Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 10K Run

We participated in the 22nd Annual Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic 10K Run in Clearwater on 12/18/10. I had to serve only as Coach Big Monkey since it was a rainy, miserable morning. My pantyhose and fiber fill stuffing prevents me from running in the rain. Laura did pretty well despite the fact that I wasn't running alongside of her. She got 4th place in her age group with a time of 48:30 - only 12 seconds away from 3rd place and an award. Oh well! I was still pretty pleased with her performance as her coach.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Remembering My Boys

I haven't been blogging much because our family suffered two excruciatingly painful losses in the past two months. On 11/11/10, Mark lost his 4+ year battle with brain and spine cancer. Although I always claimed to be his uncle, Mark insisted we were twin brothers since we shared the same birthday. I decided to post this picture of him from about a year ago at Christmastime. We had a contest to see who rocked the sock monkey hat the best, and Mark won hands down. He was an incredibly talented, funny and special human who I miss more than you know.

Thirteen days prior to losing Mark, his beloved cat Karl passed away. Karl battled bladder stones and kidney disease for over 5 years with spunk and defiance. He was very similar to his "father" in many ways. This was Karl during last year's Christmas celebration embracing his new sock brothers. I miss "the boy" and his unique cat personality. He was a treasured member of our family.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blue Moon Half Marathon - 11/7/10

Today Laura and I challenged ourselves to run an official half marathon. We've trained at this distance before, but I wasn't sure if we were up to the challenge as it has been a challenging month. Mother nature helped us out a bit. The temperature was about 50 degrees at race time. This was approximately 20 degrees cooler than it has been lately. We can run much faster when it's cool. My hope was to finish in about 1 hour 57 minutes, but we exceeded my expectations with an official time of 1:52:53 (1 hour, 52 minutes and 53 seconds). We had a high tech micro chip tied to Laura's shoelaces. Her hands were so frozen this morning that she almost had to ask someone to help put it on her shoe.

This is a picture of the two of us after the race. We got a medal! (Everyone got a medal.)

Laura finished 95th overall including boys and girls, and of course they screwed up her name. Where is MY name? I got the shaft!

Laura got this nice framed award for finishing 3rd in her age group (geezer). The dude announcing the winners did give me some recognition though, as he should. I finished 1st in the sock monkey division! Laura had to be a buzz kill and point out that I was the only sock monkey who participated. Nevertheless, we kicked some butt today! Now it's time to eat cookies.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Anniversary - Part 1 of 2

I've been secretly collaborating with Laura's Aunt Cheryl on an anniversary surprise for Laura and Mark. We were finally able to reveal our creation, and they just LOVED it!

To my favorite humans in the whole world,...or at least Florida, Mark and Laura.

On this special occasion there is something I would like to share with you. I’ve been sort of
moonlighting, when you are both busy I have been pursuing a secret inner desire that I’m about
to reveal.

I have always wanted to FFFFFFLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYY! (That’s FLY)

So I’ve been making the rounds with some friendly bird life.

This was my first attempt with the gulls, no respect.

I then turned to my friend Pete the Pelican for some strong advice.

Next, I thought there might be security in numbers.

Or maybe darkness would be my friend.

Happy Anniversary - Part 2 of 2

I have always admired the Roseate Spoonbill... I’m not so sure they feel the same way about me.

After spending some time with them I started to feel a bit soggy.

I guess the last thing that changed my mind was the air lift that Ozzy the osprey granted me.

So for now I’m content on staying a monkey,

but you never know....

next time you have the pleasure of a serene sunset like this

You just might see THIS!

Wishing you both a Happy Day!

- Big Monkey

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Miles for Hope - Moving Towards a Cure in Clearwater, FL 9/25/10

Yesterday I participated in a charity event to help brain cancer patients. It's called "Moving Towards a Cure," which is sponsored by the organization Miles for Hope. From their web site,

"The Mission of Miles for Hope is to raise awareness and funding of cutting edge brain tumor research as well as clinical trials and to providing travel assistance to qualified patients. Through our work, we intend on finding not only treatments that provide a better quality of life for those suffering with brain cancer, but to find a cure for it."

Of course this is a cause near and dear to my heart since my human Mark was diagnosed with brain cancer on August 23, 2006 and is still fighting it valiantly.

There was a 5K run and 25K, 50K, and 100K bike rides. I opted to participate in the bike ride. The scenery was fantastic since the event took place in Clearwater near the beaches.

My pal Neuri even joined me for part of the ride. He is a giant stuffed neuron (brain cell). Humans have billions of these guys in their brains, and some folks use more of them than others. o(;(]) (That's a winking sock monkey, by the way.)

After the races were finished, there was an awards ceremony. I got first place in the sock monkey division! Laura said I was the only sock monkey participating, but who's counting anyway?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Big Wonkey Gets a New Uncle (and His Hat)

Big Wonkey worked his baby charm and new t-shirt to persuade Officer Po Po to be his uncle. Then he sweetly inquired if he might be able to wear his new uncle's knitted red pom pom hat.

Normally Po Po's red hat is obscured by his police officer's cap. He gladly donated it to the Wonkster. This kid is getting all kinds of new stuff.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glamour Shots - Big Wonkey and I Strike a Pose in Our New T-Shirts

You may have noticed in my previous post that I'm wearing an awesome new t-shirt! I got it from my friend Jill at Cheeky Monkey Love. Besides t-shirts, Jill sells adorable hand crafted sock monkeys and sock monkey beverage cozies. Please check out her site sometime. The message on my shirt is DON'T Shock the Monkey. Do you remember Peter Gabriel's song, Shock the Monkey? Jill has several different monkey related messages on her shirts.

As soon as Big Wonkey was born, he started begging me for a shirt of his own. I selected the "Will You Be My Uncle?" t-shirt from the Cheeky Monkey Love site for the Wonkster. For fun, I googled the phrase I'll Be A Monkey's Uncle to investigate its origin.

The reason I'm calling this post Glamour Shots is because I utilized my very professional photo studio that I've demonstrated for you in the past. The pictures taken inside the studio are high quality. I just have to get Laura to assemble and disassemble it for me.

Big Wonkey decided to raid my closet and borrow some of my accessories. The Uncle Sam hat and Sally Jesse Raphael glasses were a nice addition to his t-shirt. This kid is already jackin' my style.

John Deere... That's how I roll.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Introducing My New Baby Brotha From Anotha Motha - Big Wonkey! (Part 1 of 2)

For a while now, I've been begging Laura to make me a sock brother. I've even had his name picked out - Big Wonkey. When Mark was making my name necklace, he initially put the M in monkey upside down by mistake. We were joking about it at first, but then I thought hmm... Big Wonkey would be the perfect name for a baby brother!

Laura had some time off from work this past week (a staycation), so I politely suggested that her time might be well spent making my brother. The first step was to select the perfect pair of socks.

These aren't just any pair of red heeled socks. They are truly vintage. These socks were manufactured at the Nelson Knitting Company in Rockford, Illinois which closed in 1992. We are fortunate to have a couple of pairs that came from Mark's grandma's (my mother's) supply. These socks have some subtle differences from the ones that are produced today. The red heel actually curls up into a smile. My brother will be made from the same "genetic material" as me. We will almost be twins, except that we'll have different mothers. Hence, the title of this post - he's my brotha from anotha motha.

Because these socks are so special, Mark was reluctant to hand them over to a very amateur seamstress such as Laura. However, I had faith that her motivation to create the perfect baby brother would overcome any technical shortcomings.

Day 1 (Sock 1) - He's a torso with legs. I assisted with the stuffing process to ensure that Big Wonkey was blessed with a bulbous red heeled booty. We used polyester fiberfill stuffing along with some old (clean) pantyhose. Why the pantyhose, you ask? Well, he is supposed to be just like me genetically, and I am stuffed with a combination of fiberfill and pantyhose.

Brother, you are stuffed.

On Day 2, Big Wonkey got arms. We're jumping for joy on his progress so far.

Introducing My New Baby Brotha From Anotha Motha - Big Wonkey! (Part 2 of 2)

Day 3 (Sock 2) Big Wonkey can speak! His first words were "Wonk Wonk!"

The next step was crucial to our brotherhood. The eyes, which are made from pink and black felt, have it! I sacrificed the ability to breathe for a few minutes while Laura placed wax paper over my face in order to trace the exact shape of my eyeballs and pupils. If you look closely, my eyes are not symmetrical. Laura says that my left eye is friendly, and my right eye is evil. I say that my slightly imperfect eyes are part of my charm and style.

Big Wonkey was just relieved to be able to see. I gave him a cute knitted blue cap because that's what babies are supposed to wear.

Day 4 - The finale! Big Wonkey gets ears and a tail. I am so impressed with Laura's "labor" over the past few days. I feel like I'm looking in the mirror when I see my brother. I think that Grandma (Mom) would be proud too.

Big Wonkey was officially "born" on Thursday, September 9th. To celebrate his birth, we posed for a family photo. My brother One Eyed Jack joined us, along with my "mini me" Little Big Monkey.

Of course, our feline brother Karl had to join the festivities. Look for more photos of Big Wonkey in the near future. I have a feeling this kid is going to keep me on the go. He already wants his ears pierced with diamond studs like mine. I had to wait years to get mine pierced. These kids today grow up way too fast, and they want everything at once. Sheesh!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Micro Rock Crawler

I was finally able to test out my (and Mark's) birthday present - the Micro Rock Crawler. Due to an overabundance of rainfall, we had to fill in our unpaved driveway with limestone. Once I finished hauling and heaving the stones, I took a load off and enjoyed my (our) new toy.

Mark and I were fighting over the controls, but I won! The Micro Rock Crawler rode like a champ and navigated the limestone like mere grains of sand.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Very Belated Birthday Post

I'm just barely posting these pictures in the same month of our birth. Yes, Mark and I have the same birthday. He says we are twins, but I'm really his uncle. Here's the eager birthday boy ready to dig into our luscious fudge cake.

I think I could handle this cake all by myself, but I must be generous and share.

Look out, cake. Here I come!

Thankfully, Mark and I got to enjoy our dessert before the chocolate lamprey came in for the kill. The chocolate lamprey is a rare genetic mutation of the
. Instead of sucking fish blood, it feeds purely on cocoa based foods like our fudge cake.

The chocolate lamprey enters a trance-like state while consuming its favorite food, so much so that it doesn't even notice the camera in its face. Either that or it's completely ignoring me. It's best not to disturb a wild animal during feeding time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Big Monkey Casts a BigGER Shadow

What a happy-go-lucky scene - me posing on my hog by the fireplace with my buddy Sock Monkey Nite Lite (lower right). When the sun sets and darkness is upon us, this tranquil scene will vividly transform and induce pure terror within those who unsuspectingly descend the staircase.

Step 1 - Sock Monkey Nite Lite does his thing.

Step 2 - His bright beacon is strategically located behind me.

Result - BIG shadow of me on the wall! I anxiously wait for a clueless human to emerge from the upstairs and cast their eyes upon me. Mwah Ha Ha Ha! Note: For an indication of scale, see the tiny electrical outlet in the lower right hand corner.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Got a Neck Lift

My adventures in the past decade or so have taken their toll on my physique. One of the main problem areas is my neck. It has a pretty severe droop, as you can see from a photo this past spring. In addition, a rather unattractive buffalo hump appeared on the back of my neck (see notation in photo). I'm not a vain monkey, but I would like to be able to hold my head high. Also, my custom Big Monkey necklace has been hidden from view because of my droopy neck. Last night, all of that changed. I got a neck lift!

The results are amazing! Can you believe that this was a non-invasive procedure? No surgery was required. I was told it would feel like a nice massage. In reality it felt like a semi-uncomfortable manipulation by a silverback gorilla. It was so worth the half hour of mild discomfort I experienced though. You can see that the buffalo hump has been smoothed out, and I can hold my head high again!

Best of all, everyone can see my Big Monkey necklace again! I've been told by my physician to limit wardrobe changes, so I'll be wearing this shirt for a while. It's a small price to pay for the boost in my neck (and my confidence).