lisa marie corley | greenville, sc


April 2008

Zoo fun, zoo feelings

On Sunday, I met a friend and her sweet lil’ rambunctious 2-year-old at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. Hoping to get plenty of entertaining monkey shots for the blog, I took my trusted Nikon with its FABulous zoom lens — only to realize, AFTER I’d arrived of course, that I’d forgotten to insert the memory card. Geesh. But I had my iPhone!

At left is my favorite animal-shot of the day. The blur was not intentional, but I’m glad it happened. It sends my imagination to a happy place. In my head, I’m lying down, looking up, a slight fuzzy-around-the-edges inebriation kickin’ my consciousness…ocean waves and soft, lyrical reggae melodies are bouncing in the background….a warm, not-too-hot breeze moves over my skin. Perhaps I’m just waking up, wondering why pretty parrots are squawking at me…..

That could easily be a dream scene from an episode of “Lost,” don’t you think? Until the birds start using my eyeballs for target poop-practice, at which time it morphs into a Saturday Night Live skit. Ha!

I was expecting the zoo to depress me a little because I hate to see animals in cages. I hadn’t been to a zoo in years and years, back before natural habitats became the thing. I’d been to rodeos and B&B-type circuses more recently, and couldn’t take my eyes from the sidelines where the animals were penned in tiny areas and, from my point of view in the stands, treated unkindly. A rodeo that came to Greenville about 10 years ago was my last. Ugh! I came away from it very sad.

But, for the most part, Riverbanks was happy. The animals are obviously well cared for, and their areas are well maintained. Some habitats appear too small, but rarely do you see something that looks like a “cage.” A lot of the animals really seemed to enjoy interacting with their visitors!

The only experience that bothered me significantly was the gorilla exhibit. You go in a building, and there’s a large viewing area to the outside where the animals are. As I approached the glass, I noticed a large, soulful gorilla sitting on the ground, leaning against a corner where a glass panel met a wall. He was just sitting, listless, gazing at whatever happened to be around him, nothing seeming to really register with him. He’d look over to his right where children and adults were smashed against the other side of the glass beside him….then he’d look to his left toward the bland landscape. Both scenes seemed to hold the same amount of interest for him — or, rather, non-interest. I couldn’t get close enough to take a picture of his eyes, beautifully brown and full of raw intelligence. But I don’t know if I would’ve taken a picture, anyway. It would’ve seemed like an imposition, I think.


After a few minutes, he seemed to show a bit of bored, mild disgust with the crowd, and slowly rose and ambled away.

Double sigh…

And, gosh darn it, I missed a ‘neverdone’! I could’ve fed a giraffe. Oh well.


Magicalmonkey and you

Funny thing #1
A friend tells me that last week he stood in front of the mirror at home, pondering a semi-drastic plunge — shaving his entire head. He figured it wouldn’t really be THAT extreme, since his current closely-cropped haircut made him nearly bald, anyway. But he put away his razor, deciding to first contemplate the mechanics and maintenance.

The very next day, he logged on to mm and read the April 9th post. Decision made.

“You guys would never look at me the same way again,” he laughed. “And everyone I know does it. My lawyer does it. A lot of my friends do it. I just can’t. Not after reading your blog.”

Ha!! So mm is now affecting people’s actions in the real world? That’s funny stuff.

Funny thing #2
It’s also amusing — and flattering — to see mm references elsewhere in the world. I’ve noticed the obscure and not-so-obscure comments on your own blogs. A ‘superhero’ here, an ‘innuendo’ there….It’s fun, it’s cool!

Then there are the non-virtual references. Every time a co-worker says or does something a little insane, a mm reader invariably slips by me and asks, “blog post?” And frequently, those “in the know” refer to mm in conversation, all of us getting a giggle that it escapes the notice of others. One of my favorite allusions occurred while playing that gift-swap game at our office Christmas party. My boss pulls me aside and whispers, “See that red package with the big bow in the center? You need to get it….it’s PERFECT for you.” There was a hitch when someone chose the package before it was my turn. I laughed my head off when she opened it to reveal a crystal monkey. Of course I had to steal it from her.

Funny thing #3
You! I go for months with only occasional feedback about my blog, but the minute I share philosophical wonderings about its purpose and existence…..I get post comments, e-mails, voice mails, and people grabbing me next to the coffee machine at work. Ha!! No one wants me to change a thing. Not one person has said, “You know, Lisa, you might have a point about watching what you say.”

Instead, I get the distinct impression I am feeding your inner deviant. And you like it.

Not all comments have been posted on this blog. One friend e-mailed, “Like Popeye said, I yam what I yam. Jezel Pete, I am a m.monkey fan since day 1, even day -1 if that is possible….I cringe a bit sometimes when I read mm. But that’s the fun, isn’t it?!…..Being under a microscope always affects what you do, but that is no reason not to do it. Be yourself.”

My link-deleting bud — who loves and encourages mm, by the way, and is one of only a handful who has been a faithful reader since the beginning — e-mailed an intriguing, eloquent analysis which may inspire a future post or two, not only on mm but also her own blog. A small excerpt: “It’s not that we wish to censor our world; we wish to censor how the world sees us…..We get so tired of being told what we should and shouldn’t do, how we should think, what we should be, that most of us learn to fake it and go about our business without another thought. Harmless self defense or a sham that destructs our very civilization and destroys the truth of who we are?”

(Hmmmmm. I’d vote for sham, I think, but not such a destructive one. Maybe one that just tinkers with our individuality a bit.)

Rest easy…
I’ll continue to take magicalmonkey on journeys inspired by whatever is on my mind when I am struck with a mood to write. Luckily for you and that inner deviant of yours, aberrant topics seem to percolate in my brain quite often. But please don’t be too disappointed if, on some days, I discuss the importance of getting enough fiber in your diet. Or if I get a bit introspective and start quoting my favorite philosophers. Or I share a recipe for a yummilicious fat-free, no-mayo chicken salad.

Blogging dilemmas

Just a casual conversation
Back in February when a good friend launched her own blog, it was a pleasant, warmfuzzy surprise to find a link to magicalmonkey on her home page. She’d said something really sweet like “My friend Lisa is deranged, but that’s why I love her….her blog keeps me laughing.”

Awwwwww, see what I mean? I told you it was sweet.

Then over some yummy lunch sushi this week, she told me she’d removed the link. “Are you insane?” she laughed. “My whole family reads my blog. I can’t have them clicking on magicalmonkey and finding…that……”

She didn’t finish her sentence, but I know what she meant. And you know what she meant. We had a hearty giggle and went on to another topic. Later, I checked out her latest post (she finished a 10K…I am beside myself, I’m so impressed!) and these were the first two sentences I read: “Not long ago, my friend Lisa debated the merits of becoming a superhero. I was going to put in a link to her blog, but it is not remotely safe for work or general decency, so you’ll have to find it on your own.”

I laughed. But, my brain already abuzz with near-regrets about the blatant filth in my last post, I also started to ponder.

Have I crossed the line?
You know, I’m well aware of my own tendencies to push taboo-buttons. Among my favorites are chuckling at inappropriate humor, mentioning society’s unmentionables, and questioning general groupthink assumptions of the status quo. While I like this part of my personality and certainly make no apologies for it, I have no desire to truly, truly offend. I think people should be free to create any world they want for themselves — even a rose-colored one — and, as long as they don’t try to detrimentally impose their world on me or unwilling others, they should be allowed to live within it blissfully.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’d never good-naturedly share an idea or two for consideration. :) But to gratuitously offend someone? No. I’m not about that.

When magicalmonkey was born, I knew that some dicey topics would be in its future. So I promised myself a few things: I’d control who received the link, I’d balance the taboo with the not-so-taboo, and I’d take care not to “cross the line.” Well, it’s almost a year later, and of course not one of these has evolved as I’d planned.

I knew the link thing would be out of my hands to a degree, but I guess I just pictured only 4 or 5 of you out there, all people who know me well in the non-virtual universe. Even at my worst, you’d just be chuckling, “tsk-tsk-ing” to yourselves, shaking your heads, and muttering “there she goes again.” But lately I’ve begun to develop a picture in my head containing another category of people — those of you who, although we may have met, your main impression of me is magicalmonkey. That bothers me a little because I fear that the raunchy, edgy, nonconformist part of me — and it is only a part — has found a happy, inviting outlet in this blog. In fact, in the last month or so it’s almost completely taken over. There’s been no balance.

So now I find myself wondering all sorts of uncomfortable things. Should I go back and delete offending posts? Should I make — force, if necessary — an effort to achieve balance? Should I shorten the taboo-leash? Take the blog in another direction entirely? Start another blog? Retire this one? Throw caution to the wind and delve even deeper into my scary parts? Stop blogging altogether?


My gut
You know, I don’t really want to change magicalmonkey, despite my slight melancholy that it’s too inappropriate to be shared with the “respectable” crowd. And, believe me, I do understand — completely, I understand. My own family knows nothing of my blog, and I’ve sheltered some old friends from it, too. I hate that I still wear masks, but I can’t get rid of them. I guess no one can.

Ultimately, this is a space where my creativity roams, and I do not, not, not want boundaries on that. My quandary, I suppose, is whether my own personal journey-without-boundaries should be public.

My gut is also wondering if I’m getting WAY too philosophical about a tiny little inconsequential blog. It is wondering if I’m just subconsciously delaying the doing-my-taxes ordeal.

Dammit. I guess I better go.

Puppies, kittens, moonbeams, daisies, babies, and sunshine

Morning coffee-pot chitchat
Me: “Last night I posted to my blog. Twenty things to do instead of preparing my taxes.”
S: “Oh, my list would be way longer than that.”
Me: “Eh. I wasn’t feeling very prolific.”
S: “So what was on your list?”
Me: “One thing was googling other people’s perversions. But I hit a road block when I couldn’t remember the name of that thing you described to me.”
B, just walking in: “Hey guys, what’s up?”
S: “You mean the thing about the goat?”
Me: “No, the thing about bald heads and surgical alterations.”
S: “Ohhhhhhhh, yes, I remember.”
B: “What are y’all talking about?”
S: “Well. A coworker told me years ago about something that a friend of hers was into.”
Me, gasping: “You mean you actually KNOW someone who does that??”
S: “My friend wasn’t into it. She said she knew someone.”
Me: “But still. Someone actually knows someone. Wow.”
S: “Yeah. Wow.”
B: “Come on, TELL me.”
S: “Well. Apparently there are men out there who lube up their bald heads to stick ’em into someone else’s anal cavity.”
Me: “And there are other men who have surgery…”
S: “Yeah, they get their anus snipped so the heads can fit.”
B, horrified: “Ewwwwwwwww!”
S, laughing: “Ever since I heard that, I haven’t been able to look at a bald man without having that picture come up in my head. I’d think about standing near him and saying, ‘hey, dude…do you smell ass?'”
B: “Or…’Is that chocolate on your head?'”
S: “‘Let me get you a tissue.'”
Me: [ welling up with laughter-tears ] “Yuck! What a place to have skid marks.”
S: “I think it’s called felching.”
B: “So what started this whole conversation?”
Me: “I was telling S that I’d rather google other people’s perversions than do my taxes. You see, in my younger days, back when the internet was becoming ‘the thing,’ it was a mission of mine to find the most perverted website out there. Fascinating stuff.”
B: “Well. Everyone needs a hobby.”
Me: “The winning site for a long time was one on which people posted pictures of things they’d done to their penises. Some guys cut themselves with razors.”
S: “Razors? What did they do?”
Me: “I’m sure I told you this before. There’s no way I never told you about this.”
S: “No, you haven’t. Trust me, I’d remember.”
Me: “Well, one guy posted pictures and described the process in detail. He’d sliced himself in half.”
S: “What? You mean he had two schlongs?”
Me: “Yeah, it took him about a year. Each day, he’d slice a tiny bit more until it made two.”
B: “Oh my God. Did he pee out of only one side?”
S: “Yeah, how did it….um, work afterward?”
Me: “I don’t know, he only described the slicing process.”

Nothing ends a conversation quicker than a VP walking in to grab some coffee.

Research results
Later, I get an e-mail from S entitled “Various internet answers.” There’s nothing about heads and snipping, so we need to do some additional research, obviously, to get our terminology straight.

Felching is a sexual practice in which semen is sucked out of another person’s vagina or anus (with or without a straw), or out of a condom. The individual sucking the semen may swallow it or pass it, mouth to mouth, to a partner. The colloquial term for the latter act is snowballing.
Inserting a hollow tube up your anus and letting a live hamster go up into ones arse.
When semen is sucked out of another persons anus.
Felching is a sexual practice in which semen is sucked out of another person’s vagina or asshole after a vaginal or ass cream pie. The semen is fresh and usually it is the man doing the sucking, though this is not always the case. It can then be passed to another person during the act of kissing and then swallowed. This act is commonly known as “snowballing,” or the lesser known “squeegeeing.”

“Hi, my name is Lisa, and I’m addicted to shock-blogging”
Goodness. I admit I’ve always gotten a giggle out of saying things that make people stare at me in “oh-my-God-I-cannot-believe-that-came-out-of-your-mouth” horror. But lately, my happy little ever-so-slightly-naughty blog has taken more of a downward slope than I ever intended. I should probably balance it with more talk of puppies, kittens, moonbeams, daisies, babies, and sunshine.

20 things I would rather do than prepare my taxes

1. Blog. Obviously.
2. Read through my AT&T Mobility bill to figure out why my first-month iPhone charges were so freakin’ high. Do they think I can crap $20 bills?
3. Jump rope. I don’t like to jump rope, but it’s better than doing laundry.
4. Do laundry. I hate doing laundry, but it’s better than washing dishes.
5. Wash dishes. I hate washing dishes, but it’s better than sorting coupons.
6. Sort coupons. I need to see a psychiatrist so I can stop saving them.
7. Polish my crystal monkey. Why are his feet so tiny?
8. Cuddle with my cats.
9. Review mm stats in Google Analytics.
10. Ponder Nietzsche.
11. Read Go magazine’s article on the upcoming Upstate Challenge “Mud” Run. I suspect that some people at work got together and voted me “Most Likely to Perform Masochistic Acts for the Sake of a Laugh,” because I keep getting asked to join the department’s team.
12. Flip through Link magazine. A new coffee house near Furman has a cool monkey logo.
13. Watch “The Biggest Loser.”
14. Plan a new upper body regimen so I can have kickass-girl arms like Jillian on “The Biggest Loser.”
15. Polish my Powerbook.
16. Download new desktop images for my Powerbook.
17. Google other people’s perversions. Now, what’s that thing called again where a man shoves his entire head into…. ?? Oh, never mind. I think I’d rather do my taxes. Let’s try #17 again.
17. Eat Reese’s Cups. If I had some, I would eat them right now. A bunch of them. Yum!
18. Talk to my cats. They meow back.
19. Meow at my cats. They meow back.
20. Go to bed and dream of being rescued by the tax fairy.

So what’s a baloney pony?

Lunchtime conversation
Me: “I need another diversion.”
A: “Buy an outfit and fight crime.”
Me: “Did you say ‘fight crime’?”
A: “Yep.”
Me: “And did you say ‘buy an outfit’?
A: “Yep.”
Me: “What sort of outfit would I need to fight crime?”
A: “A superhero outfit.”
Me: “Ohhhhh, I see. What could be my superhero name?”
A: “I don’t know. I’m sure you could think of a good one.”
Me: “What sort of crime could I fight? How about laziness?”
A: “No, that’s not a good one. I like to be lazy.”
Me: “Yeah, me too. Hmmmmm…..”
A: “Hey, I know. Redneckery.”
Me: [ giggle ]
A: “You could go into a restaurant and say, ‘Hey YOU, wearing the camo tank top! You’re outa here, buddy!'”
Me: [ belly laugh ]
A: “And… ‘Hey YOU with the mullet! There’s the door!'”
Me: [ snort-laugh ] “And after I kicked them out, everyone left in the place would stand up and cheer. I WOULD be their hero!”

Later, inside my head
That conversation with A would make a good blog post.
I really should come up with a good superhero name, though, before I write it.
I’m not feeling that creative right now, unfortunately.
Plus….something else isn’t quite right.
Redneckery is petty darn funny, but might there be a more appropriate crime to fight?
Something more unique to me?
What type of crime or disservice would I be qualified to combat?
What am I good at?
Well. There’s innuendo.
But how could I fight innuendo?
Why would I want to, anyway? It’s funny.
I mean, it’s hard to beat a good “bigger is better” statement in the middle of a staff meeting.
Or during cycling class: “By the time you leave here, you’ll be limp and spent.”
Or after cycling class: “Yeah, I know it was hard, but let’s be honest — it wasn’t long.”
Or when talking to a friend about shopping: “I really love BJ’s.”
Or when talking about toys at work: “Hey, why don’t you bring your balls to our meetings?”
I wonder if it is technically innuendo when it’s truly an innocent statement.
I’ll have to look that up sometime.
I could be onto something.
That could be my superhero spin.
I could defend the innocent people in the world who spout innuendo without meaning to.
I can jump in and kick the butts of the mean people who laugh at them and make them feel bad.
Who better than me?
Since I am a queen of deliberate innuendo, I’d be able to recognize accidental innuendo immediately.
I could come to the rescue with superhero speed, yeah!
[ knock knock ]
What’s that?
[ knock knock ]
Is that someone else in my head? Who are you?
[ I’m your conscience, Lisa. ]
Geesh, what do YOU want?
[ You realize, don’t you, that you’ve laughed at these people yourself since 1978? ]
I wasn’t laughing at them. I was laughing with them. There’s a difference.
[ Explain that difference. ]
Well…..I’m not mean about it like some people are.
[ Lisa, you should examine your…. ]
Oh, shut up.
[ Lisa…. ]
Go away. There’s a box of donuts over there in the corner.

Subsequent e-mail chain
Me, to X and Y: If I were a superhero, what would be my name?
X: Seriously?
Me: Actually, allow me refine the question: If I were a superhero who fought crime in the form of accidental innuendo, what would be my name?
Y: In Your End, Oh!
Me: I am falling out of my chair, ha! I’d hate to see what my outfit would look like.
X: Hilariass.
Me: If I fall out of my chair again, I’ll need to go to the doctor for a coccyx exam.
Y: Hil Hairy-Ass
Me: OK, I’m going to have to leave work early. I hope Dr. Long can fit me in.
X: Is she Richard Long’s sister, Anita S. Long?
Me: I am hyperventilating in my office! The trash dude just came in and now he thinks I am insane.
X: Is her practice on Grove Road, next to the Wang & Hung practice?
Me: I thought she practices with Dr. Hardenfast.
X: Oh, that’s right… and Sly Downhum.
Y: And triplets Lou, Bree and Kate.
X: Aren’t those Dr. Jellifinger’s kids?
Y: Ho, ho. That’s what happened when the rubber didn’t meat those who were rode.
Me: Hey, did you hear that Dr. Jellifinger divorced his wife to marry acupuncturist Sum Pun Tang?
X: Did you know that she’s the sister of the Asian porn star Ty Twat?
Y: Who happens to be allergic to kumquats and baloney ponies.

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