Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monkey Goings On

Typically, when I disappear from the blogging world it's because I have been distracted by a bunch of nothing.  Oh sure, I'm doing something, mostly playing video games, which I don't apologize for.  I happen to love video games.  But that's not what this is about.  Well it is but....ya know what, let's just jump on in.

I started a new job a few months ago.  I hated my old job.  Ok, that's not entirely true.  I loved most of my coworkers and the job itself could actually be fun but the company sucked and I was beat down.  Through a series of seemingly unfortunate events, I suddenly realized just how unhappy I was there.  That led me to take the leap.  I got a new job and quit the old one.

When I first started the new job I loved it.  Only, I really didn't.  Don't get me wrong. I like it.  But it is not a challenge in any way I find stimulating.  It's a good job with decent pay for a company that treats it's employees pretty well.  But I don't love it.

What I did love was the rush of trying something new.  The thrill of finding something better.  Quitting my old job lit a fire in me.  I want more.  But fuck, I didn't know what that meant.  I knew I wanted more but I had no idea how to get it.  So, after I got adjusted to the new job, I did what the Monkey always does when he's uncertain, I spent a whole lot of time thinking.

I love the idea of becoming a published author.  I have a vivid imagination full of all kinds of colorful characters in compromised situations.  But the truth is, I lack the discipline needed to write as a career.  I love telling stories and I will probably continue to do so from time to time here but the idea of ever getting a published story is on hold.

What if I could tell a story but not write it in a conventional way?  What if I dusted off an old dream?

Many years ago, my friend Ryan and I coded a 3D game world in C+ entirely from scratch.  If we had stuck with it, we may have even made a decent game out of it and been developers all this time.  But coding is a bitch and he and I were distracted by something else and the idea faded into a happy memory of the two of us taking turns wondering aloud, "what fucking semi-colon did we forget this time?"

Since then games have only gotten more complicated to make.  The days of one or two man teams making computer games played by thousands of people are gone.  But if they weren't, I would love to program games and it would be a whole new way to tell a story.

What if I could make a game but not in a conventional way?  What if I dusted off another old dream?

When iPhones came out I got excited.  No, I don't give a shit about iPhones.  If you like your iPhone I'm very happy for you.  I've never liked Apple products because of their exclusionary business model.  But programming for the iPhone?  That could be fun.  The coding isn't too far off from old computer games.  So, I went in search of what I would need to do to program for them.  What did I find?  I found I still hated Apple for their business model.  An expensive license, exclusionary coding.  No, thanks.

Jump ahead a few years, to this last December to be exact, and I wondered what it took to make a game for Android.

I got very excited very quickly.  There is a reason Android has taken over the cell phone market, they are very inclusive.  Not only is an Android license very cheap, there are tons of free resources on how to program for the operating system.

A little over two weeks after this search I sat in my chair with my laptop on across my thighs and a giant grin on my face as I played the first game I have ever created.  Every piece of the game is mine.  I designed all the graphics.  I wrote the code.  I made it.

This first game is very simplistic.  I will never release it as a game on the play store.  But the fire inside finally had a direction.  Since then I've been reading even more and testing different scripts and using photoshop for more than just monkey dressed for whatever holiday is approaching.

My second game is functional.  It doesn't look how I'd like it to or have all of the features I want but it does work and I can't tell you how positively geeked I am about it.  Another simple game with no story but it's a learning process.  I have a goal to make a bigger game that tells a story.

I don't know where this path will lead but I can't wait to find out. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Don't Be Stupid

I've been thinking about this post for years.  I've started it many times, written thousands of words, some of which have found their way into other posts, but I've never been able to finish it.  Why?  What could possibly keep the Monkey from just letting it all hang out?  In a word, women.

I remember watching John Gray (the wuss that wrote Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) on some talk show.  He was discussing how men and women communicate and he said that men are very straight forward and that women speak in code.  As he said it, the voices in my head screamed in unison, "YES, EXACTLY."  And then he spoke again and what he said was so fucking stupid that it still angers me more than a decade later.  He said, that in an effort to avoid misunderstanding, men need to learn to talk in code like the women do.  It was then that I knew John Gray was actually a woman.  A really fucking stupid woman, at that.

If you want to make sure there is no misunderstanding, be fucking direct.  Say what you mean.  Just come out with it.  Don't reply with, "fine" when we both know you're pissed off.  Stop the, "if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you," bullshit.  It's childish overly dramatic attention seeking fucktardery.

A friend linked an article titled 5 Reasons Why No Woman Should Ever Say "I'm Fine" Again.  Given what I just wrote, you might think I'd enjoy an article with that title.  I thought the same thing.  We're both wrong.  Why?  In a word, women.

This article is written by a women and let me tell you the bitch is crazy. And if she's correct, most women are crazy as well.  But don't call them that because calling them crazy makes them more crazy.  Almost as crazy as being called a cunt, which she can't bring herself to actually type.  Once again, we all know what you mean when you say c-word or c**t.  Either put on your big girl pants and use the word or don't fucking hint to it.

Where was I?

Right, the crazy bitch.  In the first paragraph, she's describing what a woman wants to hear when she says, "I'm fine."  They want their man to guess what's wrong.

Then we step into the second paragraph and suddenly sexism and craziness take over.  By the fifth paragraph we've gone from "You want someone to read your facial expressions, body cues and everything else besides the words coming out of your mouth" to "Since when did the feelings of women become social faux-pas".

It took exactly 5 paragraphs to go from understandable to full on bat shit lunacy, including the crazy woman's rant on being called crazy.  I'm fairly certain being called crazy bothers her so much because she probably gets it all the time, likely from medical professionals as well as everyday people.  According to our psycho author, men are oppressing you by you saying you're fine!

Women, I'm begging you, stop listening to stupid fucking people like the moronic twit who authored that piece.  That piece has an excellent headline on top of a giant pile of fucking stupid.  A heaping pile of really fucking stupid. You shouldn't avoid saying you're fine because of what Crazy McManhater wrote.

If you're worried that opening up about what is bothering you to your man will cause him to think you're crazy, let me set your mind at ease.  He's absolutely going to think you're insane.  There is a 99.9925% chance he's going to think that whatever is bothering you is kinda dumb.  And, well, it probably is.

Calm down, I'm not saying your thoughts are dumb.  I'm saying they are dumb to us.  And yeah, sometimes your thoughts are invalid.  If you've ever been mad a your man because he cheated on you in your dream, those thoughts were invalid.  And don't pretend you haven't done that shit.

Women worry about things men would never imagine, not in a million years, you'd ever worry about.  You ladies are worriers and you like to make up shit in your minds and then take it out on us.  You get offended because we don't notice something or because we didn't respond how you thought we should. Let me tell ya, as a man, it can be downright scary when a women opens up with what's really on her mind when she's been insisting she's fine for 3 days.

The way to sort through the nonsense and the valid is to share your thoughts openly and honestly.  If your man loves you, he'll do his best to put your mind at ease in either case.  Even if he thinks you're completely insane, at least he'll know what he's dealing with and he'll be able to handle it better.  And if he doesn't love you enough to love your craziness, why are you with him anyway.

Say what you mean, share your fears, explain your disappointments.  You may find that the weight that was on your mind actually is as crazy as it seemed. And ya know what, you'll feel better knowing that.

Oh, and don't take advice from penis haters with a word processor and a truckload of psychiatric disorders.  Them bitches is crazy.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Who am I?

Who am I?  It's a question that's been on my mind for as long as I can remember.  And it's one that has been weighing heavily on my mind for the last few months.  For whatever reason, the gods answered that question for me tonight and, while part of it is flattering, I really don't like their overall message.  But as I considered it, I am forced to admit they are right and this blog is a perfect example of just how right they are.

From the beginning, the posts on this blog could be labeled in one of two categories, ranting or reflection.  I have thrown in a bit of fiction but for the most part, ranting or reflection.  As time has passed, the reflective posts remain as they were, true to my heart, mind, and, sometimes, memory.  It's the rants that have changed.

It's not that my rants haven't expressed what I think.  They convey the message I am trying to get across but sweet tap dancin christ, could they be any less entertaining?   This isn't a surprise to me.  I've known my rants have sucked for a while.  I just couldn't figure out why.

Well, that's not true.  I know why.  They aren't funny.  In the beginning, regardless of which sacred cow I was slaughtering, the rants were filled with profane brilliance.  I know why they suck I just couldn't figure out why they weren't funny.

I'd like to tell you that I lost my edge.  That I've aged and settled down.  Perhaps even matured.  Anything would be better than admitting I'm a fucking coward.  That's a hard pill to swallow.

Before I go on, we're going to stop and I really want you to listen to me.  I am not looking for affirmation.  I am well aware of how funny, talented, unique, and handsome I am.  Knowing all of that only makes this harder to accept.  Please understand, I am writing this to get it out of my head, and perhaps help others that suffer from the same hurdle I've been battling since early childhood.  I am not looking for encouragement, in part because I don't deserve it.  If you do comment, I ask that it be about the substance of this post and not about how you feel about me.

There, with that out of the way, let's move on.

When I starting blogging I had 3 readers, my wife, my best friend, and his wife.  These 3 people know me in ways the rest of you never will.  They have heard the very worst of the shit in my brain and have never judged me unworthy because of it.  They were a safe audience.  I could be me and not worry.  And those early rants remains things of profane beauty.

As my audience grew, I never changed because I remained detached from new readers.  They found me and liked what they read enough to stick around and read more.  Again, a pretty safe audience.

The turning point came when a fellow blogger recommended I advertise, at least on Facebook, to gain more readers.  Now, it's not that I invited others in and they didn't like me and I fell apart.  To date, I've received exactly one comment that I'd consider negative.  My readers have always been wonderful.  It's not them.  It's me.

I want to be liked.  The problem with inviting in my friends is that a lot of my friends only know a part of me.  Part of that is because a lot of them know me from work and I had to behave in a certain way because of my position.  Peppering my language with "fucktard" and "I hope you fucking die" wasn't really appropriate.  The other part is that I am guarded around most people because it's been my experience that most people don't have a sense of humor. 

I want to be liked and right now I am.  But what if they see more of me and they stop liking me?  Trust me, I am as disgusted with myself for having those thoughts as I am sure you are disgusted by me admitting it. Is it really that simple?  Is it vanity?

Yes and no.  Yes, part of it is that I like to be liked.  But the other part is that I am content being liked.  When judging whether or not I should write something, it's much easier to not be offensive.  I can live with people liking me for what they know even if what they know is only part of the story.

Now, this isn't just about my blog.  My whole life suffers from this same contentment problem.  I love my new job because it isn't my old job.  I don't love it because it's what I really want to do.  I have been looking for ways to move ahead and planning a career I don't even want because it's better than it used to be.  I'm content there.

Last night a truck passing me on icy roads lost control right as his front bumper caught up to mine.  I got lucky.  I didn't die.  But I did wake up.  Not literally, though my heart was pounding and my senses became very aware.  Rather, I woke up in the sense that I realized I almost died for a job I don't really give a shit about.

I wrote before about how getting fired and rehired woke me up to my need for change.  I thought it was just that I needed a new job but something else has been awakened in me.  I have a better job but I want more.  I want to make a living doing something I love.  This job will do for now but that "for now" part has real meaning to me now.

None of this is really new to me. I've known it in bits and pieces for years.  The first time I really felt it I was in my mid-20s and I reconnected with old friends who were living the lives they dreamed while I was getting by ok.  I worked at a job I hated but hey, the money was good.  This has been a process that has taken decades for me to finally grasp and it hit me tonight like a train.

In a weird way I feel more alive than I ever have before.  I've always dreamed big but now I am awake big.  I want more.  I want happiness.  In everything I do.  I want to be me.  Making the move to my new job scared the hell out of me.  But damn that feeling felt good.

When I started at the new job I had a weird feeling.  I felt like I belonged there.  Now, let me tell you, I do not belong there.  I like my coworkers, the job pays well, and it is easy work but it's just a job.  It's not a passion.  The feeling of belonging was misplaced.  It wasn't the job.

It wasn't until that truck almost hit me that it finally made sense.  I love the new adventure.  For at least a little while, I have a whole new skill set, rule set, and schedule to grow content with.  Except this time, content isn't enough.  I recognize this job for what it is, a means to an end.  And that end is what this has all been about.

For the first time in my life I am ready to be me, all of me, not just to friends, not just when I am an anonymous voice, not just when I'm comfortable.  I am happier than I ever remember being.  It's addicting and I want more of it.  I sincerely hope you find this feeling.

As far as this blog is concerned, I still hope you like me.  But if you don't, that's ok, too.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Random Thought

Tricky nipple.

Don't worry, I'll explain.

I was taking a shower, letting the voices in my head run wild and I began thinking about language.  I've been told I have a way with words.  I don't know how true that is.  While I am horribly conceited I also don't find myself to be all that special.  I know, it's a bit confusing to me as well.  I realize I am not like everyone else but I think anyone could be like me.  In this case, that means I believe anyone could use words the way I do.  I don't feel special.

And then I'll read someone trying to be funny or romantic or deep and I think, sweet tap dancing christ, who let the moron type?

Anyway, this got me to thinking about how horribly the language could be misused which led to ridiculous adjectives which gave birth to the tricky nipple.  And now I'm picturing a tricky nipple passing through a vagina....a gregarious vagina.

I may need sleep.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Breaking Up Isn't That Hard to Do

I was asked for my opinion on this question, I'm paraphrasing, "how can a man let another man steal a woman or let that woman slip away if he really loves her?" My first thought was that without some background, it's a difficult question to answer.  People are too varied for a generalization on this one.  Then I thought about it, that hour drive to work comes in handy for these situations. 

The simple answer is, the effort to keep her outweighs the love he feels.  I know.  I told you it was a simple answer.  It really isn't any deeper than that.  But the real question isn't how, it's why. 

Why would a man decide fighting for a woman's affection isn't worth it?  That question has many varied answers, as many different answers with as many different depths as there are different people and different situation.  But it's still pretty simple. 

Let's start with a woman being taken by another man.  With the exception of kidnapping, no woman has ever been taken.  She gives herself.  Why would you fight for someone that doesn't want you, that is obviously looking for something better?  You can either have some pride and move on or wait and hope she decides you might be good enough.  Not good, good enough.  It's not a question of how much he loves her, it's a question of how much he can tolerate before his pride kicks in.

What if there isn't someone else?  What if she just leaves?  Shouldn't he chase her?  Contrary to popular myth, guys don't want to chase you forever.  Men are hunters but if we never get our prey we aren't beyond picking a berry for sustenance.  At some point, there has to be an end to the hunt.  It's exhausting and, more importantly, it's discouraging to keep trying to win her over, especially if you've made it clear to her that she has won you.  If you're in love why would you still be running?  Why are you insisting he keep proving himself?  Do you realize you're telling him he isn't good enough? 

There is also the possibility that the guy either didn't love her or didn't love her very much.  Maybe he was just comfortable with her.  Maybe he lied to see her naked.  As the old joke goes, "how can I tell you I love you if you won't take off your clothes?" 

It all boils down to what I've said before, if two people don't really want to be together nothing will make it work.  It has nothing to do with professed love, real, imagined, or an outright lie.  So, how could he let her slip away?  They don't belong together.  I told you it was simple.