I rarely participate in school events, my roommates and I’s behavior resembles that of a recently widowed agoraphobic, who has a collection of binoculars and lives in a hole within the upholstery of a floral couch. Any free time spent is usually designated to Netflixing and movie marathons. That’s why this past Friday, our actions were particularly unconventional. With hesitance, we managed to peel ourselves from the couch and make our way to the free monkey exhibit featuring The Primate Sanctuary’s very own Carmen Presti. A legend in the ape community of New York State.

As a lover of everything furry, I was enthralled by the monkey’s performance. I could probably spend an hour everyday watching them throw various food bits, and fecal matter at each other. Within the two hour time span I was entertained in almost every aspect, by a multitude of genres. The humor was provided by the glowing orb that is Carmen Presti’s partially bald head, I was especially joyous about the delicate curl of his ponytail, that gathered the few strands left over oh so graciously. My heart quickened with the screams of a certain angry monkey named Maya, who has quite the violent track record. At one point I was certain I would witness one of those rare monkey maulings you hear about when the news gets slow. (luckily Carmen and his ponytail were left unharmed.) Tears even welled in my eyes when a surprise proposal took place, reminding me that escaping romantic comedy is something I will never be able to do, no matter how far I stray from the sappy scenes. If you hadn’t noticed, I replayed the entire experience in an episodic manner. Further infecting me with the inescapable infatuation with entertainment.

I was on a monkey high for a good few hours prior to the performance, which prompted me to pop in one of my favorite T.V. DVD specials, Life. This series is usually reserved for “special” occasions under the appropriate circumstances. My monkey high was more than enough to get me ready for hours worth of wildlife entertainment. Narrated by the beautiful bellows of Oprah Winfrey, Life, captures the essence of just that. Immersed in the colors of the wind, I oohed and ahhed over the majestic tongue flicker of the Chameleon, followed a close family of Elephants on their journey to quench their thirst, and openly wept when a vile group of Hyenas attacked one of their own young. Graphic, but grotesquely amusing.


Carmen Presti’s ponytail, and an angry ape

Next thing I knew I was on Craig’s List, searching for Capuchin Monkeys, observing the legalities of owning a home zoo, and considering changing my major to Zoology. (Completely disregarding the fact that I miraculously passed my last natural science class). Watching television brings out the idealist in me. We live in a world that is constant need of entertainment, two hours of live animal interaction merely fueled a new fantasy for my malleable mind to twist around. I have resolved to squeeze an hour of Animal Planet into my weekly watch schedule, for educational purposes, of course.



  1. Thank you for covering this as I was unable to go. I was excited for this post as soon as I saw it pop up in my feed.

    Firstly, it was well done how you connected this event to your TV obsession despite it being a live event you attended. You set up a great introduction with the description of your roommates and you peeling off the couch to reconnect with the outside world. Also discussing how the event made you resort back to film and television helped bring this post full circle. It managed to stay with the theme of the blog.

    1) I love the phrase, “monkey high.”
    2) That guy has a bad ass ponytail.
    3) Who was the proposal between?

    This blog was a very pleasant change of pace and divergence from the TV reviews and whatnot. If you can throw on of these in this blog every now and then, it will break up the expectations of the posts.

    Great job!

    1. Thanks for the lovely comments! It’s such a bummer that you had to miss the exhibit, and I have no idea who the proposal was between, I think they might have been two students! 🙂

  2. You’ve no idea how grateful I am that you talked about this. This event was suggested to me because of my love for animals, but I didn’t have the chance to go because I had to work. Though not a fan of monkeys, I love seeing interaction between them and another person. I loved your opening. It really had me laughing out loud. I also really liked how you brought the subject of television back in. Very nicely done.

  3. Martina,

    I LOVE MONKEYS. Pheww, glad I got that out of the way. I’m only slightly jealous that you got to see this. I didn’t know this was going on and I would have loved to see it.

    This post was the perfect break your blog needed from the usual television reviews. It really broke up the pace and gave the reader something different to think about. Despite it being different, however, you still brought the topic back to television in the end. Your love for television for Life illustrates a seemingly strong passion for nature and animals.

    More than anything, this post made me curious about your characterization of yourself. You describe yourself as pretty antisocial and compared yourself to a “widowed agoraphobic, who has a collection of binoculars and lives in a hole within the upholstery of a floral couch.” While I love the description, I have never once read that from you from the few encounters we’ve shared. You seem pretty sociable to me. This made me curious about how you perceive yourself as a person. It might be interesting to explore this idea in a future post (or maybe this is just the journalist in me wanting to capture your essence more).

    Any way, I really enjoyed reading this post. You have a very strong voice, and as always, I look forward to reading more.

  4. This is my favorite post so far! I loved the phrase, “monkey high” and the way you described peeling yourselves away from the usual hibernation mode activities. Presti was sporting one heck of a man-do. I’m not sure what to call that. Also, you managed to revert back to your original topic of t.v., while maintaining the flow.Great pic of the exhibit too. One thing though. What was up with the marriage proposal? It left me wondering and didn’t seem to fit the post. Nicely done:0)

  5. Very strong opening. I really enjoyed the first paragraph and it gave me a really strong image of you and your roommate literally going on lockdown form the outside world and “living” in the living room. This particular line was my favorite. “The humor was provided by the glowing orb that is Carmen Presti’s partially bald head,” (The picture helped too.) I was also unsure if you may have a crush on this man, perhaps.

    What I thought was done well was even though you were out to a physical monkey demonstration it still paralleled the action of watching television. Bare with me. What I mean by this is, this demonstration was not something you can easily recreate on your own. As you had mentioned looking into the process of owning monkeys etc., it is a difficult task. I thought your connection worked and may have refueled your interest in the wide array of film that exists on wildlife.

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