Shameless self indulgence

Possible Reasons Why I Haven’t Posted for A While

Every so often, your Monkey jumps onto this blog and makes big promises about how he is going to start posting on the regular and how things are going to be different this time. That he is going to dedicate his time and energy to growing his regular readership from no readers to one or two by the end of the year.

But, as usual, these big claims are followed up by crickets and dust bunnies. This blog has sat empty and forgotten while everyone else is out having fun in the summer sun. Why is that?

Is it because your Monkey is a lot better at making promises than he is at keeping them? Is it that his full time job and part time jobs keep him too busy to post? Is that he runs out of ideas for posts faster than Walmart runs out of human dignity on Black Friday?

Perhaps, but perhaps not. Here are some of the activities that have occupied the time he would usually spend on this blog:

  • Writing the great American novel
  • Reading the great American Buzz Feed quiz
  • Eating the great American cheese slice
  • Posting inspirational memes on Facebook
  • Trapping my neighbors, friends and relatives in a Ponzi scheme
  • Rescuing kittens that are trapped in trees
  • Tying kittens to tree branches and then running away giggling
  • Walking like an Egyptian
  • Dressing like a 1980s cop and Walking Like an Egyptian (watch the video and you’ll dig this one)
  • Poaching eggs
  • Poaching tigers
  • Approaching tigers
  • Reproaching tigers for being so mean
  • Creating a passenger train for passenger pigeons
  • Remembering that passenger pigeons are extinct
  • Trying to bring passenger pigeons back to life using pigeon DNA trapped in amber a la Jurassic Park
  • Sorting through rejection letters for new screenplay “Passenger Pigeon Park.”
  • Abandoning plans for sequel; “Pigeons 2: the Passenger Bugaloo”
Shameless self indulgence

In Which Your Humble Monkey Stares into the Saturday Abyss

Your monkey has a challenge ahead of himself today, my friends.

It is Saturday, the sun is shining, the air is warm, and yet your primate protagonist is doing his best to sit at his desk and power through some freelance writing projects.

The demons of distraction are swirling about him, even as he types this message to you.

Pssst. Hey buddy….

  • Why not take a break and watch TV?
  • Why not check Facebook?
  • Maybe you should play some guitar?
  • Aren’t there some pictures of girls that you should be googling? And then ogling?
  • Don’t you want to move a bunch of stuff from one spot to another in the apartment without actually accomplishing anything?
  • Don’t you want to see if there is anything on Netflix that you might want to watch, but then not actually watch anything?
  • Shouldn’t you let that homeless guy out of the locked cabinet in the basement?

Plus, Mrs. Monkey is out of the house today, so there is no one to keep your Monkey’s mind from wandering into dark corners of self-doubt and despair, or from assuming that while he is once again chained to his writing desk, everyone else is out having sexy cookouts and lawn orgies.

If your Monkey has one weapon in his toolbox today, is that he knows the challenge ahead of him. If he grits his teeth, bears down, and gets some writing done, he will be ahead of the game and be able to submit a nice little invoice by the close of business today.

If he gets distracted, fiddles around, fucks about, or cracks an early beer, then he will get upset with himself and feel even worse.

He will watch his stomach get bloated, worry about his rapidly advancing age and rapidly declining physical condition, and spend most of the afternoon weighing himself and trying to decide if he is toeing the fine line between handsomely husky or cringingly chubby.

This would not be a good outcome, my friends. How many good Monkeys have we already lost to distractions, weight insecurity, and charges of the unlawful imprisonment of the homeless?

Thus he shall do everything in his power to stay focused on the TOPIC AT HAND.

Shameless self indulgence, Writing

The Existential Angst of the Monkey Copywriter

You wake up in the morning and you are already behind schedule. Hitting the snooze button has become far too easy these days, especially when the morning temperatures are usually in the single digits.

It is already too late to walk your dog over at the park, so you will have to make do by taking her along the crowded, filthy city sidewalks that are still covered in reams of salt from the last snowstorm. Apparently the city’s plan of action for the last snowstorm was to salt every last flake into submission, making it damn near impossible to walk a dog anywhere because dog paws sting when it is salty outside.

By the time you get back from walking the dog, you have to hustle to feed her and get dressed and get out the door in time to run up the street at full speed and get on the crowded, salt-covered bus where the heat is blasting. Your skin cells are screaming bloody murder because of the relentless onslaught of hot, dry air but there is nothing you can do but hold the pole as the bus lurches down the street toward the subway station.

You arrive at work on time (just barely) and take the elevator to the tenth floor. You open to your office with the optimism of an early morning caffeine buzz and then…reality hits.  It will be another long day in a semi-darkened room doing work that no one really needs or cares about.

At least you have few emails to respond to from over the weekend, but none of them ask you to do much more than play peacemaker to high-powered people.

Does anyone want you to write something? No.

Does anyone want your advice on a creative problem? No.

Does anyone have any actual concrete work for you to do? Surprisingly, yes.

For once, there is some tedious proofing work that must get done.

This doesn’t exactly fire your creative soul, but it is better than casting about aimlessly, trying to convince people to give you some work.

So while you while away your day in proofing purgatory, you listen to as many podcasts as possible.

Podcasts about books and movies and television writing. Anything that seems creative.

You promise yourself that the moment you get home you will dive into creative pursuits. You will write an X-Files spec script. You will finally learn all the beats of the three-act sitcom screenplay. You will load up your Kindle with PDFs of scripts of television shows that you will then dissect in order to learn the rules of telling a story.

You will take some steps towards becoming a WRITER.

But by the end of the day, your enthusiasm has flagged. All this proofing has been tiring. You still have a cold that you are getting over. You still have to walk the dog when you get home. You have to think about dinner and maybe taking a shower and maybe practicing the guitar that is gathering dust in the other room. Even your smartphone app that helpfully provides three-word creative prompts seems to be running out of fresh ideas.

But you will soldier on and create something because YOU ARE A WRITER.

So you get home. Walk the dog. Take your shower. Make plans for dinner. Sit down at your computer. Loosen your typing fingers. Take a deep breath.

Then you make the crucial mistake of looking at the dashboard of your blog before you start to type.

And you see the tiny traffic numbers for your posts.

And a little part of you—the part that could have looked the other way and just blindly typed for 10 minutes on something that felt like fiction–feels like crawling into a ball and waiting for another day.

So you don’t type.

And you don’t create a spec X-Files script.

And you don’t learn the three-act sitcom structure.

And you don’t feel very much like a WRITER.

But you know that tomorrow –once you have woken up too late to walk the dog at the park, sprinted up the street to catch the bus, suffered under the unremitting blast of the bus heater, and arrived at work balancing on that the same thin line between optimism and despair—the whole cycle will start anew.


Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Work, Writing

Possible Titles for My Memoirs

From time to time your humble monkey has considered turning his tried and true adventures into an autobiography or series of memoirs that would act as an inspiration to the youth of America.

His humble rise from jungle ape to chimpanzee copywriter is truly the kind of Horatio Alger story that book publishers are clamoring for these days.

Plus, his struggles with depression and adult onset awkward body syndrome will surely generate some good buzz on the talk show circuit. Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil are you listening?

Of course, your Monkey cannot begin to put pen to paper until he has settled on a suitable title for his adventures.

The following are a few of the book titles that are now under consideration.

  • Mail Order Monkey
  • Monkey by Mail
  • From Chimpanzee to Chippendale Dancer: How One Monkey Defied the Odds and Subverted Traditional Male Sterotypes
  • I’m Your Private Primate
  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bananas

Other possible titles (more geared toward the self-help market)

  • Life is a Known Depressant
  • Things Couldn’t Get Any More Awkwarder
  • Who Shit in My Sandwich?
  • Each Day is Better Than the Next

Yet more titles (these one geared towards the narrow market of my neighborhood)

  • Things That I’ve Stolen From Your Yard
  • I’m Sorry Bob, But it’s Time the World Knows You’re Homosexual
  • Cul-de-Sac Confessions– How One Suburban Monkey Seduced An Entire Neighborhood with Wit, Charm and Ether Rags
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, Writing

The Following Things Betrayed Me Today

  • Genetics–Hey umm… RNA and DNA and chromosomes and Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin—-thanks so much for this unholy mess that passes for my physical appearance. I appreciate this little genetic code that you’ve sussed out. No matter how much I work out I just get skinnier and smaller and paler and more feminized.
  • My Computer–all I want to do is apply to one f–king job and the thing keeps freezing up on me. Sure, I have a newer computer, but the old one has the Microsoft Word program that I need to type out the cover letter. Going on hour number two of staring at that cocksucking hourglass already.
  • Drivers in the Breakdown Lane— OK, I know that you’re technically allowed to use the breakdown lane during rush hour, but do you have to use it if all the other lanes are working just fine? Driving in it “just because you can” is stupid and shortsighted and  creates a crowded and dangerous driving situation. No one thinks you’re cool because you’re using the outlaw edge.
  • Genetics--Again, what is with this body? How can one person be so skinny and weak and spotted and pale, and not be classified as some sort of endangered bird?
  • Judas Iscariot— Just kidding, big guy. You’ve never done me wrong and you give the most wonderful kisses on the cheek.
Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized

Long Day’s Journey into Naught

It was a long drive home for your Monkey tonight.

But thanks to the post-holiday lull, there was hardly any traffic on the roads.

Much, much better than before the 4th, when the roads were jamming up every second.

Back to the apartment to gather more stuff for the move. A hot and sweaty room with cigarette smoke curling in from underneath.

Have pretty much done all the “neat and clean” packing that can be done. Now it’s going to be a lot of throwing random shit into random bags and hoping that it will somehow fit together again on the other side.

Some thirsty plants got some much needed water, but a plant plan is needed for rescuing those guys from the sweltering studio heat.

The Brita has remained dry for days, and there is a tub of pineapples from Whole Foods slowly decomposing in the fridge. Soon it will be pineapple moosh.

How quickly an apartment goes from a functional (if less than ideal) home to a pile of inconvenient stuff that has to be removed.

Also, how quickly dust bunnies are formed when one is lax about floor upkeep.

While sweeping up tonight, your Monkey was reminded of hollow vows that he made when moving into the place.

That the floors would always be clean.

That dust would never be an issue.

That crime would not have free rein to flourish outside his back window.

Turned out these were the foolish boasts. Delusions of grandeur. The gleeful gigglings of a mad man.

And all of them for naught.