Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

Update from Monkey Headquarters

The following incidents took place in and around Monkey Headquarters on Saturday, Nov. 26.

  • Wake up uncomfortable and stiff in sleeping bag on the floor. Wonder again why floor seems better option at night than bed
  • Suffer immediate harassment from dogs looking for food/walks/adventures outside
  • Turn on television hoping to find English Premier League game soccer game on ESPN, only to be bitterly disappointed to find that it’s Trout Fishing Hour instead
  • Watch an hour’s worth of trout fishing
  • Finally give in to relentless demands of dictatorial dogs and take them to the dog park and fitness trail
  • Return home only to head right back out again to get dog weighed at vet’s office. Have to negotiate through foot and reindeer traffic at town’s annual Santa Claus parade
  • Rake outside for an hour while listening to concluding chapters of “Confederacy of Dunces” audiobook, thus concluding a deep immersion in the book’s unique language, worldview and characters
  • Develop a sudden and intense interest in Dunces’ author John Kennedy Toole, who committed suicide decades before book’s actual release and success
  • Feel a strange kinship with the alienated and paranoid Toole, who suffered literary rejections personally and underwent a rapid physical and mental decline prior to taking his life
  • Spend a few scattered hours of trying and failing to complete a concrete task (buying a new car, finding a new job, charting a new song on guitar) before finally giving up
  • Spend the rest of the evening deeply and thoughtfully contemplating inability to complete concrete tasks
  • Decide once again to pass on the bed and fall asleep in sleeping bag on the floor
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Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

More Facebook Status Updates I’d Like to Make

From time to time, your Monkey feels compelled to make Facebook status updates that could prove to be embarrassing, incriminating and/or detrimental to his personal life. Rather than post them in real life and expose himself to the scorn, ridicule and legal actions of others, he uses this anonymous forum to get them off his chest.

The following are Facebook status updates I’d like to make

The Grumpiest Monkey…

  • Has more than one Celine Dion song on his iPod
  • Always feels like somebody’s watching me (and I have no privacy)
  • Would like to try his hand at figure skating
  • Has few financially valid career prospects
  • Has even fewer romantic prospects
  • Would like to score a little peyote
  • Is contemplating starting a religious death cult, paramilitary group or a gardening club
  • After a long and painful legal battle with Kris Kross, is finally willing to concede that “inside out” is in fact wiggedy, wiggedy, wiggedy wack
  • Enjoys a smug and unwarranted sense of moral superiority
  • Finds jellyfish to have a certain understated erotic allure
  • Is hoping to buy Galapagos tortoise eggs on the black market
  • Wishes every day was ‘Dress like a pirate day”
  • Is about to be possessed by the sounds of MC Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
Shameless self indulgence, Work, Writing

Things That I Could Live Without For A While

  • Coverage of the Republican primaries
  • The relentless, robotic optimism of Dancing with the Stars Host Tom Bergeron
  • Holiday Traffic
  • Weekday Traffic
  • Parking Lot Traffic
  • Jonah Hill (this includes older, chubbier Jonah Hill and new slim Jonah Hill, as well as the animated voice of Jonah Hill)
  • The local news
  • National cable news
  • Twilight sagas
  • Social media blogs
  • “Copy and paste” form letter Facebook status updates expressing support for obvious causes (i.e. “re-post this if you don’t want puppies to be kicked”)
  • ThatĀ  Geico caveman (OK, the joke that was mildly funny to begin with has been beaten to death, resurrected, and beaten to death again). Just stop it already.
  • Black Friday Sales (if you all want to line up like sheep at the buttcrack of dawn and elbow each other in the face in a desperate attempt to buy something at an artificially discounted price, be my guest. It’s gross and gluttonous behavior. I’ll be sleeping in.
  • That being said, if you do go out on Black Friday and see a good deal on a flat screen TV, could you grab me one? Thanks!
Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

New York City is a Harsh Mistress for a Monkey with a Hangover

You wake up.

You are on the 28th floor of a high rise hotel in the heart of New York City.

And you may have had a fuck of a lot to drink the night before.

It’s not quite seven, and the street outside is already humming with traffic, which you can hear through the slightly cracked window. You blink up at the ceiling and begin to take a mental inventory of your bodily functions.

Time to see what kind of a hangover we’re dealing with.

The good news is that you are not immediately nauseous, and your head does not yet seem ready to split open and spill your pickled gray brain all over the pillow. Maybe you escaped a bad one this time, eh?

You roll over and try to go back to sleep but your old friend BEER ANXIETY grabs you by the throat and won’t let go.

You rack your brain for reasons to feel bad about the previous night.

Did you spend a lot of money?

Well, yes. But you knew that you would when you came this way. The expense was something you would have to live with. Better to spend the money than sit at home and struggle with the feeling that YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

Did you drink too much?

Well, of course. Far too much. Mugs and mugs of dark beer served out of dirty glasses in a bar that reeked of sweat and onions and urine. Beer that was fermented with a centuries old tradition of malt and yeast and hops, and laden with the kind of sinisterĀ  microbial pathogens that flourish in a place where “the dishwasher” is nothing more than a lukewarm basin of rinse water.

Did you behave in an untoward manner?

Not really. Sure you may have yelled a few off color things in the spirit of the moment. Made a couple of jokes in poor taste. But nothing that would have been out of bounds when you were sober. There were no threats to fight anyone, no overly personal conversations, no giving unwanted and unwarranted opinions about the lives of others.

So why does something feel wrong?

You roll over and try to go back to sleep, but the heat and the proximity of OTHER PEOPLE make this impossible.

Maybe you drift off for a moment, maybe not, but suddenly you jerk to life with a spasm of nerves.

Something is wrong.

In your head. In your eyes. In your ears. In your stomach. In your soul.

You are sweating and freezing at the same time. You feel suddenly and surprisingly connected to every nerve ending in your body, as if they are all firing at once and all sending your brain RED ALERT distress calls.

You get up and start pacing because you can’t sit still, but your legs buckle and sway with every step.

The sunlight that creeps in through the cracks in the shade hurts your eyes, but you can’t shut them. Whenever you close your eyes all you see are those mugs of warm dark beer.

Finally, when you think you can take it no more, you grab the key and head out of the room, closing the door softly behind you (even though in your ears it clicks into place with a resounding CLANG!). You walk down the softly padded corridors to the banks of elevators (hearing STOMP, STOMP, STOMP with every STEP STEP STEP).

You press the button and you wait. When the elevator arrives, you throw yourself through the door and curl up against the far wall, hoping no one else will get on with you. You will not be able to hide your blackened soul and enfeebled body in such close quarters.

Mercifully, it is a solo trip. You get down to the bottom, stagger out the door and do your half-dead marionette dance through the lobby. You try your best to avoid the damning stares of all the early bird guests who are lingering there on the couches and chairs. They are sip on coffee, look clean and freshly showered, and don’t seem to be suffering from even a mild case of alcohol poisoning.

“Elitist snobs,” you mumble through cracked, dried lips as you lurch towards the hotel’s front entrance.

It takes all the strength you have left to work the turnstile door, but you finally get it moving and it turns 180 degrees tosses you out in the street.

It is then that you realize that 42nd street in New York City is no place for a badly hungover young man to be on a Sunday morning. It’s quiet enough for the heart of a major metropolis, but your head demands more quiet. The kind of quiet you find at a morgue for nuns and mimes and librarians.

It’s clean enough for the downtown area, but your eyes can only see filth.

It’s a safe enough area for the biggest city in the United States, but every person who passes on the sidewalk seems to glare at you with look that screams disgust or malice or both.

They don’t want you here.

You don’t belong here.

You turn tail and head back into the hotel.

Surely a darkened, stuffy, overcrowded room is better than this raw, unnatural and unwelcoming urban world.

But it’s not.

Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

In Case You Don’t Have Any Worries, Here are A Few of Mine

If it just so happens that you woke up this morning without a care in the world, congratulations! It must be nice to have a clear conscience, an enlightened soul, and a positive outlook on life.

Your humble Monkey, on the other hand, produces new worries like the Duggar family produces new babies. (What are we at 22 and counting now?)

And just like those cheeky Duggars, your Monkey sometimes finds himself stretched too thin when it comes to caring for his offspring.

Each worry that he brings into the world needs to be cherished and loved and respected as an individual, not just treated like another mouth to feed.

So if you are one of the enlightened, feel free to approach me about adopting some of these worrisome subjects.

  • Global Warming
  • Global Cooling
  • Global Simmering on a Low Flame for 20 Minutes Until White and Fluffy
  • Bureaucratic Infighting
  • Bureaucratic Cockfighting
  • Mass Hypnosis
  • Mass Psychosis
  • Mass Cellular Mitosis
  • Premature Ejaculation
  • Advanced Ejaculation
  • Post Modern Ejaculation
  • Catholic Pedophilia
  • Collegiate Pedophilia
  • My Irish friend Pete O’ Philia
  • Binge Drinking
  • Binge Shrinking
  • Binge Submarine Sinking

(With apologies to Bob Ducca, whose does far, far, far funnier lists than this almost every day on his podcast, Affirmation Nation. Check it out!)

Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

The Macabre Dead Squirrel Parade is Over (At Least for Now)

For a while there at the end of the summer/beginning of the fall, it seemed like your Monkey could not take two steps outside without encountering some squirrel that had met a gruesome end on the side of the road.

Each squirrel seemed to have met a worse fate than the last.

Their bodies mashed and mangled. Limbs twisted into unnatural angles. Faces frozen in looks of surprise and dismay.

Paws raised in silent protest, most likely against the cruel hand of fate that had put them on the wrong road at the wrong time.

Most of the drivers zooming by in their cars seemed not to notice this sudden sharp increase in the number of fallen squirrels.

They would either blow right past them or run them over again and again and again.

But it was harder for your Monkey to ignore the carnage, especially when he spent so much time walking the streets with his dogs in tow.

When you see a dead squirrel up close, it becomes more than just an indiscriminate blob of gray fur that you pass at 40 mph.

It becomes an individual squirrel.

A squirrel with its own squirrel hopes and squirrel dreams.

A squirrel who departed the earth with an unfinished “to-do “list of acorns to gather and nests to make.

It starts to unnerve you just a little.

And you start to question things.

What if these squirrels were leaving behind squirrel wives and husbands?

What if they had tiny squirrel children who were counting on them to come back home at the end of the day?

What if these squirrels had plans for the weekend that they’d never get to realize?

Or vacations booked with unrefundable deposits?

Or books checked out from the squirrel library that would now go unread and unreturned?

Once your Monkey started to see these squirrels as individuals, he couldn’t unsee them again.

He couldn’t be just another driver cruising past without giving them a second glance.

And then began to see other animals who had met the same cruel fate.

First there were the chipmunks.

Then the badgers.

And the beaver.

And the Canada goose.

And the cat.

And finally, as if individual deaths were not an insult enough, a mother and baby raccoon struck down on the side of Route 128.

But then, as suddenly as the killing spree had started, it stopped.

What had happened?

Perhaps the squirrels and their kin had finally smartened up.

Perhaps they realized they couldn’t keep taking such high losses in their endless battle against the cars.

Perhaps human drivers started to drive a little more considerately, instead of gleefully gunning down anything in the road that looked even a little fuzzy and a little cute.

Or perhaps the change in seasons from early fall to late fall resulted in an instinctual biological trigger that altered the behavior of these animals from that of the highly dangerous “gathering” stage (one which involves lots of risky activity to gather as many nuts and berries as possible) to that of the much safer pre-hibernation stage (when they stay close to home and get ready to shut it down for the winter).

Perhaps we’ll never know.

At least until next year.

Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

The Following Things Are Wrong With Me Today

Your humble Monkey is not having the best Monday.

He woke up on the wrong side of his monkey bed, put his monkey trousers on one wrong leg after another, and greeted the day with a scowl, not a smile.

Perhaps these maladies (currently being experienced in glorious unison, like the world’s worst synchronized swimming routine) have something to do with it:

  • Full blown ABS (Awkward Body Syndrome)–It’s is real and it happens to Monkeys all the time. Symptoms include being incredibly skinny, lumpy and bumpy, and being unable to wear normal clothes without them hanging off his body more awkwardly than a hunchback in a hurricane.
  • Blemish on face just under nose and above lip–This is where your Monkey is constantly rubbing his hands while working at computer. Is it any surprise?
  • Overgrown hair on back of neck and ears–This became apparent after close self examination conducted in the bathroom mirror at work. Need to do some touch up work with the clippers, but one can’t really start doing one’s own hair at work, now can we? We will have to wait until the end of the day to remedy this situation, though by then we will have invented some excuse for why we don’t have to cut our hair after all. And so the cycle will begin anew tomorrow.
  • Chapped lips–Early season cold weather means lots of heaters getting turned on (powered up, not sexually aroused, you pervs). Dry winter heat means dry winter skin and lips. Also dry skin on back and chest.
  • Full Blown Narcolepsy— Perhaps your Monkey is just overtired for a Monday, but he can’t seem to keep his eyes open. They are burning red coals and the lids are heavier than 1,000 lead balloons. He would like to crawl under his desk and sleep on the filthy carpet of his cubicle. But he can’t.
  • Sweaty feet— Self explanatory.
  • Sweaty shins — Also self explanatory. But a little more unexpected. Why should shins sweat? Curious.
  • Sore knees— This ailment comes as an unwelcome surprise, seeing as your Monkey skipped all serious workouts during the weekend. Can one get sore knees from wallowing around in self pity? Let’s shoot an email over to the American Medical Association to see if we can’t find that out.
  • Full Blown Depression Is it any wonder?