Ever just … shut down your brain?
It can be done in many ways. Meditation’s my favorite. I’m stellar at switching off my brain, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me as a man, a father, or a Colorado Rockies fan. Once, I came to after a mediation session to find my friends staring at me.
“I want a brownie,” I muttered. [Watch Reese on Malcolm in the Middle zone out below]
Yeah, I get all enlightened, go Zen AF to my eyebrows, and what do I ask for? Not world peace, not eternal life or immortal knowledge – I want baked goods. I’m also prolific at powering down the gray matter at bedtime. Today’s worries can wait until tomorrow.
The last form of exit strategy I partake of with my kids.
It’s sinking into the mindless, and by mindless, I don’t mean an endless loop of Meghan Trainor tunes. It’s queueing Hot Rod or any of the Sharknado movies.
Sometimes, you just have to set aside your better sense and reason and take in a movie so dumb it goes in your eyes and falls out your ears.
1. Are April Wexler and Fin Shepard from Sharknado not married?
Can you believe there’s a Sharknado 4 in the works?
They’re ‘estranged’ the whole time, turns out. Fin’s a perfect name for a shark fighter as Bob Walk is for a baseball pitcher. I’d hate to ruin the suspense for the 1% who hasn’t seen this epic trilogy.
We find April (Tara Reid) and Fin (Ian Ziering) as inhospitable exes, her new boyfriend gets chomped by a shark, yadda yadda yadda … A severed arm and a remarry proposal later, and they’re back together again.
With cult followings, such as the Sharknado franchise and being a Detroit Lions fan, there come interesting tidbits, such as:
- The dude who wrote songs for the first two soundtracks, Robbie Rist, might look familiar. He played bespectacled and moppy-haired cousin Oliver at the end of the final season of The Brady Bunch.
- Grace, Marie and I tried to count the casualties in the second movie. It wasn’t the first time we’d seen it. They fell asleep when the ticker reached about 18, so I put on Legends Football and had a snack.
- This isn’t a cool fact … but what of the rest of the sea creatures? If sharks get drummed up in the storm, what about sea urchins, narwhals and fiddler crabs?
2. How do spiders make spider webs?
Check out this video. Warning: If you’re creeped out by spiders … well, this guy’s furry, and it’s close up. There’s soft music, but still.
It’s majestic and artistic. It must be worth it for a spider to see one of us walk through one and do that web-on-the-face dance that comes next. Spiders come equipped with spinneret glands on their bellies.
She’ll tap into the one she needs – a trailed safety line, sticky silk for catching dinner, or fine silk for bundling it up like a spiderific takeout box. I haven’t seen them this summer, but we started several years ago with a beautiful writing spider on the side of the house.
She laid many eggs, and there was more the next year. They’re huge and scare some, but having such an artistic neighbor was pretty cool. Where did they go?
3. What time do you get up? (Madison: In spring, at 4 a.m., you can hear an orchestra of birds. It’s really, really cool).
I love this one, and it’s sat in the line for years.
During school, I get up at 6, regardless of how late I stayed up to write posts or eat quesadillas. In summer, it’s a little later, unless I’m training Lucas at the turf fields that morning. I’ve noticed I can’t get away with six hours sleep a night anymore.
And those birds, especially in the springtime, are incredible. One cool part about traveling: The new orchestra of birds you can hear. It’s ironic that what sounds like art really boils down to boy birds trying to impress the ladies (and mark his territory.)
So if you hear me bust into some Matchbox 20 in the predawn hours …
4. Is vitamin water good for you?
It sounds it, doesn’t it? I mean, vitamins, right? When we were kids, anything with vitamins and iron qualified as nutritional gold.
Actual Vitamin Water, though, as a brand, looks healthy. It’s got tons of sugar – like, 32 grams of it. That’s still half as much as a regular Coke. One isn’t bad; but as I secretly repeat to myself as I eat slices of pizza, moderation, my good man.
I’d rather get my sugar from a post-meditation brownie.
One of your uncles, in his cycling phase, crushed Vitamin Waters with vigor. Probably it was all right for him, before, after and during those dozens of Lance Armstrong miles. Vitamin Water and a binge session of Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking.
5. Why does everyone like elephants?
Some entities on this earth radiate goodness and likable favorability factor that not even stampeding elephants can stop. Pizza has it. Michelle Obama has it. Oreo cookies, I’m fairly certain, have it.
Elephants carry the majesty of an orchestra of songbirds, a dew-covered masterpiece web at dawn, or a pack of Oreos with double stuff. Elephants are smart as the most interesting person at a dinner party and as loyal as a friend who always has your back.
They’re smart as Malcolm in the Middle and compassionate as Buddha. They’re regal, mourn the loss of loved ones, and have withstood persecution by the ivory trade. It’s no wonder one political party adopted it as their symbol.
That isn’t a political endorsement, or invitation to tell me I’ve turned my brain off again.
But should an elephant decide to make a third-party run at the Oval Office …
We should follow. We’ll take turns with the big shovel.