn't pseudo-science, this is a real thing. It's not common, but every once in a while a tornado will go over a body of water (it's called a water-spout) and pick up fish, frogs, eggs, kelp, whatever and lift it up high into the sky. We aren't really sure how long these things stay up there, but eventually they come down. Sometimes they're even frozen. The cool thing is, they usually come down separately, as if they were sifted by their weight. So if it rains frogs, it just rains frogs. There's no weeds or fish or pebbles included. Until those come down too, by themselves.

I can't even imagine the amount of confusion this would instill in someone. Picture yourself at a park having lunch. You see rain clouds. "Oh honey, we better get a move on...looks like it's going to rain." Then, WHACK! A mackerel right to the kisser. You'd probably think some bastard threw it at you, but then another one comes and another. Now it's literally raining fish. I would probably be wondering if I did something to piss off some local nerd-wizard at this point. "I'm sorry I made fun of Dungeons & Dragons! Rush is a really good band! I love your duster! Please, make it stop!"

So theoretically, if it can rain things of various sizes and shapes, like eggs and fish and amphibious creatures, it could rain just about anything of a certain size. Maybe with even stronger winds it can pick up something even bigger? Think of the possibilities. The potential for awesome bewilderment is limitless.

I wish no bodily or financial harm on anybody, but imagine the minds that would be blown if it rained:

Hardcore gay porn: A porn-shop gets destroyed in a twister. One minute someone's walking to church and the next minute multiple copies of "Fun Boys Vol. 3" are dropping from the heavens. "But I thought you DIDN'T want us to do that?!"

Little people: I'd really like it if a bunch of dwarfs re-enacting the Civil War could get swooped up and rain down on...anything. Really, anything. I don't care if you're at a camp fire in a trailer park or being sworn in at the White House, I imagine you'd piss your pants at the sight of mini-Abraham Lincoln hitting a car windshield. Everyone would think time machines make you shrink!

Manatees: Let's say you live in Minnesota. You've never seen a sea-cow before. Well, today is your lucky day, because a couple hundred have been air-lifted in from Atlantis (I don't know where they come from). It's okay, PETA people, because in my fantasy manatees are so adorably blubbery that they BOUNCE! And if you can jump onto one of their backs in the 0.00001 seconds before they bounce off again, it'll take you to up to Bifrost, the mystical rainbow bridge of the gods! Happy day!

On final note...I'm a little bit worried that a google search of Mike Brody will now possibly reveal the words "Hardcore gay porn." In italics. Welcome, fun boys!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bigfoot



In this day and age, it's getting harder and harder to believe that Bigfoot exists. With globalization, deforestation and the Internet, the world is getting smaller, more occupied and more supervised by the minute.

And yet, other than shady eyewitness accounts and flat-out fraud, nobody's been able to find him.

So where can he be hiding?

I have a few ideas. They are all places that no sane person would want to go. Places where humanity and self-respect have run for their lives. But when you're a Bigfoot on the lamb, you have no choice.

1) Phish concerts - He's hairy and he smells bad. Not only would he fit right in, but half the people there are on hallucinogenics and would just think he's a hippy security guard. Plus, he would kick ass at hacky sack.

2) Star Wars conventions - I once knew someone who claimed to have seen Bigfoot get into a UFO. Which if you think about it, looks just like Chewbacca getting into the Millennium Falcon. Are all Bigfoot sightings really just confused Star Wars fans? Or is Star Wars based on TRUTH? Think about it....maannnnnnnnnn.

3) North Dakota

4) Match.com - I know, Match.com is not a place. All I'm saying is, Bigfoot might be a girl. Because I've seen "her" picture on this site. Her interests include: Beating her chest, pooping in the woods and methodically disposing of her brethren's corpses over the years so as to not attract detection. And Phil Collins.

5) And here.