Shameless self indulgence

Your Monkey is Back and He Has An Axe to Grind (and Bananas to Munch)

After a long, long, long, long long layoff, your Monkey is back on the blogging scene and ready to put the time and effort into this blog that his non-existent fanbase has not demanded.

Oh where oh where has our Monkey been lo these past months, you may ask? He has been burning the midnight oil writing a so-called legitimate blog for the so-called man. That has fallen through, as has his secondary backup job cultivating a Tumblr.

So what does that mean for you, oh brave and tremendously good looking potential new blog reader?

It means that your Monkey is back with a spring in his step and an axe to grind. He is going to be posting about the inane jack-assery that is people’s posts on Facebook every day. F–k you and your 10K time and your vacation and your pathetic attempts to make lame jokes about genuine human tragedy just to legitimize your sad existence. Try harder, bro.

This means your Monkey is going to underwhelm you with his pathetic attempts at fiction.

He is also going to channel his inner Hunter S. Thompson to bring you sordid tales of the much degraded man of the working world. Of traveling the subway every day. Of hippopotamus-shaped women who inexplicably rely on Weight Watchers microwaved meals for their workplace lunch even though they grow larger and more diabetic with each passing day.

But most of all, he will be running this blog like a blog should be run. With no cheap attempts to get clicks with fake headlines. No stupid lists of common sense sh**t that everyone knows already. Example “Ten Tips All New Mothers Must Know… Number one: Don’t throw your baby in the ocean and walk away. Number Two: Don’t hire a rabid wolf to babysit your baby. Number Three: Don’t ask your baby to jump-start your car without ascertaining that he/she has an understanding of positive/negative charges .”

Yeah, we get it Buzzfeed/Gawker/F– We know how to live. We know you have to get clicks every day to get ad rates so you tell us stuff we already know and we share it on Facebook so we can tell everyone how advanced we are because we already do all this. Eat a d**k.

Shameless self indulgence, Writing

Possible Reasons Why I Haven’t Posted in 101 Days

Your humble Monkey has been lax beyond description when it comes to this blog, my friends. It has been a whopping 101 days since the last time he posted, which is enough time for flowers to bloom and die, stars to grow into massive red giants and then collapse into white dwarfs, entire civilizations to rise and fall, and Herb Moskowitz of Brookline, Massachusetts to renew his license at the Massachusetts RMV (I guess what I am saying here is that the lines there are super long, LOLZ).

Who knows what bizarre new developments have arisen and what strange new worlds have come to pass since the last time your passive primate tickled the plastic keys of his keyboard?

You may have been wondering what your Monkey has been up to all this time. Was he called into service by a top secret government organization? Did he play center field for the Kansas City Royals during their playoff run? Was he instrumental in giving Republicans control of the House and the Senate?

The answer to all those questions is, sadly, no.

But here are some possible reasons why your Monkey has not posted in such a long time:

  • Crippling self-doubt and anxiety has made it impossible for your Monkey to think about adding new content to a site that no one seems to like in the first place
  • Empowering self-confidence has made it possible for your Monkey to find validation in his personal life, rather than in the impersonal world of blogging as a pretend Monkey
  • Skyrocketing banana prices have forced your Monkey to take on extra part-time jobs, thereby taking away any free time he could have spent on his blog
  • Plummeting banana prices have forced your Monkey to rethink his retirement plan
  • The sudden realization that anyone and everyone can have a blog has made your Monkey feel like his contributions to the world wide web are both insignificant and unwanted
  • Extra recovery time following cock-lengthening surgery
  • Extra recovery time following cock-reduction surgery
  • Unrest in the Middle East
  • Extra rest in Spain (those lucky bastards take a siesta every day!)
  • General malaise
  • Expired mayonnaise
  • A sudden, unassailable conviction that life should be lived in the moment
  • The sad realization that most of your Monkey’s moments are quite dull
  • Fantasy football
  • Fantasy foosball (much harder to find players to draft, but you get a lot drunker watching games)
  • Barre classes
  • Bar classes (in other words, getting drunk while gambling on foosball)
  • Ruben Stoddard
  • Ruben sandwiches (Sauerkraut and cole slaw? Come on, bro!)
  • Clay Aiken
  • Claymation (those California Raisins give me the creeps!)
  • Taylor Swift
  • Swift tailoring (thanks for getting my pants hemmed so fast, bro!)


Shameless self indulgence, Writing

Fast Fiction: The Fury of Burt

Burt stripped down to his boxer shorts, stood in front of his full length mirror, and grinned.

Ever since he had taken up steroids, he never got tired of looking at his massive physique. The muscles were literally popping off of him at this point. Swollen biceps, giant delts, massive pecs. Quads like tree trunks. Calves like, well, smaller tree trunks.

Burt took pride in the precise, military-like way that his muscles aligned themselves on his body, and part of each morning’s ritual was to stand in front of the mirror and call each platoon into action.

“Grrrr” he growled at his reflection as he mobilized the pecs brigade.

“Rrrrrrr” he rumbled as he turned around and spread out his lats.

“Arrrrr” he snarled, closing one eye like a pirate as he raised each arm and popped out his biceps. The muscles swelling up from the crooks of his arms looked like Easter Eggs.

Burt glared and glimmered at his reflection, looking for some small sign of weakness, some imperfection in his frame. But there was nothing to be found.

Finally satisfied, he slipped a tight white t-shirt and a pair of jeans over his swollen frame.

Once dressed, he took another look in the mirror, noting with pleasure the way his muscles rippled underneath the cotton tee.

“Fucking all right,” he said.

Then he grabbed his wallet and keys and headed out the door.

Steroids, it turns out, were the best thing that ever happened to Burt. Having grown up a skinny weakling who was pushed around and pounded on during high school, he had spent the first half of his adult life trying—and pretty much failing—to become a dominant physical presence.

Sure, he went to the gym every day. Sure, he lifted and lifted and sweated and strained and grunted. Sure, he maintained good form and rotated between muscle groups and took his proper rest days.

But it was those goddamn genetics.

There was some genetic bear trap buried deep within him that wanted him to be small and weak and pathetic. No matter how much he lifted, there was always someone in the gym who was bigger and stronger, who handled the weights with more ease.

And if for some reason Burt had to miss a week of lifting, he could feel the small muscles that he had developed fleeing his body like rats from a sinking ship. It was only the highest level of discipline and total dedication to perfect form that kept him from turning back into a total pussy.

Weakness, it seemed, had been wired into his DNA.

But that all changed the day he met Sal.

Sal with the steroids.

Sal who explained what cycling on and cycling off was, who told Burt how to use the clean and the clear, who showed him how to  get the maximum blast.

The first time Burt had stood naked in his bathroom and injected the steroids into his veins, he knew that he had finally come home.

Maybe it was his imagination, but the clear liquid being pumped through the syringe felt like white hot lightning shooting into his body. Within two weeks, he was starting to see and feel the results.

Before the roids, Burt would get tired and sore after working out. Now, his arms and legs crackled with latent energy even after he got done blasting them at the gym. He always wanted to lift more.

Before, Burt would plateau at the same weight for weeks on end, sometimes even slipping back down by 5 or 10 pounds when his joints grew weary from straining and struggling to make his reps. Now, his muscles felt insatiable. All he wanted to do was lift and grow and dominate.

Before, when he went to the gym, Burt would avoid the stares of other men, worried that they would sense the weakness that was buried in his core, just waiting for the chance to get out.

Now, he strutted around the weight room like a peacock, seething and sneering as he watched lesser men struggle with smaller weights.

He liked to wait and watch for someone to fail at a certain weight, then set up next to them and blast through that weight like it was nothing. The failed men would look over at him and their bodies would damn near pucker in defeat.

Burt almost felt like he could see their balls crawling back into their bodies.

It was his gym, and this was his time.


How Coverville Delivered One Monkey from the Workweek Blues

So here we are on Monday.

The two weeks of vacation that coincide with Christmas and New Year’s are over. School is back in session, traffic is back on the road, and your Monkey is back to being grumpy.

After three days of snow and quiet, it was tough to return to the direct marketing grindhouse and find the energy to deal with ALL THAT HAS TO BE DONE.

There is copy to write and pages to proof and concepts to develop and it all has to be done NOW NOW NOW.

There is no time to think or gather yourself, my friend. We must push ever onward toward deadlines and deliverables and measurable achievement.

The one saving grace in an otherwise grumpy day was catching up on a Coverville podcast from last month.

For those of you who don’t know, Brian Ibbott’s Coverville is a thrice weekly podcast that is all about cover songs.

Each year Ibbott hosts a Coverville countdown where he asks his listeners to vote on the best cover songs of the year.

Having done the countdown for a couple of years now, Ibbott has amassed enough of the top vote-getters to put together a Coverville Hall of Fame.

These inductees will no longer be eligible for the annual countdown so that other songs can have a chance to shine.

But if you haven’t heard Coverville before, this hall of fame list is a great place to start.

Here is a link to the show.

And the song below is a live version one of this Monkey’s favorite Coverville discoveries.

(This version is OK, but you should really hear the recorded version. The Coverville show is a great place to get it).