The Man at Work Who I Hate

There’s a guy at work that I hate.

He sits right next to me and talks my ear off from the moment I get in until the moment I leave. He crowds my personal space, interrupts my work,  and compromises my productivity.

I try everything I can to get him to stop his relentless yammering. But on he goes. “This job is pointless.” “This place stinks.” “What are we doing here anyway?” “Why do we bother to get up in the morning?” “I’ll never amount to anything.”

I try everything I can think of to block him out. I glare. I shake my head. I roll my eyes. I turn my back. I put on headphones and try to drown him out. But still he keeps talking.

It’s like this every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. This guy never calls in sick, he never takes a vacation, and he never has a day when he just doesn’t feel like talking.

How am I supposed to work in an environment like that?

I know, I know. I should pay a visit to human resources, or talk to my supervisor, or ask to switch seats.

We all have work to do, and it’s not fair that I should have to put up with a constant stream of abuse all day.

I mean, this is the 21st century.

We have codes of conduct and standards and ethics that we have to uphold.

We cannot verbally harass our co-workers.

There is no gray area here.

I am in the right.

There’s just one little problem, however.

That guy is me.


The Grumpiest Monkey Goes to Ghost Town

Ghost Town (2008)
Directed by David Koepp
Starring Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, and Tea Leoni

Let’s face it: Ricky Gervais is one funny human being. The man has great comic timing, a natural ability to make a written line seem like a throwaway statement, and a mischievous grin that is always charming even when he’s playing a complete jerk.

Because of his supreme natural talent, Gervais is the main reason why Ghost Town is such an enjoyable movie to watch.

Ghost Town, for those who haven’t seen it, is the story of a cranky, humanity-hating dentist Bertram Pinkus (Gervais) who has a near-death experience during surgery and wakes up with the newfound ability to see ghosts.

The ghosts that Grevais sees aren’t gouls or spectres. In fact, there’s not one scary moment in the film. Instead, the ghosts are lost souls who aren’t sure what to do with themselves. They turn to Gervais for help because he is the only human who can see and hear them. But Pinkus wants nothing to do with them. He just wants to be left alone.

One particularly persistent ghost (Greg Kinnear) promises to keep the other ghosts away from Pinkus if Pinkus will help him break up the pending marriage of his widowed wife (Tea Leoni). Pinkus reluctantly agrees, and comedy ensues.

That’s pretty much the premise. You’ll see where it goes from there.

In this Monkey’s opinion, Ghostown is remarkable for what it doesn’t try to do as a modern romantic comedy. Namely, it doesn’t try too hard on either end.

There are no over-the-top comic set pieces, no real sidetracks into grossout humor for cheap laughs, and even the plot itself isn’t twisted and turned through the predictable machinations of a romantic comedy just so we can arrive at the same ending we always get to.

Sure, there is a little bit of conflict here and there. But the filmmakers wisely realize that you don’t have to spoonfeed the audience every step of the way.

It would be interesting to read an original draft of the script to see how much Gervais added to the role, and how much was there on the printed page.

Screenwriter & Director David Koepp has taken his share of abuse from movie fans in the past. (Most recently for his role in writing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).

But here his work is tactful, understated and suited perfectly to the cast and the material.

Here’s the trailer for the film. If you watch it, let this Monkey know what you think.

Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

Four Things That Make This Monkey Grumpy (Oct. 12 edition)

  1. Red Sox fans who can’t accept that maybe the team wasn’t good enough this year. It’s not the manager’s fault or Papelbon’s fault or the umpire’s fault. This team just never really had that spark. It’s OK. We won two since 2004. We aren’t going to win them all.
  2. Columbus Day traffic jams: Why is it that on a holiday with no school and most businesses being closed, the roads get clogged up worse than a regular commuting day? Come on, traffic gods. If you have to work on a holiday, you should at least get a smooth ride home.
  3. The NFL’s ridiculous pandering to the Latino community during tonight’s Jets-Dolphins game. Apparently the league thinks that adding Gloria Estefan to the MNF opening and calling out the first penalty of the game in Spanish is enough to convince an entire race of people to start watching American football. That’s just insulting.
  4. Glenn Beck has another book out. Enough said.

The TLC Freak Show Continues with “My Monkey Baby”

As a member of the primate community, your Monkey is saddened but not surprised to see that TLC has once again sunk to a new low in reality programing.

Gone are the glorious high brow days of “Toddlers and Tiaras”, “I Have an Embarrassing Medical Condition” and “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.”

Now we have “My Monkey Baby,” a show in which people treat their monkey pets like babies. They dress them up, they paint their nails, they put on makeup, and they spoil them like children.

Since most Monkeys can’t speak for themselves, let your humble Monkey narrator weigh in on behalf of my fellow primates.

We like climbing trees and swinging from vines and munching on bananas and hanging around with our monkey friends in the jungle.

We don’t like wearing dresses and riding in strollers and accompanying you on errands and generally being the only interesting thing in your otherwise boring and miserable lives.

If the only way you can stand out in life is by taking a creature that’s not supposed to be a pet or a child and forcing him/her into that role, than maybe you should take a deeper look inside yourself.

Leave us monkeys alone*

* P.S. TLC: Maybe if someone at your network had a soul you guys could do a documentary series on the capuchin monkeys that are trained here in Boston to help out paraplegics with the tasks they can’t do in everyday life. That program has tremendous value and the bonds formed by those relationships are truly moving. Visit them at MonkeyHelpers.org.

But we all know that you just like to put pathetic people in front of a camera so the rest of us can point and laugh and gawk at them. We all know we’re going to get this sad and exploitative crap

P.P.S. ABC News: Good job covering this as a legitimate story. Peter Jennings would be proud.


ThinkGeek :: Blogging Poster

ThinkGeek :: Blogging Poster

Posted using ShareThis

Your Monkey is trying to up his hipness quotient and his social media skills by reposting things that he likes from the web directly from the site, rather than cuting and pasting code like he does for YouTube videos.

I like this poster and this site, thinkgeek.com, which has lots of cool stuff.

I think this poster might say it all about blogging and bloggers and how seriously we take ourselves.

(Present company excluded, of course).