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DISCLAIMER: This site contains material of an adult nature, and should not be viewed by anyone that is likely to complain, because I probably don't want to hear it, and if you catch me on a bad day there is a good chance you'll be crying into your pillow later that same day. Also, I like run-on sentences.
Blowing the dust off an ancient relic...
December 4, 2014...
I haven't really posted as Chimpuat in almost 10 months. I created another persona and website, a secret place where I could say the shit I can't say here, because too many people who know my secret identity might see it. I haven't posted THERE in a long time, either. Writing, in general, has not been something I've engaged in for quite awhile, even though I love it, and I don't suck at it.
But, lately, I've been feeling the fur growing back, the attitude creeping in, and I am once again becoming one with my inner Chimpness.
When this site was great, it was an integrated part of me. The things I wrote about were the things that mattered to me. I think I lost my way. Marriage fucked me up. Divorce fucked me up in a completely different way. Parenthood rocks the fucking Casbah, but if you think THAT doesn't change you, you're dumber than I look.
So, for better or worse, whatever ends up here now is going to be part of me. The things I like. The things that matter to me. If someone else digs it, great. If not, fuck it, I'm a tiny speck of fuzz in an ocean of white noise. I'm not oblivious to reality.
I am Chimpuat, dammit.
I have some idea where I want this to go, and if anyone reading this wants to come along, jump on and enjoy the ride, bitches.
Sorry for the tease, but that's it for now. Until next time, text your coworkers from the bathroom and ask them to Google "local midwives" for you, and let your freak flag fly.
What I did on my summer vacation away from Chimptopia..
December 6, 2014
As a treat to the 3 people who still kindly visit this site, I am going to recount ONE of the more fucked up experiences I had during my 10-month hiatus. In the future, new visitors will speak in hushed whispers of the legend of what I am about to write, but only you few, you chosen few, will be able to say that you saw it first.
As a bit of history, hearken back to 2010, when my marriage went the way of the Dodo, and my ability to entertain the idea of EVER entering another relationship pretty much went with it. I'm not the sort of person that needs to be with someone, I'm fine with being alone, and I'm patient and picky, and I refuse to settle. Among my greatest fears is that I will find myself in a long term relationship with someone whose only qualification was that they showed up one day, and my inner voice said "You'll do", and we go on to live unhappily ever after.
|If this guide actually existed, I would have totally consulted it.
So, the first year out of my marriage, I was focused on my daughter. The 2nd year out, I was focused on rebuilding my relationships with friends, family, God, and my credit rating. The 3rd year out, I was focused on continuing the trends established in year 2, and BEGINNING to think about the kind of person I really wanted to be with.
By 2014, I was ready, or so I thought. I would go forth and seek out a mate. As it turns out, being a social cripple is not as conducive to finding a mate as the brochure would lead one to believe.
I am the only single person among all of my friends. Everyone has someone, and they have their lives, and they do their own shit, and that's what they're supposed to do. The unfortunate side effect of that fact was that I had no one with whom to pair up and face the dating world in any social environment, and I'm just not "that guy" that would go somewhere alone.
In the new reality I found myself in, I was faced with little choice but to plunge headfirst into the shallow end of the dating pool known as Online Dating.
Statistically, this was a logical move. In a 2013 USA Today poll, it was said that up to 1/3 of all new marriages originated from online dating. (Let's gloss over the OTHER marriage statistic, the one that contends that 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, with subsequent marriages having even higher rates of failure).
So, clearly, online was where a socially awkward totally fucking awesome primate like myself should be. I have always excelled at the written over the spoken word, so in my mind it seemed like a lead pipe cinch that I'd RULE the online dating world, and have my pick of the litter.
Reality was...well, quite honestly, the reality was nothing the fuck at all like that.
The first site I tried was Plenty of Fish, which should more accurately be called "Plenty of other people like you who were too cheap to pay for a site with a functioning match algorithm".
If there is a low point in the barrel of the online dating world, in which one would scrape to find the absolute dregs of humanity, Plenty of Fish would be that place. I'm an asshole. We know this. It's a well known fact with a long history of substantiating documentation. So, it wasn't long before whenever I would see an email from 'POF', my inner asshole would say "Plenty of Fatties", and ultimately that would be the case.
I know I'm fat. I'm the kind of fat that sitting around doing no exercise while eating a whole can of Pringles is inevitably going to lead to. That being said, I'm not "holy fucking shit" fat. I'm not "let's watch him get in his car and see it sag under the weight of his giant ass" fat. I weigh 194 pounds at the moment. I didn't think it was wholly unreasonable to ask the universe to please, for the love of all that is holy, please grant me my desire that whatever girl I end up with at LEAST not outweigh me.
I thought that setting the bar at 194 pounds was pretty fucking reasonable. I figured if she was smart and funny and shared some of my interests and wasn't a complete fucking loser, I really wouldn't care if she weighed UP TO AND INCLUDING...194 pounds.
But that wasn't the case.
Oh wait, let me correct that...it WAS the case that one or two of the women who contacted me might actually have met my reasonable weight requirement. The problem was...they were 5 motherfucking feet tall.
So, I realized that my weight limit had an addendum of "weight proportionate to height" on it, and vowed that in my profile I would be more concise about who and what I was looking for.
I explicitly said that I wanted someone who shared my interests. Not ONE person who contacted me shared a single interest with me. In fact, most of them had not bothered to read more than the first couple of sentences in my profile at all.
Despite that I had stumbled into a nest of trolls, they were actually basing their interest in me purely on the shitty pictures I begrudgingly included with my profile. So, I edited my profile picture and added the words "Don't contact me unless you read my profile"...but no one reads. No one cares. On the saddest, sorriest online dating site on the planet, it STILL only mattered what you looked like.
I was on there for a few months, I never found a single person that shared my interests, other than my sister (yes, the site's KICK ASS matching algorithm suggested we were a match), a friend I've known since college (she is awesome, but allergic to dogs, so we'd never work out), and a friend I had worked with 20 years ago, but lost contact with (she's sweet, and smart, but quite possibly batshit crazy).
Plenty of Fucked was a swing and a miss. I was discouraged. I was NOT, however, ready to give up.
I moved on to OKCupid, and that's when things went from mildly fucked to COMPLETELY.
To its credit, I think OKC is a better option. It uses a variety of yes/no questions, and the more you answer, the more likely it is to find someone who is fairly like minded. It has a much better search function, a better interface, and is all around not a horrible free alternative to sitting home alone masturbating to whatever the 'recently viewed' videos on YouPorn are at the moment.
The caliber of women was much higher. There were many very attractive people, and some of them actually put thought and effort into their profiles. What's more, there were several who actually READ what I put in mine. I exchanged messages with a few, some were quite pleasant, but none of them really hit on all cylinders.
I began to see trends. You could make a drinking game out of picking random women's OKC profiles, and taking a shot every time you see one looking for a 'partner in crime'. In general, most of the people in the microcosm of online dating, men and women, apparently have an inflated sense of their value in the sexual marketplace (me included).
The difference was, I was aware of it, and acted accordingly.
Those people were clueless.
It became less about an expectation of me finding someone to connect with, and more about reading their profiles to see what women said they wanted. It became a research project. A data mining expedition, the Chimpuat equivalent of Minecraft.
|Maybe 5 people in all of the world will find this funny, but I made it for me, and damn near peed myself laughing, so suck it.
I didn't find any diamonds, just a shit ton of skeletons and zombies.
The more I read, the more frustrated and discouraged I became. Unrealistic expectations as far as the eye could see, and none of them really matched up with me. The few I found that shared some of my interests were usually so much younger than me that my age alone would often creep them out, even if I just sent a friendly message with no ulterior motives. The majority of the younger ones that weren't creeped out were mainly interested in my income and potential suitability as their sugar daddy (in their defense, they were very up front about this, so I respected their honesty).
I realized I was failing, and in an attempt to salvage something from the attempt, I decided to at LEAST try to make a friend there. Sure, I probably would never find romance, but seriously how the fuck hard could it be to just make a friend?
I thought maybe the key to working my way toward a romantic, committed relationship would be to start by creating new friendships with people anywhere in the world, so long as they shared my interests and could carry on a conversation. Fuck dating, I was gonna find me a motherfuckin' penpal.
I cast my net broad, worldwide like a pimp...but at first all I found was Ukrainian and Filipino chicks trying to find someone to get them to America. So, I let the pendulum of fate swing all the way to the other side, and with a laser-like focus, I did keyword searches WORLD fucking wide on shit like 'Star Wars', 'science fiction', 'comic books', and 'ancient civilizations'. I saw a few hopefuls, but they were all looking for local men for dating only, and I wanted someone that was looking for a friend.
My last effort was borne out of desperation and silliness, when I just put in the word 'aliens' (because at the time I was doing it, I was watching an episode of Ancient Aliens).
|Totally should get my hair to look like that, pretty sure chicks dig it
I got a hit. A cute 29 yr old in Lima, Peru, who listed several things in her profile that I was really into and could relate to. I sent her a message, we exchanged a few more, and she was amazing. Claudia was intelligent, educated, came from a relatively wealthy family that lived near the coast, and she was funny. We would chat for hours about what we thought about the nature of aliens, ancient civilizations, TV shows, movies, books.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking she turned out to be a 'he'.
But no. That'd be the easy way out of this story. That'd be the "normal" fucked up ending. You don't get that in the world of the mighty Chimpuat. You go big, or you go home.
Red flag #1 popped up when we were talking one night while I was watching an episode of Ghost Adventures. To be honest, I've never seen a ghost. I've never experienced anything like that, but I'm prepared to believe in the POSSIBILITY that there is something to the phenomena. I think there are groups out there collecting compelling evidence of something, and I would love for mainstream science to take it more seriously, but that is likely never to happen.
So, I tell her what I'm doing, and she says she can see ghosts all the time, and she can sometimes see glimpses of the future in her dreams.
I'm open minded. I'm not in her head, I'm not in her world, so maybe she does see this stuff, who the fuck am I to say otherwise? I really liked talking to her, so I let it slide. I didn't bring it up again, and it wasn't something she was given to talking about without reason. Sure, it's a bit of a blip on the kook radar, but I have lots of friends with weird quirks, maybe this was just hers.
Red flag #2 was when she told me she didn't believe in "God and all that kind of stuff".
I have pretty firm beliefs in that area, based on personal experiences, and a lifetime of going to church. It's going to be difficult for me to relate to someone who claims to be an atheist, because of the 'unbelievable' nature of the existence of God...while simultaneously telling me about the ghosts she talks to and the prophetic dreams she has.
But, as I said, I liked her. She was from a different culture, and I liked learning about it from her, and hearing stories about what things are like there, and how she's actually been able to visit some of the ancient historical sites there that I could only dream of seeing. I thought maybe if I got to know more about the basis for her disbelief, I would better understand atheism in general. Friends shouldn't be EXACTLY like us, right? We should celebrate our differences, and learn from one another.
So, I let red flag #2 slide, just like #1, because so much of the rest of my conversations with her were really interesting and funny. I actually even considered getting a passport one day and going to visit her, so she could show me around to all these historically amazing sites in her country.
At no time were we ever on that romantic or sexual level. I genuinely approached this as a doe-eyed American who's never left the country (and only leaves the state when absolutely necessary), that wanted to learn about another culture and connect with another human being.
No, seriously, come on you guys...she was not a dude. Stop trying to jump ahead of my story. You don't know where this is going, I fucking promise you.
Red flag #3 (the final flag in the trilogy) came one weekend night when she had been drinking all evening before we got online to chat. She liked meeting people online, and was open to showing them around her city if they were ever able to travel there. I thought that was cool of her. Like I said, I was seriously entertaining the idea that I might take her up on the offer one day.
I had forgotten one VERY important thing, though. I'm pretty fucking stupid when it comes to reading women and situations.
She told me about this guy from Australia that she met on Tinder who was in town for a few days, so she was giving him the local flavor tour. They had visited several bars, and ended up sleeping together the first night they met in person. Okay, that's fine. I'm not going to judge someone regarding that. Sex is awesome, if you can get it, fucking get it. Besides, we were deep in the friend-zone, and I was perfectly comfortable there.
The night before our conversation, they had gone out again, and she said things got "a little wild".
Now, I've done some shit. I've seen some shit. I've done things that most people will never do, and considered myself PRETTY far into the dark side of the sexual freak-o-meter. I generally assume that I'm probably the biggest freak in any room I happen to walk into.
So, I figured whatever she did with this guy, it probably wasn't going to phase me, surprise me, or otherwise shock me. Besides which, I had no romantic or sexual interest in her, so I didn't really care what she did.
We kept talking, and the subject of porn came up. Yes, I know, shocking. A conversation with me that eventually leads to porn? When did THAT fucking start happening on the reg?
Anyway, I'm a freak, and I can converse on the subject of porn with the best of them, so I didn't shy away from the topic. I realize now that the entire conversation was sort of her confession, like she really wanted me to know THAT side of her. At the time, I just thought it was a funny conversation with my far away, half-drunk friend. I talk to all my friends about porn, why should she be any different, so long as she's comfortable with it?
She proceeded to tell me she could give head like a porn star. I laughed, and said I was sure she was quite good at it, but I've never seen a real person do virtually ANYTHING the way I've seen things done in porn. Then she sent me a video.
There are, in this world, a finite number of things that I have seen that I can never "un-see". I am made of quite stern stuff, and it takes a lot to surprise me. In my mind's eye I can still see, almost in its entirety, everything she sent me that night. It may well haunt me to my grave.
Apparently, part of their night was spent making videos of their activities. She had sent me part 1, which unbeknownst to me was the 'bunny slope' of the ski resort of depravity I had just stumbled into.
To her credit, she actually DID give head like a porn star. Being a gentleman, I complimented her technique. What the hell was I supposed to say? I'm an adult that appreciates porn and people who express themselves, so if you want to send me a video of your topless ass blowing some dude, I'm fine with that.
NOTE: If you are so moved*, please feel free to send videos of your topless ass blowing some dude to email@example.com, with the subject line "my topless ass blowing some dude".
*offer void if you, yourself, are a dude
ANYWAY...Part 2 was the 'money shot' continuation from the cliffhanger ending in part 1. Now, I don't know who this guy was, but if I lost that much bodily fluid in one shot (or technically I guess it was a series of shots. Spurts? Pearlescent streamers?) I would need to stop whatever I was doing and re-hydrate and maybe eat a fucking cookie or something.
His aim was faultless, too. Fired the first shot across her bow, blinding her, and then proceeded to write his name in jizz across her face (or so it seemed).
She could be heard saying in the video "Wow! You cum a lot!", to which he replied (like a boss), "I told you so."
So, we're still in a sexual territory that I have some familiarity with at this point, and I (stupidly) said, "that was wild, but not THAT wild. You guys are pretty crazy, though", and then part 3 hit me.
Part 3 added a 3rd party to the roster, which is a bold move, but still not quite enough to really impress or surprise me. It seemed to be a very attractive girl named 'Lola' that they had met in one of the bars, and talked into a threesome. I don't even know how you BEGIN to have a conversation like that with a complete stranger, but kudos to them for pulling it off.
Being a big fat scaredy cat, I would never do anything like that. I've lived a good long time, and I aim to live a good deal longer still, and you don't live to be 120 by having at-risk sex with strangers you meet in shitty bars.
But I'm still hanging in there, still not phased by what is transpiring, although it was a little disturbing seeing my friend in all her naked glory kissing this girl with Aussie guy's load still dripping off her face. You're welcome. Yes, I can still paint a picture with words. I am still the master of the turn of a phrase.
Part 4? Part 4 was the madman. Part 4 was where I lost it. Part 4 was some straight up David Lynch meets David Cronenberg style gangsta shit.
'Lola' was a trannie. An attractive woman up top, with a very frightening looking wang down below. I can't describe it, it just didn't look right. Maybe the hormones had disfigured it or something, I really don't know, nor do I want to know, so fuck you Google, I'm not going down that road.
It turns out the Aussie fella has a 'thing' for transvestites. For part 4, my friend took over the filming duties, and I got to see this bearded dude going down on a she-male, while apparently finger-banging my friend (couldn't see that part, but based on her sounds and the position of his arm, I think this is a safe bet).
|It's all simple tricks and nonsense, if you ask me.
Ok. You win. I have been out-freaked.
I declined to receive part 5, I'm told it added some light bondage to the mix tape from hell, but I really just didn't want to see anymore. I was already having a hard time with what I had now seen, I didn't think adding to it was really going to do me any favors.
At this point in our conversation, it's late, so I can reasonably make the excuse that I'm tired and need to log out. The truth was, I needed to watch puppies running in a field, or something cute and cuddly and fluffy to powerwash the horror out of my brain.
After that, I stopped talking to her over the course of the next two weeks, and haven't spoken to her now in probably 2 months or more.
Now, on the surface, that may seem rude, or judgmental, or bad manners. We shared several interests, after all, and up to that point, we had shared many good conversations. The problem wasn't so much HER, as it was ME. I know, your eyes rolled on that one, but hear me out.
Most of my life, I have had this weird 'thing' where I end up with girls who I think are rather sexually conservative, but who turn out to be what the Fresh Prince might call "freaky deaky". I don't know if it's freak radar, or if there's something about ME that brings out their inner freak, but it's happened too much to chalk up to coincidence.
Even the handful of physical encounters I've had since the divorce ended up flipping the freak script on me, and honestly I'd just gotten tired of being so dense when it comes to women that I always, time and again, got it wrong.
I'm not complaining about this. Hell, I'm not even bragging. I'm just saying that I'm an idiot, and despite a lifetime of experience, I still think every girl I meet is one step removed from total innocence when it comes to matters of the flesh. I don't know WHY I'm inclined to make this stupid assumption, I just do it.
|Everything in the world is wrong with this picture, and it's not even my fault.
Now, I've met women with 'normal' and 'low' sex drives, too. But I instinctively knew to avoid anything beyond friendship with them. I have a 6th sense for finding girls that are sexually awesome. Bow to my greatness, or what the fuck ever, but it's off putting when you think someone is a nice, sweet girl, and it scares the shit out of you a little when this person tells you to cum on her tits or green lights you for a little ass play.
It's like buying a Hershey's chocolate bar, and opening it to discover inside a delicious Three Musketeers. They're both candy, hell, they're both chocolate, but when you opened it you expected one experience, and you got something GREAT, but wholly unexpected. You clearly got the better chocolate bar, but as good as it is, you can't help but wonder where the FUCK did that come from, how did that get in there, and is it really okay if I eat this, and why didn't I notice something was off just by looking at the package, hell, they're not even the same damn shape.
I must be hungry while I'm writing this, I just made an analogy between sex and candy.
By the time I met Claudia, I was to a point where I really didn't want to miscalculate someone's sexual potential again. If I met a girl, and she said right up front "hey, I'm a bit of a freak", that's a level-setting exercise that can put my mind at rest. I genuinely thought I had found a very sweet, nice, marriage-minded girl. Until that night, I had kept our conversations strictly non-sexual, because I didn't want to corrupt anyone, and I didn't want to offend her.
She would often talk about wanting to find a husband one day, and maybe have kids of her own. She was just focused on her career and finishing her education, and I thought it was so great to have a friend that was so normal. It was so REFRESHING to finally meet someone that wasn't as much of a freak as I am.
I know I have an issue with being wrong. I don't like to be wrong. In virtually EVERY other aspect of my dealings with people, I am seldom wrong. I'm an excellent judge of character, and I'm really great at reading people, provided I don't want or intend to try to have sex with them. That I consistently misjudge people sexually just gets under my skin. I love sex, I've spent my life learning about it and celebrating it, so how can I so completely get it wrong every single fucking time?
Ultimately, my decision to delete her from my life was probably a combination of all the red flags that I had discounted or ignored up to that point. I realized, rather late, that the person you meet online isn't the person you think you met online. You've met their avatar, their representative, the best version of them that they can muster, to act as their ambassador to the rest of the world.
Maybe that's why I failed at online dating. I'm honest about me. I'm fucked. I'm fat, I do stupid shit, I play video games all the damn time, I quote movies like an annoying twat, I'm cynical, arrogant, opinionated, and an unrepentant Star Wars fan. I'm messy, occasionally lazy, I think most porn is pretty awesome, except for that European shit with the uncut weiners, because uncircumcised cocks make me vomit in my mouth. I never made an effort to hide that shit about myself when I was meeting women online.
On the other hand, for every fucked up, stupid thing about me, there is an equally awesome GOOD thing about me. I'm the best dad I can possibly be, I'm scary fucking smart, I'm not too shabby at writing, at playing piano, or doing damn near anything I set my mind to. I'm creative, imaginative, funny, and a seething cauldron of untapped potential just waiting to find that thing, that spark, that sets it all in motion.
But you can't be who you are in online dating. I did that, and I failed, because people there don't want the real you, they want the idealized you, the you that, simply put, is a fucking fairy tale.
In the end, I couldn't be friends with Claudia, because there was no way I would ever really know Claudia. I'd only know a certain version of her. Sure, the creamy load of trannie jizz coating her Aussie fuckbuddy's beard probably CONTRIBUTED to that decision...but it wasn't the primary motivator.
|I'll never eat glazed donuts again, and now neither will you. You're welcome.
So that's my story. Welcome back to Chimptopia, land of the trannie facial and contemplative philosophizing, and stupid pictures of my chimp face mixed in with who knows what.
I know now that whoever...whomever? Fuck, I suck at English grammar. Anyway, the potentially unlucky first person to become my first actual DATE since my divorce 4 years ago is going to have to be someone real. It's going to have to start in the meat world, and that shit scares me like nothing else. I don't do well in the real world. I don't translate well into 3D.
But these are the thoughts in the mind of the mighty Chimpuat. Lately I've been thinking that I've spent too long alone, that each passing day makes it that much more less likely I'll ever be able to open my life to someone else. Writing here, that's my coping mechanism. I had to come back. I need this place, maybe more than ever.
So to you, my 3 intrepid readers, I say thank you. I always said I'd be writing online even if no one but me ever read it, and I haven't really changed my feelings in that regard. If no more than the 3 of you ever come here, if this is as popular as I get, it will still have all been worth it.
For now, I'm up out this bitch. I'm already collecting thoughts for my next missive, not surprisingly related to the new Star Wars teaser trailer, but hell if I know when I'll actually get that done. It took me 2 days to prepare this one (I know, you wouldn't know it by the shoddy workmanship, but it really did). Follow me on the Twitter thing (@Chimpuat), that is where I share my random stupid thoughts and where I'll be announcing when I post something.
Until next time, have a good night, don't lick your fingers after eating glazed donuts (if you dare eat them again, at all), and I will see you later.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..
December 8, 2014
After my last post, The Chimpuat version of 'The Crying Game' (fuck no, I'm not making a chimp picture for THAT), I felt like this one should be something of a palate cleanser. So, it will probably be boring.
In the summer of 1977, a young boy was told about a movie called 'Star Wars', and his first response was "I don't really like war movies". Up to that point, the only science fiction movies he was familiar with were things like "The Day The Earth Stood Still" or "War of the Worlds", where spaceships were shiny, aliens were ALWAYS the bad guys, and special effects were..well, NOT very special.
But, being a family outing, and including a trip to his favorite burger restaurant, the boy went along to see the movie. After all, how bad could it be?
From the moment the Imperial Star Destroyer filled the screen of the 70mm theater (one of the few in the country) and the booming soundtrack echoed out of the speakers lining the walls (also unheard of 'back in the day'), he was transported out of his seat, and into that universe. Everything changed that day. Everything.
Well, obviously, that fairly dense young boy was ME, and Star Wars was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. I remember afterwards, we went to some store, and I was walking around the aisles silently beeping, squeaking, whistling and honking to myself, pretending I was R2-D2.
There are women I've had sex with whose names I cannot remember, but I remember THAT. Such is the power of Star Wars...and the stupidity of Chimpuat.
|This was a YEAR after it opened, and it was still showing there
I went back at least a couple of more times to see it, constantly bugging my dad to go see it again. It was all my friends and I talked about at school. It was all I thought about it, and the only thing I wanted in all of life was to collect as many of the Star Wars toys as I could possibly get my hands on, so I could continue the adventures of the characters.
People throw the word "life changing" around, but this movie quite literally changed my life, and the effects of it are still with me today.
We lived in a neighborhood with no kids my age. My sister by this time in the 'Life of Chimpuat, Volume One' autobiography is a teenager, and certainly not interested in entertaining her weird little brother. So, I would play in my room (or take over another room in the house with all my stuff), and I would do the voices for all the characters, and the sound effects, and I would make up adventures for them to have.
I would mix in other action figures I had (especially Micronauts, those things were bad ass), and have crossover events before I even knew what the term meant.
I got very, very accustomed to playing alone, to BEING alone, and I got very good at it.
I still am.
I had friends, and I would do things with them from time to time, but I wasn't into sports, I really didn't care about anything that wasn't Star Wars.
I had the soundtrack, and when I listened to it, I would replay the movie in my mind. This movie unlocked my imagination in a way that nothing up to that point ever had.
Yes kids, this was an era that pre-dated the advent of blu-ray players and Netflix, and maximum 6-month waits from theatrical release to home release. Back then, we passed the time racing our dinosaurs and inventing fire. Fuck you, yes I'm old, I don't care.
The habits I established back then, they never went away. I played with those toys, in one form or another, until I was midway through my teens. That movie, and its sequels, were the reason I got interested in movie soundtracks (for awhile, I wanted to be a soundtrack composer), and sound effect productions (wanted to be a sound effects technician), and computers (I didn't know much of the details, but I knew a computer was responsible for the camera movements in the dogfight scenes). I got super interested in science fiction, in general, as a result of Star Wars.
I was 14 when 'Return of the Jedi' came out, and the story was over. I had begun collecting the comic books, and became enthralled by the continuing adventures of the people I knew and loved. I read some of the books (I still have my original copy of 'Han Solo at Stars' End'). I didn't want it to be over. Thanks to the books and the comic books, it didn't have to be.
But, really...it was.
In time, I put away my toys, passed them down to nephews, and went on to become a fully functioning adult. I never became a composer, sound effects technician, or computer genius. I never stopped loving Star Wars, though.
The first of the prequels, "The Phantom Menace" came out in 1999, and I remember watching the trailer on my computer. I watched it over and over again, I had no idea what I was seeing, but it was Star Wars. Again. It was the same, but completely different, familiar, but totally foreign. There were famliar names with different faces, and new characters who played pivotal roles in the stories of the three movies I had seen when I was younger.
I didn't like the prequel movies as much as my beloved original trilogy. They had stupid characters, horrible dialog, and even though the special effects were amazing, they didn't have that same 'wow factor' I'd experienced so long ago. How could something be better, while actually being a little worse?
Like everyone else, I hated Jar Jar, and little Anakin's ridiculous 'Yippee' line of dialog in the first prequel, and his infantile whining adolescence in the 2nd. The only one of the prequels I could unequivocably say (at the time) that I liked was "Revenge of the Sith", because it was the only one that came close to capturing the bleak hopelessness we all felt at the end of "Empire Stikes Back".
I hated the special editions, and the endless tinkering with what wasn't broken. I hated the ENTIRE "Han shot first" debacle, and the replacement of Sebastian Shaw at the end of "Return of the Jedi".
Don't get me started on the Star Wars Christmas special, either.
|I would have done it better
As I grew older, I think the inevitable loss of childhood wonder colored my perceptions of the universe I had once been sucked into so completely. I was no longer capable of seeing it through 8yr old eyes. It wasn't wonderful and amazing, it was stupid. I still loved it...but I didn't "LOVE it" love it.
It wasn't until my daughter developed an interest in Star Wars that everything changed (again). Watching the movies with her, interpreting them through her reactions and her emotions, and seeing her so completely puled into them JUST like I was, it suddenly all made sense.
Star Wars wasn't MADE for adult me. It was made for 8yr olds, and people who were still alive enough on the inside to tap into that inner 8yr old whenever necessary.
I understood (finally) why Jar Jar made sense, and why Jake Lloyd's Anakin was so CHILD-LIKE, and how adolescent Anakin was so ADOLESCENT, and I found that I no longer hated all the things that years of adulthood had jaded me toward.
Once I got her on board with Star Wars, I had the opportunity to experience the entire universe all over again, through her eyes, and through my own eyes that were finally, irrevocably, forced open again. I fell in love all over again.
She's almost 11 now (how does she keep getting older, but I stay the same age?), and maybe her fandom has faded since she discovered Minecraft and PewDiePie on YouTube, but she still goes to bed with a Star Wars comforter over her, and a picture of Ahsoka on the wall above her bed. And, more importantly, she still plays with those same Star Wars toys I had when I was a kid, having now found their way back home after yet another kid had outgrown them.
It probably horrifies people to think that I have figures in our collection that are PROBABLY worth some money, and we play with them nearly every day. They're not under glass, or still in their packaging. They're in a giant plastic bin, with a giant bag full of their original accessories, and they're played with, and loved.
Because, as it turns out, I never lost that ability to imagine. I never lost that ability to create stories and do voices and act out ridiculous adventures, and now I've taught that to her. And, like me, she has integrated her other favorite toys into the mix, so that we have in effect created our OWN universe of adventures, based on that one in a galaxy far, far away.
Ultimately, I think I have discovered the true purpose of Star Wars, maybe even what George Lucas and his vision intended all along. Those movies, the books, toys, TV shows, comic books, and everything else...they weren't the end of the story. They were the beginning of our own.
And now, for the first time in her life, there is a new Star Wars movie on the horizon. If you haven't seen the 88-second teaser trailer for The Force Awakens, I'm not sure we can be friends. When I watched the Millenium Falcon pirouette through the sky with TIE fighters in pursuit, my inner 8yr old gasped in wide wonder. When the familiar music swells into life, it still brings a tear to my eye. This is happening. After all this time, it's really happening.
|I know this is stupid, but it made me laugh to make it, so shut it.
Thanks to my daughter, my inner 8yr old is alive and well, and probably will never grow up. I used to joke that my collection of Star Wars toys was my REAL retirement plan (cuz let's face it, I could give a fuck about my 401k). As it turns out, if I can get off my ass and get to work on some things, they may prove to be the inspiration for something that will ensure I never need, or want, to retire.
Oh, and there are numerous parodies of that trailer floating around, but I'm partial to this one with the Spaceballs reference.
I guess my point is that growing up, that getting old even, doesn't have to kill that part of us that should never be MADE to grow up or get old. In the past few years, I've been able to expand my collection, and now my daughter looks around our living room, eyes rolling, and says "I like Star Wars, but really, EVERYWHERE I'm looking in this room, I'm seeing Star Wars. You have issues."
But, secretly (or not so secretly), she really digs it, too. That galaxy of characters, it built a bridge between us that few parents will ever get to enjoy. For that, if nothing else, I can never thank George Lucas enough...even though I still think Han shot first.
In other news, I want to publicly proclaim that JL (you know who you are) shall forever henceforth be known as (OFFICIALLY)...fan #3. He sent me an epic message that I am still trying to digest, but suffice it to say that as far as I am concerned, he is a certified bad ass, and worthy of our respect.
It would have made sense to re-launch my Chimptopia efforts at the beginning of the new year, but when the fuck have I ever made sense? Now seemed as good of a time as any, and before too long I should get my groove back and stop sucking so much at writing. Hell, I might even learn some grammar, just to shock you.
Doing this has had me reflecting on the past, and all the different iterations of this site, and being a "web guy" I will probably play around with the look of the site. I'm still going to keep it straight up old school with the HTML, though. Content Management Systems are for pussies and teams, and I am a team of one. I looked at WordPress, but just getting it installed on my server space seemed like more work than I was interested in doing.
I am, at the end of the day, a lazy bastard.
All things being equal, if there's something anyone wants to see, something you want me to talk about or share my stupid opinions of, some stupid picture or scenario you'd like to see me 'Chimpalize', just let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time (whenever THAT may be), try to enjoy life, and try to reconnect with the 8yr old you that still exists somewhere inside that jacked up tangle of a mind of yours. Just remind him(or her, if I actually have any female readers) not to take candy from strangers, or get into any white vans to help look for lost puppies (spoiler alert: there IS no puppy).
The Tao of Chimpuat...
December 10, 2014
|Because clearly I have life figured out...
I had a great conversation with someone I just met, which in itself is noteworthy as an Achievement in the annals of Chimptopia.
As our talk wound its way through topics ranging from the ridiculous to the heart-wrenching, we began to briefly touch upon our interpretations of a passage from the Tao Te Ching:
Yet mystery and manifestations arise from the same source. This source is called darkness. Darkness within darkness. The gateway to all understanding.
I have no experience with these writings. Until my friend quoted this passage, I'd never heard it before. As someone who has spent a great deal of their life trying to figure their shit out, I found it very interesting and intriguing, and open to interpretation.
I don't want to get in the weeds of an existential discussion here, but rest assured I probably could. I'd bore all 3 of you, and then there'd be no one here but me, which would probably not really be all that bad, but let's save that for another day.
It was while thinking of our talk (and marveling that I finally found another human being who can hold their own in a conversation with me), that I started to think of what MY contribution to the world might be, if I were to assume the role of a spiritual/philosophical leader.
I think I would keep things simple, and leave them open to interpretation. Everything you know, or think you believe, is filtered through the lens of your experiences. If you have generally good experiences, you see things differently than when you have bad ones. Our perceptions color our beliefs, reinforce our assumptions, and separate us from true understanding...whatever the fuck that might be.
It isn't until you spend a long time looking inward, that you start to understand that which is without.
That's some deep shit, am I right?
All that being said, and keeping in mind that I'm as stupid as I am smart (mull that one over, but don't dwell on it too long), I think these are the tenets of my fledgling philosophy.
1. Accept the fact that you're fucked up
This would seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people are in denial.
EVERY single person sucking breath on this planet is, in one way or another, fucked up. The ones who say they're not are worse off than you, and the ones who truly THINK they're not are the worst of all.
Call it fallen human nature, human frailty, or just plain FUCKED, but we are born selfish and oblivious to those around us and their needs. I'm convinced some people never evolve past that stage. We spend our lives like chameleons, becoming who we think we're supposed to be to please the people we convince ourselves must be pleased. At all costs.
Most of what I write here is focused on relationships, because they fascinate me. I apparently suck at them, but that doesn't diminish their appeal. The one thing I've discovered, the ONE truism that I can impart to anyone, is that truly knowing yourself is the only path to a healthy relationship.
You have to come to terms with the fact that you are flawed, hopelessly, helplessly flawed and fucked up beyond all rational thought. Because until you have that honest conversation with yourself, you're nothing but a liar. You're lying to yourself, and if you're willing to bullshit yourself, whether you intend to or not, I can promise you that you're bullshitting everyone else that comes into your life.
Each of us is a person made up of multiple parts, multiple roles, if you will. For example, I used to have different facades for different situations. There was a work me, a church me, a family me, a friend me, a father me, and all the other me's that outlived their usefulness along the road. And, when you rolled those all up together and added the final ingredient, the secret me that I could never let anyone else see...THAT made up the real me.
For a long time, I didn't understand that. I didn't recognize it. The goal, and it's not easy, was to make all of those me's as close to one another as you can possibly get. I've spent the last 4 years working toward that, and I'm still only partway through the journey. That isn't to say I haven't seen the changes, though. I have. I like me. By tearing down the fake parts, and focusing on the parts I really enjoyed, I've become more fully the person I was meant to be.
I didn't even realize I had assumed all those identities, and you probably have done the same thing and didn't realize it either. But splitting yourself up, compartmentalizing yourself to be a tailored fit for specific occasions (or people), THAT is part of what makes you fucked up.
Figure your shit out, and be who you are supposed to be, all the time, in all places.
Oh, and also take comfort in the fact that everyone else is fucked up, too. We are seldom as unique as we think we are.
2. Cut out the people in your life that are exacerbating #1
Yes, I used a big word, and it sounds a little like masturbating, so stop giggling and if you don't know the word, then Google it and then come back here to continue reading, you jackass.
I know that cleaning house like that is easier said than done. It's especially difficult if some of those people are family members. Usually it's just friends, though.
With me apparently being the exception to the rule, humans are social animals. We surround ourselves with (generally) like-minded people. Unfortunately, if we haven't properly addressed how fucked up we are, we tend to congregate with people who are equally fucked, or often worse off than we are.
I have a friend, she's one of the sweetest girls in the world. She has a heart as large as a mid-sized luxury sedan (and great knockers, see #4), but for much of her adult life she has hung around with losers. Harsh? No. Call things (and people) what they are. Your life has value, and if you associate with people who lack any value at all, they will bring you down to their level LONG before you can lift them up to yours.
Maybe you can save one person. Maybe you can lift up one, or two even, if you're really amazing. But if every single person you have surrounded yourself with is drowning in their own sea of fucked up-ness, and you throw them a life preserver, you are going to fucking drown.
Know your limitations. Know when to walk away from toxic people.
I don't mean people with problems. We all have problems (see #1). I mean people who have no goal, other than to survive another day. People who lack vision, people who think that success is a double-wide trailer, 4 kids with 3 different last names, and romantic partners that treat them like shit. Or leave.
I tried to get her out of that world. I tried, and I failed, and that failure weighs heavy on my heart and mind to this day, as she swirls the drain, her life careening further and faster out of control. I hope, and I pray, that she can turn things around. Every time I see her, it seems, she's at a new all time low. It breaks my heart.
She couldn't walk away from the people she thought were her friends, and I couldn't stick around to watch the inevitable.
Those people holding you down, those people epitomizing the 'misery loves company' ethos, they're not doing you any favors. If you think you've made progress on #1, and you still have people in your life that are not only not lifting you up, but are dragging you down...go back to #1 and start over. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
3. No matter where you go, there you are (my favorite line from Buckaroo Bonzai)
|"If I'm lying, may I be shot all to hell by a street gang and left for dead, only to be turned into a gun-wielding, crime fighting cyborg".
When I was seeped in the gritty underworld of Online Dating, one of the most annoying trends (to me, your mileage may vary, but fuck you, I'm probably right) was women in my dating demographic who were looking for someone to do extensive travel, vacations, adventures, and excitement with.
When I was a kid, our family travelled all over the place. Most of it I don't remember, but what I fundamentally DO remember is how good it felt when it was over. I remember how good it felt to go home, to BE home. Home, where my shit is. Home, where my friends and family are. Home, where I can relax and enjoy my time NOT working.
Unless you are a person of some financial means (I'm not, really), unemployed (nope), retired (not in this economy, so not in this lifetime), or a fugitive from justice, vacations and travel can essentially be summed up as one thing.
If you have achieved some succes at #1, and if you have done the necessary de-friending rituals from #2, you should not be in a place mentally and emotionally where you feel a need to completely change your location in order to feel 'normal' again.
PLEASE understand, I am not saying that all travel is pointless and latently psychologically motivated.
If I had dear relatives, MAYBE even friends, who lived in another state, I would consider going to see them. That is not a vacation, though. That is travel to see loved ones. It is likely to be emotionally satisfying, but there's no guarantee it will be entirely enjoyable, and almost definitely not relaxing.
I have a beautiful daughter who means the world to me. Disney World is going to be adding Star Wars themed attractions in Florida. The confluence of those two realities means that, at some point, I'm going to have to drive to Florida. Fuck an airplane. Chimps don't fly.
It will not be a relaxing trip. It will cost me money, and time, and stress, and then more money (for real, have you met this kid? She's a savant when it comes to spending my money). It's not a trip borne out of a desire to go somewhere else to 'relax'. Sit on a beach? Maybe while we're there, but I don't think I'm wired to leave the comfort of my home, travel to another state, find a beach, sit on it, and then tell myself that all of that time, effort and money was 100% worth it.
If you can be honest about a trip, and acknowledge that whatever fun or enjoyable things you might experience are unlikely to outnumber the shittiness of travel, then bon motherfuckin' voyage. You have arrived at your destination of PARTIAL enlightenment along the path of the mighty Chimpuat.
|Pretty much the only tits I can get anymore
I considered just leaving it at that, but figured some of you would skip to #4 without having completed the first three steps along the path, and have no clue what this means.
On the surface, it's quite simple. I love titties. Big, small, flat, floppy, even the ones with weird nipples.
|NOTE: This applies only to FEMALE boobs. Males need not apply. If I want to see man-teats, I'll take my shirt off
In reality, the titties thing is a metaphor. If you have navigated your way through the first 3 steps, it's time to reward yourself by acknowledging something that really matters to you. I don't mean your family. Unless they got weeded out in step 1 or 2, loving your family is not part of this process. It's just what you do, with all your heart, all your soul, and all your being.
But you need more than your family. Maybe its a job, writing ignorant shit on a website, or making stupid pictures with chimps in them. Or maybe it's reconnecting with a hobby, or starting a new one, or doing anything simply for the sake of making you smile.
All of your fucked up life before this point was about surviving, getting through, and occasionally finding joy in bits and pieces. You embarked upon this path with the goal of finding happiness, and it's time to let yourself do that.
When I wasn't me, when I was the husband me, I wasn't true to myself. I fell into a deep unhappiness, and my inability to crawl back out of that most definitely contributed to the death of that relationship. It wasn't until I had made it to a place where I could breathe, and take stock of my life, that I began to understand.
I denied the things that brought me happiness, because they were deemed silly or inappropriate by the person I was with (see #2). I don't necessarily blame her for that, I blame myself for not being the real me for her (see #1).
As I write this, my living room is filled with Star Wars toys, virtually 100% guaranteeing that I will never have sex EVER again.
|This is but ONE wall in the Fortress of No-Sex-itude
I wasn't with someone who would understand or allow that. It wasn't her fault, because she was with a representation of me, a facet of me, and I didn't realize until AFTER everything had fallen apart that I was never really myself with her. Oh, parts of me came through. Sometimes the real me would manifest in fits and starts, but more than anything I was someone else.
Two months after my divorce was final, I had my dad build me a 3-foot tall subwoofer, it sits in the corner of my Star Wars-filled living room. It is a thing of sonic beauty. It would have never passed the 'wife acceptance test', there is no way she would have ever allowed the behemoth in our house.
It was an act of rebellion, getting that thing. It was childish. Silly, really. But it was the first step along the path of reconnecting with the things that brought me happiness. When I gave my daughter my beloved Star Wars toys, I kept out a few pieces for myself. I have the original AT-AT, the original AT-ST (Scout Walker), and a limited edition Boba Fett you had to collect proofs of purchase for and mail away and wait FOREVER to get it.
When I put those pieces in my living room, part of my childhood came back to life. I used to love those things. Playing with them, yes, but also just LOOKING at them made me happy.
When I was finally to a point financially (about a year after the divorce) where I could look at adding to my collection. I started buying the things I always wanted, the things I would never have been able to get when I was younger, and certainly not the things I would have been able to get (and display) as the husband me.
Maybe people won't understand your 'thing', but if you followed the steps to get here, the people still around you are MORE likely than not to understand it.
Find what makes you happy again. Embrace it.
5. Find an outlet
This is very closely related to step #4, and I almost combined them, but I think it merits its own section.
At this point in your journey, you should be feeling pretty good about who you are. Maybe you haven't reached perfect peace and happiness yet, but there's a light at the end of your misery tunnel, and you don't find yourself expecting to find its yet another train.
There are likely things inside you, urges, thoughts, desires, that are begging to be released.
NOT SEX, YOU ASSHOLES.
Christ, I swear, I can't take you people anywhere, without your minds going directly in the gutter.
When you are happy, or becoming happy, you need to express it. It may inspire you to action, it may become your muse, it may be the catalyst that sets a variety of things in motion.
For me, it's writing, primarily. Chimptopia may be many things to
many few people, but for me, it's not only wildly fucking fun, but it's a cathartic expression of thoughts and ideas that constantly generate in my mind throughout the course of a day.
The other day, I was surfing the net (NOT PORN, DAMMIT!) and I came across that screen cap of John Boyega in the "Force Awakens" trailer. Without even consciously thinking about it, I imagined a Chimpuat version of that, and I thought it would pretty damn funny to make that happen. So, I did.
Thoughts will come to you now. You've cleaned out some bullshit, and amazing things can happen. You may even grow hair in funny places. No, wait...different guide. Sorry. It's getting late as I write this, I may be getting confused.
Another outlet for me is music. I play piano for my church. I kinda suck at it, but I like doing it. I sing, too, again sucking at it but enjoying it nonetheless.
Maybe your outlet is working on cars, or hitting the gym, or picking up any of a myriad of hobbies that become an extension of you, an expression of your inner thoughts that the outer world can see and appreciate. And they DO appreciate it, because you're a different person, having come down this path. Maybe it's using your imagination to create weird funny shit when you play with your kids, or maybe you draw ridiculously goofy pictures to put in your kid's lunchbox every day.
Find it. Follow it. You're becoming awesome, it's time to show it off to the rest of the world. Share what you are becoming, and if someone asks you how you got there, send them here.
6. Be quick to forgive
The journey has brought you to a place of peace you didn't think you'd ever see. Life is not only better than it was promised to be, it's better than you could have ever imagined it could be. That's where I'm at, at the moment.
You may be tempted to harbor anger toward the people in your past. You may even be pretty pissed off at yourself, for who you used to be, for letting your own stupidity get in the way of being who you could have been all along.
That kind of anger is fruitless.
First and foremost, you must learn to forgive yourself. If you've followed the steps up to this point, that should be relatively easy. You are human (well YOU are, the jury is still out on ME). You were fucked up, you probably had toxic, fucked up people in your life. You can't be held to account for that time. You were quite literally a different person, and that person simplpy didn't know any better.
The old you didn't fuck your life up on purpose. The old you didn't shitcan all your relationships just to spite you. The old you was, and IS, still part of you. You had to take a journey to get here, so you have to realize that the old you doesn't exist anymore. So being angry at them only diminishes you.
You have to forgive yourself. You didn't do what you did to yourself from a place of malice. It just happened, and it's in the past, and that's where your anger belongs.
Following that, you have to forgive the people in your past. They didn't know the real you. They sure as hell didn't know the you that stands here today. Their actions, their reactions, were for someone that doesn't exist. Maybe they hurt you (probably they did) but hate and anger towards them is pointless for the exact same reasons that you should be forgiving yourself.
A long time ago, I had a friend that really hurt and pissed me off, and I was SO angry at him and we went our separate ways for an unrelated reason, and he never knew how I felt because I never told him. That anger toward him stayed with me, and it poisoned some of my future friendships, because I was afraid of a repeat performance.
It wasn't until I followed the steps above that I realized that the anger I was carrying had ZERO effect on him, because he didn't even know about it. It ate at me, messed up my ability to relate to other people, and generally made my life WORSE.
But, it didn't have to be that way. Along the path, I forgave him, because although we were friends, he only knew a part of me, not the whole. What he did, he probably wouldn't have even understood how it would bother me.
The real me, the me I had become over the course of several years, was able to forgive him. I never told him. I did see him again, and we are friends again, though separated by a great distance. He still has no idea I was angry, and I will never bring it up, because it's no longer an issue. I forgave him for what he did, and I forgave myself for being the kind of person that made it easy for people to do that kind of stuff.
It gets complicated, the path to Chimpness. It is also a long and winding road, twisting back upon itself at times. There is no shame in going back and starting over, like a fucked up game of chutes and ladders. But you keep trying. The end is worth it, I promise you.
Am I perfect? Fuck no. I'm still fucked up. But I'm not NEARLY as fucked up as I was at the beginning of step 1. I have done a pretty effective job of de-toxifying my relationships, though. And I've done really great at some of the other steps.
And I love boobs.
But the path never ends. You never reach the finish line, you just spend each day trying to get just a little bit better, trying to reach just a little bit farther, trying to make just a little more difference in the world. And each day, usually, you find yourself a little bit happier.
I am Chimpuat. I'm not even the same Chimpuat I was when this site started, because even that part of me (which is more real me than I probably care to admit) has evolved as I've walked the path.
I talked to my pretend girlfriend, Christy, tonight. I had some things on my mind, and she's one of those rare people who can sometimes help me figure things out. I told her I wanted a bracelet that said 'WWCD'. What Would Chimpuat Do.
She said "Chimpuat would make a snarky comment and run the other way. Your alter ego is better at putting up walls to protect himself".
She's right, after a fashion. Old Chimpuat was a master builder when it came to walls. The identity itself arose out of a desire to separate myself from everyone else in a way that would leave no doubt: I was not part of the human race.
I drug Chimpuat along with me on this journey, and while it changed me, it changed the nature of Chimpuat as well. He doesn't build walls anymore.
And he likes boobs, too.
This whole thing, like me, is a work in progress, and I'm willing to entertain your thoughts on it. It isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, but it does a fair job of covering the steps I've taken over the past 4 years. Maybe the blueprint I followed can help someone else. Or, at least it was an entertaining and/or engaging way to read something and pass a little time.
Drop me a line via Twitter, Facebook, or email me at email@example.com and let me know what you think.
Or send me a picture of your boobs. (see note above).
Until next time, think about your path. Think about who you are, who you want to be, who is around you and whether they're helping or hindering your progress. Think about what things bring you joy, what things are inside you that you want to let the world see, and think about what role forgiveness might play in the life you find yourself living today.
Or, just be like me, and think about nothin' but boobs.
December 16, 2014
Not the deep concept of predetermined outcomes, fuckers, but this stupid, repetitive-ass game I can't quit playing.
|In the future, we use feather dusters as armor. Apparently.
When it comes to things your beloved Chimpuat knows a thing or 2 about, videogames are in the top 3. As there are only 3 of you reading this, and you have politely followed my lunatic ravings for many years, you know that 7th Level Tung Fu Mastery (retired, unefeated) is #1, and Star Wars is #2.
Every year since the death of my marriage, I have managed to buy myself a Christmas present. As each year removed from 'ground zero' has seen me grow more financially stable (and able), the presents have gotten progressively better. Being single, and having no one but my money-grubbing (term of endearment, not a criticism) daughter to worry about other than myself, there are ample funds freed up for things I might want.
Sure, I could fix my roof, or replace the shower in my bathroom, or replace the chimney for my furnace, but those aren't FUN things to spend money on, so they kind of get set aside for future consideration (like when the roof caves in some night, and I have no choice but to figure out how to get it fixed).
Last year, on the day AFTER Christmas, in a fit of "retail purchasing as coping mechanism" (it seems to always work out that I don't have my daughter the day after Christmas, so I am alone, and in a funk), I bought myself an Xbox One.
I have bought many things over the years, some of which I have been immediately remorseful and regretful about (come on, don't be dicks, I'm not talking about my marriage license). From the moment I turned it on, I have been in love. If Facebook would allow it, I would set my relationship status to "in a relationship with XBOX-ONE".
Okay, maybe I'm not THAT far gone, but it is a pretty kick-ass system, and it's been fun watching it evolve and improve over the past year.
I played the beta over the summer, and it was okay. I felt like I got a taste of everything the game was trying to convey, but even that early on, I was having concerns about a few things.
The beta had 2 areas, Earth and the moon. People who are NOT me, and do NOT suck at PvP game modes, could also visit a place called the Crucible. I had zero interest in that aspect of the game. But, I felt like if it had a good story beyond what we had been shown, it might not be a bad game. The graphics were great, the mechanics smooth, but...
I couldn't quite place my finger on what it was about this game that was bothering me. I liked it, but I didn't "I can't wait till this game comes out so I can buy the fuck out of it" like it.
I had decided that I wasn't going to buy it. But, my fake brother Ironape had a decidedly different experience from what I did. He, unlike me, was really looking forward to this game's release, and he had already pre-ordered it.
Once upon a time, my game budget was such that I could only afford a handful of games per year, only one of which MIGHT be new. I was working at Blockbuster (may she rest in peace), so I got a great discount on used games, and I tried to take advantage of specials and sales to further maximize my savings, and keep myself in new (to me) games to play.
In the New Chimp Order, thing are a bit different.
I've had my One for almost 12 months, and in that time I have purchased about 14 games, and untold amounts of add-on's, for it. Don't even get me started on the shit my genius daughter has conned me into buying to satisfy HER game cravings.
Suffice it to say that videogames are probably the #4 line item in our household annual expense report (if such a thing existed) behind mortgage, utilities, and food.
It's also safe to say that if Ironape wants a game, I will probably buy the same game, so we can play together. I talked him into buying Dead Rising 3, so it was only fair that I would go ahead and pre-order Destiny. The game finally launched, I picked up my copy, and we started playing.
Since purchasing, I have logged 113 hours in this game. That's a little known 'feature' of many games, they like to let you know just HOW much absence of life is actually IN your life. I have Skyrim character's on my 360 with an embarrassingly high number of hours played (hint: MANY hundreds).
Don't fucking judge me, Skyrim was (and is) the shit. And Lydia? She was SWORN to carry my burden. You can't find devotion like that in most games!
|Lydia, always with a drink in her hand. The sad, secret story of Skyrim's alcoholic sidekicks, tonight, on a very special Chimpuat: Behind the Game.
So, for a game that came out on September 9th, that means I have averaged about 9 hours per week, which doesn't sound TOO bad, right?
Let's just forget that I have several OTHER games (Diablo 3, Borderlands Pre-Sequel, Assassin's Creed Unity, for example) that I was also playing during this time period. Yes, let's not dwell on the shameful LACK of life I possess.
If you haven't played Destiny, it can be summed up pretty easily as follows:
You are good. 'They' are bad. For every planet/destination (x), there is a dominant species of bad guy (y), with lesser bad guys making special guest appearances (y2, y3, y4), such that story arc missions generally consist of the following formula:
Go to x, find y/y2/y3/y4, and kill them.
Sometimes, your missions are to Go to x, whip out your 'Ghost' AI buddy, and despite that he is the most advanced technology known to exist, wait patiently while he trips alarms, takes for fucking ever to scan shit and figure it out, and offers little more than "Watch out!" warnings when waves of y/y2/y3/y4 attack you.
The game has a story, but it sucks. The company that brought you the epic storytelling of the Halo series should have been able to do more here, I'm sorry. I like playing this game, but it's honestly the worst story since Titanfall (don't even get me started on THAT one).
You are never allowed to actually care about (or even fucking understand) half of what is going on, because it never makes that effort to engage you, to make you feel invested. My character looks like a robot man. Why? I don't know. When did they start building robot men? I don't know. Well, is he special? I don't know, he seems pretty much the same as the other 2 choices, neither of which is really explained nor expounded upon.
Oh, and apparently you start the game out dead, and the Ghost resurrects you to be a warrior for the light.
You spend 20 levels of play getting to the 'main' part of the game (even though you finished the story), at which point the only method of character progression is to acquire ever more elusive gear.
Oh, and if you don't play the PvP mode, you're going to find it's really tough to progress past a certain point at all. Unless you want to do an impossible mission with a bunch of strangers, because everyone knows that a raid mission designed around the concept of communication and collaboration works best with 6 fucking people who've never met and may not even be able to talk to each other.
You might be asking yourself, "So why keep playing?".
Fuck, I ask myself that question all the time. Ironape still likes it, so I'll play it till he's tired of it. And there ARE things I like about it. It's just that after 113 hours, it's not the game I was hoping it would become. The first DLC came out last week, so of course I bought it, and while it added some new loot, and new missions...there wasn't really anything NEW about the missions. They're still just 'go to x, kill y' missions, and I still don't care about the characters (even my own) nor why the things I'm killing were even up to the things they were up to.
What's worse, I had FINISHED the new missions and received a reward, and didn't even REALIZE it. That's how unintelligible this game is, you don't even know when you're winning!
I'm almost level 30 (I think, or level 20, plus 10 levels of light due to the gear I have equipped), and one of the MOST annoying things is the combat balance system. Many of the locations you visit are places you went when you first started out. Things were tough back then when your gear sucked. But you're a badass now, you should shitwhip any bug-eyed bitch alien that so much as shoots green shit at you, right?
According to the sacred Laws of Videogaming, "the great shall bitch slap the weak". A level 30 character encountering a level 12 enemy should be able to kill it with a dirty look. I have a gun commensurate with my level, WHY does it take more than one shot to kill these things?!?!? Did they somehow buy kevlar vests while I was out grinding my way to a higher level, only to discover that the same shit that killed me when I started out can conceivably STILL fucking kill me?
It's also reassuring to know that in a future with spaceships and floating AI's, we still rely on guns that shoot bullets. Kinetic energy for the win! Where's my fucking laser?!?!!
To be honest, I know why I keep playing. It's the completionist in me. I want to see where it leads, I want to acquire the best gear my limited skills are capable of getting me, and I want to find out if they EVER flesh out the story.
It's a great LOOKING game, with SOME really great game mechanics, and I do have fun playing it with my friend. The problem is, if I'm not playing with a friend, it's a very difficult game to want to pick up and pop in the console.
It doesn't matter how a game looks, if there's no substance. It doesn't matter what its pedigree or heritage is, if it can't make you care about it.
In the barely understandable words of Jay from 'Clerks', "What's better, fuckin', a good plate with nothin' on it... ' no wait I fucked up. 'What's a good plate with nothing on it?".
My good friend Mr. Jimmy (one of the hallowed THREE visitors to this site!) shared this highly entertaining video with me, which took a very Dali-esque turn midway through, and which thoroughly freaked me the fuck out, so thanks for that. Obviously, I have no choice but to share.
I've been ridiculously busy, considering this is the time of year I'm least likely to do anything. It's not only delayed my posting here, but it's cut into my videogame time.
In an absolutely out-of-character move, I spent about 8 hours this past Sunday, doing what my limited skillset allowed to facilitate the painting of Casa Chimpuat. It looks somewhat less shack-like. My neighbor volunteered to do it, out of the goodness of his heart, and in the spirit of Christmas*.
*He's trying to sell his house, my shithole house was potentially going to queer the deal, so it was in his best financial interest to de-suck my house and make it look like new owners would NOT be moving in next to a crack den.
He did a great job, got it done quickly, and the city kindly hauled away all the brush, tree limbs, and debris that were leftover.
It was great to get it done, but it got in the way of the rest of my life, and I'm a planner...I don't "do" spontaneous. He came at me Saturday with this offer to do it the next day. I couldn't pass the opportunity up, but it was a crushing blow to my comfort zone. It may takes days to repair the damage.
I know there are people out there with REAL problems. I'm fortunate in that my problems are not only pretty small, but generally pretty stupid, and 99% of the time they are self-inflicted. So, I have no one to blame but myself.
Which I'm really good at.
Christmas is drawing near, I'm super excited (if you have a kid in the house, it's really hard NOT to be super excited). I already bought myself some kick-ass presents, and I'm getting good use out of one in particular (the laptop I use to write and craft the content for this train wreck of a website).
I still have a lot of ideas to pursue, a lot of things to share, and a lot of ridiculously stupid pictures to create (really, I think I have some addiction to pasting my Chimpuat into shit). So, if I miss a few days, I'm not gone, I'm just busy as fuck.
Doing Chimptopia is something I really enjoy, couldn't give less than a shit if only 3 people see it. I'm having fun. I wish I had been this clear headed and single-minded of purpose many years ago, but better late than never.
So, until next time, hum Poison's "Something To Believe In" while you're walking around other people, that shit is insidious and hard to get out of your head (been in mine for 2 fucking days, among other crap), think about who you are, and who you wanna be, and watch out for great looking plates with nothing on them.
It's been a long time since I did a 'predictions for the new year' kind of post, and I think I feel one brewing...
...or it could be the White Castle I had for lunch.
Yeah, but why a chimp?
December 22, 2014
Faced with an abundance of time over this past weekend, I started thinking about things. No good can come of that, to be sure.
I started thinking about why I adopted a chimpanzee as my alter ego. A lifetime ago. Certainly a different version of me ago.
I spent my whole life not entirely fitting in. Even when it looked like I was on the outside, on the inside I still felt like an outcast. I didn't care about the same things 'normal' people cared about. I understood things about our existence that no one really cared about. But, there were gaps in my knowledge. Huge, gigantic gaps you could drive a truck through, but I didn't always realize they were there.
I have been described as the stupidest genius walking on this planet. I would say that's pretty accurate a description.
When I was younger, I had wisdom, without experience. As I got older, I had experience without context. I no longer live in the past, but I am acutely aware (after years of patient study) that I was travelling through a series of missed opportunities, of unrealized potential. When I started this site, I was trying to travel back in time, to set right what once went wrong.
|Hoping each time, that his next leap will be the leap home
So, why a chimp?
When you look at a chimpanzee, you see something almost human. You see something that, but for a few percent of genetic differences, could almost BE human. Certainly human-like.
A chimp's eyes convey that he has a soul, that there is some intelligence or wisdom there that you can never access. His face can smile. His hands can manipulate the world around him, and his legs can carry him wherever he needs to go. He is functional in the world, and in the company of humans, he can be quite entertaining.
But a captive chimp can rip your face off. At his core, if you hurt him, he becomes the animal that he always was. Fear can rule him. Blind rage consume him. Proportional to his size in the world, he is quite powerful. Woe to anyone who finds out the hard way that a chimp, even when dressed like a man or walking like a man, will never fit in, in a man's world.
For a very long time, I didn't realize why I chose a chimpanzee as my guardian in the online world. To be honest, it's only now that it all starts to make sense.
I'm diferent now. Better, I think. I've learned that the difference between the man and the animal is that the man can exercise a choice. The animal cannot help how it is. It cannot change what instinct dictates. It can't learn about the concept of forgiveness.
I'm still Chimpuat, I'll always be Chimpuat. I chose the chimp because he was something that could be among people, never understood, always entertaining. You could empathize with him, because he seemed so human, but you would never really experience the world like he does.
When he's on the ground, he walks like one of you, but when he's in the trees, he sees the world from a vantage point you could never achieve.
Lately, I've been realizing a lot of things. Maybe it's current events, maybe it's a side effect of the insomnia that has gripped me recently, or maybe just that time of year when everyone begins to reflect on the road so far.
The human chooses to act. The animal has no choice, and can only react.
Because I've followed the Tao of Chimpuat, I can understand now that I no longer need Chimpuat to stand in the breach for me. I no longer need a shield. He's just a part of me. I used to think he was a separate entity, somehow embodying all the traits and qualities that I wished the human part of me had.
Now? We're the same. We are one incredible, amazing, totally FUCKED up, crazy, funny, caring, oversharing, hilarious, scary smart, childish, talented, gifted, perverted, twisted piece of wisdom-spitting incomprehensible AWESOME, and there is nothing in this world that can't be accomplished by someone like that.
I'mma kick 2015's ASS!
|I know what you're thinking, but "Gorilla in Manilla" just seemed TOO easy.
This time of year, I should be doing nothing, but the ONE remaining freelance client I have recently dumped a ton of site changes on me. I do it out of obligation and loyalty, not because I need the money, so I really can't complain. It's just hard to devote time to the fun stuff, when the work-like stuff looms over me.
You probably would not believe how long it took to make that Chimpuat fight poster, but it was worth it to avoid doing something more work-like.
In addition to writing for this site, working my real job, dodging my freelance client, being a kick-ass dad, and a sexual ninja (retired), I've been keeping a journal. I used to do it years ago, and it really helped me keep things in perspective. I also believe that any writing that you do is an exercise, and it can only improve your future work.
I have a few things on my mind that I can't really talk to anyone about, except myself. You should see the weird shit THAT brings out. I've actually written messages to future me, who will undoubtedly be going back to re-read the journal at some point. I guess it's a kind of time travel. Or, it just means I really have succeeded in my introspection over these past few years, and I truly know myself.
Suffice it to say that future me is not going to like current me very much, based on some decisions I've made recently. He'll get over it. Eventually.
So, my apologies for the lack of quality content lately (or ever). I only have 4 people in the world that I make any effort to please (my daughter, and the 3 of you reading this). Unless something amazing happens, this will probably be my last post before Christmas (check local listings and belief systems for the appropriate winter holiday in your life).
I love Christmas. There was a time when I wasn't a big fan. That time passed, as all bad times do. I didn't believe it at the time. When you're in the middle of shit, you're pretty certain the shit will never end. But it does.
I was able to get everyone who matters to me a good gift, and I love the giving aspect of the holiday. It takes a lot of shit to get you to a point where you don't care about receiving anymore, but take the most joy in the giving. If all I got for Christmas this year was a hug, or a heartfelt card, I'd be okay with that. Plus, it really helps that I already buy myself pretty much anything I want. Wouldn't be averse to a nice blowjob, though, if we're being honest with one another.
It's good to be the chimp.
Until next time, take time to appreciate the awesome in your own life. It's there, sometimes you just have to look for it. Figure out who you are, figure out what your personal chimpanzee is that protects you from the rest of the world, and find a way to tame that bitch. It's scary as fuck, but it's the only way to move on, and keep moving up.
I think there will be at LEAST one more post before the end of the year, and I seriously cannot imagine NOT doing my predictions for 2015, because I'm Chimpuat, dammit. Of course I know all, see all, and love all y'all (well, at least you 3, fuck the rest). Just kidding...I wouldn't fuck the rest...I'm WAY too picky.
As for me? I need sleep. You don't know how great it is till it no longer comes easily.