About-Box

 
 
 

Name:

Jeff Chapple


Age:

43


Birthday:

February 18th


LOCATION:

Salt Lake City, Utah


BELIEF SYSTEM:

Atheist


PERSUASION:

Gay Boy


SchoolS:

University of Utah

Salt Lake Community College


Degrees (in progress):

Computer Science AS

Philosophy BS

Linguistics BA


EMPLOYMENT (current):

House Lighting Designer & Electrician

(click here for employment history)


HOBBY:

Creating Music. Visit my Music Page.


EMAIL:

jeffchapple@mac.com

ME, Me, ME – All About Me

in 5000 words or less.

Santa Pub Crawl, 2003

My parents adopted me three days after I was born in Ogden, Utah. I have no deep, hidden angst about being adopted because my parents chose the correct path and never hid my adoption from me. I have no desire whatsoever to find my biological parents. We lived in Provo, Utah for a couple of years while my father finished school and then moved when he got a teaching position at Bingham High School to what would become Cottonwood Heights, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.


Our Salt Lake City house was fairly remote when it was built. Vast areas surrounding the house were open fields with a million things for a boy to do, to explore. About a half a mile away in a “valley” was Little Cottonwood Creek. I spent many a summer playing beaver, felling trees to dam up the river to make swimming holes for my friends and myself. The crystal clear mountain water was a perfect solution to the hot summers. A more interesting, though smellier part of the valley was a small semi-stagnant pond. This pond was a giant Petri dish, brimming with all sorts of magical creatures from tadpoles to muskrats, even the occasional fox.


My upbringing was traditional middle class. My father was an underpaid high school teacher, who supplemented his income by coaching various sports. My mother sells Jafra cosmetics, entering this quasi-pyramid scheme early on and thus profiting nicely (in the past, not so much now though). We had enough money to be comfortable and do more or less as we chose. We used the summers to travel relatively widely compared to our neighbors. At the age of eight, we went to Hawaii, which if anything was an exotic luxury, partially funded by my paternal grandfather’s estate. My love of travel started there.


As I got a bit older, becoming a teen-ager, I became more and more awkward socially. Middle school was the beginnings of a social hell that would culminate in my abandoning high school. My feeling different and thus not fitting in had two components that reinforced each other. The first, I was gay. I knew this by the time I was eleven. There was no turning away from the fact. For the most part, I didn’t even try to correct this “flaw”, simply bearing the difference silently. The second, I was smart. This alienated me from the masses even further. This is not just a conceit of my own construction, my schools and teachers acknowledged this to my parents, all of them pushing me in directions that I might not have chosen myself but enjoyed nonetheless. Furthermore, this intelligence made me critical of accepting things the way they were simply because I was told to by those in authority. The seeds of my deep-felt empiricism and skepticism lay here.


For most of my public school life, I was a model student, not necessarily getting the highest of grades, but certainly in the upper percentiles. This led me through several formative phases that I still cherish today as foundational to who I am now. The first was that of “artist”, I drew, I painted, I sculpted, I acted, I played the Piano. This phase lasted until high school. A concurrent phase was what I might call “scientist”. I excelled in all and any science. I soaked it up greedily. Chemistry, biology, physics, they all fascinated me to no end. I suppose more importantly, they were natural to me. They resonated with my “soul.” Upon entering high school, I discovered computers (such as they were at that time – 1981). This phase gave me a profound love for the machine and technology in general. I love computers in the way an artist loves her favorite brush, the way a craftsman loves his favorite chisel. I love how they are capable of extending our potential. I love what they allow us to do. These all collide into what I now call myself, a “technician”. I have said many times that, “a good technician can mimic an artist, but a good artist can never mimic a technician.” I would suppose the same is true for technician and scientist. I’m not so sure if this is just self-justifying bravado, but I feel a grain of truth there. The downside, of course, is that the technician will never be a good artist or good scientist.


Existential Crisis Number One:

Towards the end of my high school career, I began to see how my life was mapped out. I was headed to a state university, though I was accepted to M.I.T., we supposedly couldn’t afford its tuition. I was to enter a computer science program, get a degree and then start my way up the corporate ladder. (Ironically, in retrospect, this probably would have made me very wealthy – getting in on the ground floor of some up and coming software or hardware giant.) I was starving however. I was starving for a vibrant social life to match my vibrant intellectual life. So, mid-junior year, I consciously enacted a plan to meet as many “interesting” people as I could. These would be the outliers, the misanthropes, the social outcastes – punk rockers, faggots, goths, drinkers, smokers, sluts, etc. I was on a mission, a mission to break free of my social naivety. This was both disastrous and miraculous. Suffice it to say, this was troubling to my parents and my teachers. I went a little (well, a lot) crazy. I met Derek, April, Kent, Susie and Julie at that time. I found myself leaving home at the “request” of my father a year later, moving downtown to live in a seedy apartment with six punk rockers, throwing high school away and the planned trajectory with it.


Several endless-summer years passed. My father and I arrived at a détente, agreeing to disagree. I had several meaningless jobs. I did work for and with my friend Jack doing several nightclub projects. This was fun at the time, putting me in a place of prestige with the club kids. I enjoyed the puzzles this work placed before me. I enjoyed the bizarre landscapes I was often charged with creating. But, after a road trip to Los Angeles, I “fell in love.” The lure of the beautiful Brian and the beautiful big city were irresistible. Within a couple of months, I was headed to California.


Culture shock! Brian and the big city scared the hell out of me (well, truth be told, Brian scared the hell out of me – he actually loved me). So, I ditched Brian (regrettably) and went walkabout to see what I could see. Los Angeles is a surreal, mystical place, a dirty, sparkling, sensual, aloof mass of stinking, sweating, rutting, fighting, loving humanity. It is, above all, a great place to lose oneself. Lost, I became.


In Los Angeles, I worked for the Whole Life Times, a new-age monthly newspaper. This introduced me to all the more wacky aspects of mysticism and spirituality. I dabbled with crystals, tantric sex, tarot cards, UFOlogy, eastern mysticism and the like, finding it fundamentally bankrupt, one unsupported claim piled upon another, building a house of wishful thinking that is mind destroying (perhaps that is the point though). I culled what I could from the mountains of chaff, taking these pearls of wisdom to heart and discarding the rest. The scientist in me simply could not swallow all the self-serving bullshit the gurus disgorged onto their followers. Nevertheless, it was a circus, and circuses are at the least entertaining. The big top, though, must eventually come down and move on.


My sexuality exploded in the fertile endless nights of Los Angeles, sending me in a million directions at supersonic speeds. I discovered fetishes inside fetishes, hedonism draped in pseudo spirituality, dens of iniquity I could have only dreamed of. It was a very good time. (I’ve written a little blog entry about one of these adventures into the carnal called “me, a man and a jeep,” which is a relatively tame, “vanilla” example.) My “sex life” became a kaleidoscope of drag queens, porn stars, BBS hook-ups, drunken orgies, back room philandering, sweaty nights on the dance floor, midnight walks to the sex clubs, days at the nude beach, disjointed disastrous relationships followed with quiet evenings plotting my next adventure. I was insatiable and so was Los Angeles. I consumed it; it consumed me. Miraculously, I survived all this physically unscathed, that is, I didn’t contract HIV. Many I knew were not so lucky, pleasure-seeking soldiers mowed down in battle by capricious Nature. She giveth and she taketh away – painful and bitter memories.


I’ve decided that all the people I want to talk about I will talk about in my blog, otherwise this overview will never end. I will list some of the formative friends I had the honor to meet while in LA: Liz, John, Steve, Billy and Anita. I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting, my apologies. Likewise, there were many friends that followed me from Salt Lake to LA: April, Derek, Kent, Robby, Jennifer. Some of these people remain friends to this day, some, sadly have died, some, regrettably, I have fallen out of favor with or lost contact with over the years. This, I suppose, is the way of the world. But whatever their current status, each and every one of them profoundly affected my life.


Existential Crisis Number Two:

Los Angeles is a wonderful place when things are going well (financially) and pretty much a living hell when the chips are down. Well, the chips definitely ended up down. I was sick. I was dirt poor. I was living in what could be deemed a “shit hole” of an apartment with my dearest friends. All of us were in bad shape. Billy was starting to die. Anita had disappeared, back on drugs, no where to be found. There seemed to be no hope anywhere on the horizon. I was adrift in a wide hostile ocean. So, I called it quits. After Los Angeles crushed me, I moved back to Salt Lake. Quite frankly, I didn’t know what else to do but come home and regroup. It felt like such a badge of failure at the time. The twelve-hour drive back to Utah was an emotional and spiritual Gethsemane for me.


So, I moved in with Mom. I started back to the University of Utah. I discovered linguistics, which became one of my great academic fascinations. I met back up with Jack. He asked me to help him build what would end up being called Club Vortex (the first one, on Exchange Place.) I ended up working for the Vortex people (Steve, Jim, Lee and Cary) off and on for about 12 years, transitioning from Vortex to Axis, then forming my own company with Jack, Delta A/V Systems.


K, that’s all I can stand to write. If you’d like my recent history, well, you’ll just have to buy me a beer and listen to the long and painful tale of my adventures over the last decade. We’d better make that two beers.


FAVORITES:


Colors:

Iced Lemon Yellow

Chalk-Line Blue


ALCOHOLIC, FADING

DIVA LOUNGE ACT:

Kiki and Herb

(thanks Brian!)


BookS:

The Aristos, John Fowles

Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse


CHAIN RESTAURANT:

Chili’s


MovieS:

Prospero’s Books

The Pillow Book

(both by Peter Greenaway)


CAR:

Jeep Wrangler


TV SHOWS:

Battlestar Galactica

Lost


PORN STAR:

Alex Collack


SONGS (current):

Sunset, Kate Bush

Gold Dust, Tori Amos


PRETTY-BOY ACTOR:

Ben Browder


PLACES:

Southern Aegean Coast of Turkey

Furnace Creek Inn, Death Valley

35,000 feet above the North Atlantic

(see photo gallery)


PHILOSOPHERS:

David Hume & Friedrich Nietzsche


COCKTAIL:

Dirty Vodka Martini, 3 Olives


SCIENTISTS:

Edward O. Wilson

David Bohm


MUSCLE:

Pectoralis Majoris


PAINTINGS:

Monet’s Water Lilies

Any Rembrandt up close


POSITION:

Coitus More Ferarum

(catching or pitching)


FLOWERS:

Orchids, Dahlias & Water Lilies




Me, Dad and Sis, 1975?

Me, Hotel Room Bed,

(I’m too sexy for my shirt...)

Salt Lake City, 1986

Mom, Me and April

Orange Grove Ave.,

Los Angeles 1989

Kent and Me – Halloween

Santa Monica Blvd., 1989?

Pretty, Pretty!?!

Me and Dad – Thanksgiving,

Salt Lake City, 1993?

Me, Whole Life Expo,

New York, 1988

Me, by Liz

(gawd I miss that hair...)

Los Angeles, 1988?

Me

Los Angeles, 1990?

Marcus, Me and Sis

Movin’ to LA Party   

Salt Lake City, 1987

Steve, Liz, Me and Kent

Company Christmas Party

Los Angeles, 1988?

Me and Sis, by Derek

Salt Lake City, 1992?