Breathing and Other New Difficulties

I’m gonna dive right in here: You’ve more than likely been filled in on my whole situation. I mean, how could you avoid it, right? I won’t shut up about it. “My poor lungs,” I bellyache. “My heart is weak,” I bitch and moan. “I can’t even shower without running out of breath,” I complain. I’m mildly sorry if you constantly hear these things, but as of now I think it’s quite alright for me to worry out loud. Bear with me for a while until either A) I’m a bit more “stable” or “normal” in the coming months or B) one of these pesky clots rushes to my brain while I wait in the checkout line at Walmart. Whichever comes first.

If I die young, bury me in SAVINGS!

“If I die young, bury me in SAVINGS!”

Now, for those of you left in the dark, here’s the deal: On Monday December 21st, I decided to help a friend out during a cleaning spree by taking her trash to the dumpster. I had woken up at around 10:30AM and immediately threw some shoes on, grabbed the full bag by the door, and meandered outside, not a care in the world. Once I was about halfway to the dumpster — which is only about a hundred feet from her building’s exit — I began to feel a bit winded. “You’re just fat,” my brain said. “You need to wake up and get your energy back. No biggie.” So I kept going like nothing was wrong. The problem? There indeed WAS something very wrong. I made it to the dumpster and you’d swear at that point I was taking a break from a marathon. I was out of breath, struggling from one gasp to the next. I dropped the trash bag and tried walking back to the apartment, but my equilibrium was thrown off. My ears were ringing, my vision was blurry, my chest was tight and burning, my whole body went weak. Luckily (if I can say that), I made it to the outside apartment door, where I collapsed just as I put my hand on the knob. I waited on my knees for a few seconds as I gathered myself, then picked my body up and stumbled back into the apartment. I made it to the couch and collapsed, trying my hardest not to freak out. Each breath I took hurt like no other. I wanted to burst out in tears and call the ambulance, but my dumb ass decided it was something that would pass on its own. As I rested, my friend came out and told me to migrate to another spot so she could clean around the couch. “No worries,” I said. “I’m about to leave. Gotta go to the doctor. I’m… I’m not feeling too well.”

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I really don’t know.”

“What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? Do you need medicine? What’s wrong?”

“I… Don’t… Know… I’m going to drive myself to the ER.”

Yes, I drove myself in that condition. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea, but you know me, man. I’m not one to hinder on other people’s lives with my silly problems. You’d be happy to know, however, that I did make it to my destination.

Which, at first, was not the ER.

I'm an idiot.

I’m an idiot.

Being a stubborn bastard really bites me in the ass. See, before I went to the ER I decided to stop off at my friend Chris’s house, where I had been crashing for the weeks prior to this whole ordeal. Making it there wasn’t so bad, but making it to his door was a chore and even after feeling the pain all over again, I still didn’t go to the ER. No, I went inside, lied down on the bed, and thought about what was happening. Heart attack? Maybe. Pneumonia? ‘Tis the season. A debilitating STD? Yeah…OK. Unsure of what to make of all of it, I called my mom. I wanted to let her know what was going on in the event that I passed out and no one was around to find me. Yeah, another golden idea: CALL MOM AND WORRY HER! Once I said all of what I had to say, she told me to quote “get [my] fucking ass to the fucking ER before [she comes] down there and drags [my] ass.” OK, that was just the shove I needed, so I hopped in my car and drove down to the ER at St. Joseph’s on Broadway, less than a mile from Chris’s place.

Fast forward to my ER visit. I told them what was going on, they ran some tests and scans and whatnot, and immediately informed me that I was to be admitted. After hours of waiting, bouncing around, getting a finger shoved in my ass, and wondering what the hell was wrong with me, I finally got to see a doctor. He came in, sat down, and ripped it off like a band-aid when he said, “Charles, you have pulmonary embolism, which means that there is clotting in your lungs’ arteries and their “branches.” Not only do you have a few clots, you have SEVERAL clots. The damage is quite extensive, actually. Because of this, you also have right ventricular failure, meaning the right side of your heart is dangerously weak and is having an awful lot of trouble pumping blood into your lungs. We’re going to keep you here for the foreseeable future until all of this is sorted out.”

Wha– I jus– I’m only 24? HOW in the ever-loving hell am I dealing with a pulmonary embolism and fucking HEART FAILURE? They checked my legs for any evidence of deep vein thrombosis. Nothing. Nada. They hooked me up to machines, did some Doppler ultrasounds, checked on my heart some more and were baffled when they couldn’t give me a proper answer. These professionals have no idea how or why I have a sh’load of clots in my lungs. The answer they did give me was that I drew the short straw in the genetic lottery and am just an unlucky son of a bitch.

“Thanks for letting me know.”

After eight days of constant blood work, tests, scans, x-rays, etc, that’s as far as we’ve gotten. Seriously. The good-ish news is that I have to follow up with all of this every week for the rest of eternity, so odds are they’ll find out exactly what’s wrong with me eventually. I have to set up an appointment with a hematologist soon because apparently I might have a shitty blood disorder that’s causing my blood to clot up for no real reason other than being diseased. For the time being, I’m on a blood thinner that needs to be closely monitored for the rest of my life and a blood pressure medication that’s helping me not stroke out.

YEAH! MEDICINE!

YEAH! MEDICINE!

The point of this blog, other than to share my story for those who are unaware, is to let you all know that it’s gonna be a while before I’m back to being the old me. My whole life has been put on hold and everything I’ve worked at for the past few months of my life is now on the back burner. I can’t drive long distances. I can’t work until I know my body’s limitations. I can’t drink alcohol. I can’t smoke. I can’t eat leafy greens or other Vitamin K rich foods (this one’s not so bad). I can’t stand up for too long without getting winded. I can’t sit for too long without running the risk of getting another clot or pushing an existing one through my body. I can’t… Well, there’s a lot I can’t do. It’s really doing a number on my mental health right now. I don’t get to hang out with my friends as much anymore. I don’t have a way to spend time with the girl I was hanging out with at the time of the incident. For all intents and purposes, I’m a bruised, sad sack of sickness, loneliness, and helplessness right now as I try to acclimate to this new development. For once in my life, I’m feeling sorry for myself because, for once in my life, I have no idea what I’m doing. Zero percent. There’s not even a shred of life confidence right now.

Life is different.

And I’m scared.

This all being said, I’m trying to at least keep my humor about me. Every time I bring up this predicament or my overall health in a joking manner, please don’t see it as me being pessimistic. While my optimism is not what it used to be, my humor — no matter how dark — is what’s keeping me sane and happy. When a doctor gives you a list of different ways an illness could potentially kill you, you have to find a way to make each day a little easier, to take your mind off of all the negative. Do I think I’ll croak any time soon? I hope not. With a huge change in my lifestyle, I suppose I could someday find some semblance of normalcy in this fucked up situation. The fact of the matter is, however, that these clots aren’t all going to go away. Some will be broken down by my body naturally, but with the sheer amount that are in my lungs, there’s no guarantee they’ll all go away. Does that spell out certain death? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I’m just saying we should name them all and start betting on which one will bust out of the gate first and race to the finish line in my head.

I’m just kidding! You really think I’m gonna let you get rid of me that easily? Forget about it!

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Before I go, I wanna ship out a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me through all of this, whether it be monetarily, morally, spiritually, whatever. I have quite an awesome support system that continues to make me feel better each and every day. Much love to you all!

And thanks for reading, you rascals. I’m gonna go count my bruises.

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IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO MY GOFUNDME TO HELP WITH THE COSTS OF ALL OF THIS, PLEASE GO HERE:

>>> CHARLIE’S POST-HOSPITAL COSTS <<<

Severed Ties or: How I Stopped Letting Petty Stuff Weigh on Me and Learned to Tolerate Everyone

I was not planning on writing anything tonight, but stuff has been weighing on my mind a lot lately, especially after trying to plan a party/get-together with all of my friends. See, this task has proven to be impossible due to the volume of “if X goes then Y refuses to go” complaints I’ve been getting already. “If A shows up then B will leave.” It’s fucking exhausting, and here’s why…

The amount of effort I’ve put into getting people together in the past is astounding and the amount I put into it now is equally as impressive, even though I’m arguably the “friend” who can DO the least. Charlie — the guy who historically has had no money; the guy who got fucked financially and mentally all the way out of college; the guy who has spent countless days locked in a dark room, crying, wondering what the point of life even is; the guy who doesn’t even have a car right now; the guy who has spent quite a length of time bouncing from place to place; the guy that hasn’t even lived in the same house for an entire year of his life…EVER! — is the one trying to maintain a sense of friendliness in a world full of petty fights and broken relationships.

BEAR WITH ME!! The depressing stuff is almost over!

BEAR WITH ME!! The depressing stuff is almost over!

What’s the point of all of this bitching, you may be asking? My point is this: If I can find a way to be friends with everyone, then how is it that some people in my life (some people who have known each other longer than they have known me) can drift apart? How can relationships just end *snap* like that? It’s tragic, really. Most of these relationships ended abruptly over either A) a bullshit fight that has since blown over entirely or B) an accumulation of petty grievances that for some reason have become grounds for friendship termination. It’s not right. I’m one of the most misanthropic, cynical, asshole-ish people I know and even I can sweep shit under the rug and find the good in people, regardless of how much I want to punch them in the nose on occasion. It’s really not that difficult. My stomach twists and turns when I think about how these old relationships and how much was thrown away over such trivialities.

KEEP READING!! The sad sack stuff comes to an end soon enough!

KEEP READING!! The sad junk comes to an end soon enough!

Having said all of this, you may be trying to turn the tables and think of times when I’ve cut it off with supposed friends and you’d probably be able to come up with several people. KNOW THIS: I have never, ever stopped caring for anyone over something so little. I have never, ever loathed someone’s existence because I think they have done me wrong. I have never, ever blocked someone from my mind because of things like little white lies, girl problems, things said out of anger, etc. It is true that I have, however, made myself distant from some old friends. I have gotten upset at myself and gone through bouts of depression, during which I tried to erase everyone from my life by deleting all traces of them. I have most likely hurt several people by being there one minute and disappearing the next.

I have also made my amends. I have had time to think about these things, talk them over, iron it all out, and come to my senses because that’s what people do. That’s called taking responsibility. That’s called understanding. That’s called trying.

You’ve gotta take into account that I understand that not everyone is meant to be friends with each other. I know that being all hunky-dory with everyone you used to be friends with may just not be in the cards and hey, that’s fine; no one’s loss if it’s a mutual thing. Hell, I’d be cool if people could just be civil with one another, bury the hatchet temporarily, and let bygones be bygones for a few. But to completely shoot down all attempts of at least talking it through with one another and lie to yourself and others about why it all fell through between the parties involved, that’s just wrong. That’s just foolish.

So, in a way, this blog post is one part an apology on my behalf, one part a boot to the ass of anyone who’s currently fighting a similar battle, and one part a think piece for anyone wondering why the fuck things can’t go back to the way they once were.

I’m pulling for you.

Group hug.

Sorry I lied to you.

Sorry I lied to you.

It’s Not Your Fault

I don’t want to call myself a comedian; that wouldn’t be accurate. I crack jokes on Twitter and in the company of others to hopefully make at least one person smile, but I wouldn’t say that makes me a comedian, no matter how often I wish that were the case. I’ve only been on a stage twice in my life. I’ve never been paid to make anyone laugh. I’m just a dude who, though a self-proclaimed misanthropic curmudgeon, honestly likes to see people happy, no matter the method. That all being said, I’ve also battled with clinical depression for a good portion of my life, as well as thoughts of suicide. The laughter comes at a price.

Never in a million years did I think I’d be one to have such thoughts. Yeah, life early on had its ups and downs with my parents’ divorce when I was around six or seven, the financial troubles I was a part of, the yearly moves and school transfers, etc — I just thought I was sad all the time or, better yet, simply disappointed in myself and my situation. As time passed and my brain began to develop and mature, I started thinking that maybe something was wrong, that maybe my wiring was a bit off. My teen years were filled with emotion, change, and pain. Headaches became frequent, fits of rage became sporadic, and tears fell from my eyes for seemingly no reason at least three times a week. At school I kept my shit together, put on a smile, walked the halls with the rest of the world, waved to everyone, and played it cool, but when I went home I wanted to be alone in my room and in my head. That’s when I beat myself up the most.

Would drinking mouthwash in excess do the trick? Nah, that’d probably just give me a stomach ache. Maybe I can go for a ride with friends and jerk the wheel on a back road? No no no, I wouldn’t want to hurt them in the process. Does anyone I know have a gun? Come on, Charlie, don’t make them see you like that…

That’s the kind of stuff I would think about. On the outside I was this chubby, lovable, happy-go-lucky, and overall kind person, but I had demons of my own to take care of, to fight off and lock up before I started my day. I had no one to talk to; I didn’t want to burden others with my troubles because that would just be an inconvenience to them. I sincerely didn’t think anyone would take me seriously if I attempted to lay out my issues, so I kept them hidden from everyone, even family. All through high school this dragged on. Then came college.

In 2010 I moved to Ann Arbor to begin my stint at UMich. The transition from small town to college town was huge. All of that change and culture shock hit me at once. Sure I made friends, ones that I talk to and love to this day, but the depression ate at me more than ever while I was there. I’d lock myself in my room, turn off all of the lights, and sleep. People would pound on the door and yell because they knew I was in there. I would never respond to them. I’d even go as far as hiding in a corner with a blanket over me so that there was no way ANYONE would be able to see me, even if they found a way to peek under my door. I suppose the reason I didn’t want anyone to come in is because I put on a front and pretended to be happy. This opened another door to them to talk to me about their own issues, forcing me to listen and concern myself with more problems that weren’t even my own. I would console them and comfort them, make them feel good about their situations until they were able to sleep soundly at night. Not to say their problems were added weight to my shoulders, but tack those on to an already full mind and I was beating myself up even more over what I knew was petty bullshit. I know it sounds strange, but my brain felt just like I did: it wanted to be left alone.

Later on I would try my hand in comedy. During the good days I would write a whole helluva lot of material, so why not share that? Who knows, maybe it would make me feel better. The first time I was onstage was beautiful and I loved every minute of it. The jokes were solid, the crowd was beautiful, and I seemed to have a knack for it. The second time was not as well-done, but I knew that every amateur comic had their moments, so I didn’t sweat it too much. These two instances lead to briefly happier times and more intimate writing sessions where I could release my troubles through jokes. Again, these moments were brief.

More bad thoughts came as the clock ticked forward. What would happen if I dove from the fourth floor window? There’s a chance it would just hurt a lot, but not necessarily do the trick. Well, what about the buses? They’re constantly running routes, right? Dive in front of one of those. No way! That’s going to fuck with the many people that have to witness that. Have some decency, man.

That was the last straw for me. I ducked out of college in 2012, partly due to financial issues, but mainly because I didn’t belong there. Everyone was out and about having a good time, spending money, spending time with friends, spending their youth enjoying life, while I was cowering in a corner pathetically trying to hide from anyone that wanted to see me. That was no way for a twenty-year old to live.

The next couple years were spent working and trying to better myself. I’d put in 50-70 hours at work, during which time I wouldn’t worry too much about my personal life. This was OK, but the depression war raged on at home, only this time I was truly alone. I finally went to a doctor to get help in early 2013. The antidepressants he gave me were enough to keep the crying fits at bay, but they weren’t helping me as much as I’d like them to. I do suppose this may have been because I lied to him and said I never had thoughts of suicide (I didn’t want to trouble the poor guy). He upped the dosage after I explained this to him, which seemed to help a little bit, but I definitely still felt shitty most of the time. This cycle of lying and medicating went on and on and on to, well, present day.

I still feel this way most days. I laugh as much as possible and encourage others to do the same, but behind this curtain of happiness is still a very sad, lonely, angry person. And last night everything was kind of put into perspective when I read the breaking news headlines:

ROBIN WILLIAMS IS DEAD.

Not just dead, but apparently dead from suicide. Robin Williams…suicide… It didn’t add up. One of my heroes, my inspirations, the man who could lift me up more than a majority of people in my real life ever could, the man who did the same for nearly every single person on the planet with a television set, the man who seemed to be the kindest, gentlest, and arguably funniest person in the history of entertainment…killed himself?

Why? Why? Why? That’s all I could ask myself. How could someone like that take his own life? Robin Williams dealt with a lot of shit that was made public, but those were speed bumps, right? How could he feel so…depressed? Did depression cause this? All this time he was lifting the spirits of millions of people, was he really this sad? Alone? Afraid?

The whole situation got my mind racing at a hundred miles a minute. Then I began to simmer down and think: If I have felt this way for so long, who’s to say this man wasn’t going through similar bullshit?  People go through it all the time and Mr. Williams is no different. We all saw him as this funny character, but none of us truly knew what went on while the cameras weren’t on him. This is not unlike the rest of us who deal with issues every single day; no one knows what we are going through unless we talk about it. If we are not honest with those we love, then how can they possibly know that the person they see isn’t real? I guess that’s the reason why I’m writing this.

Listen to your loved ones. Don’t just talk to them and try to relate to what they’re going through, fucking listen. Don’t assume that because someone is happy or funny or generous on the outside, they are feeling the same way on the inside. For years I have felt that I have had no one to talk to about any of this because every conversation I try to have turns into the other person trying to one-up my problems. I know everyone has shit to deal with, but it’s important to just be there for others. Let them talk. Let them vent. Let them cry, for Christ’s sake. Hug them, hold them, rock them, rub their back, stroke their hair, kiss their cheek, dry their eyes. Do what you can to be there for them. You never know what’s going to happen in the future, so do your best to be there for those who need it most. Trust me when I say that they will return the favor tenfold, especially if they are in better spirits when that time comes.

I, for one, am glad to report that I am slowly trying to transition into a better lifestyle through a mixture of comedy, medication, education, and self-realization, but this will most definitely take some time. The power of laughter is real, my friends, and Robin Williams was proof of that. If you’re like me or Robin or millions of others who suffer from depression, then you must also realize that there needs to be balance in your life. Laughter can heal; however, you have to not only make others laugh but find time to better yourself as well, through writing, performing, reading, drawing, etc. You need to smile, too, dammit.

And if you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, DO NOT HESITATE TO TALK TO SOMEONE. There is always someone to talk to at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). I know calling the “suicide hotline” might feel strange or whatever, but when there’s no one else around they will help you fight your battle. “You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.*”  You are not alone. You are loved.

*Rest in Peace, Mr. Robin Williams

xjbQU6A

Parochial Horse Shit

OK, so I’ve been watching a lot of slam poetry on YouTube and have come to the conclusion that a lot of the courageous sons of bitches that do it have an amazing amount of talent — more than I could ever ask for. Take for instance George Watsky, a man I’ve come to admire for being some sort of David Copperfield of words. (If you like this, then you’ll love his rapping abilities. Seriously, check him out.)

Anywho, after viewing Watsky, Bo Burnham, and several other lesser-known-yet-just-as-capable individuals, I decided to try my hand at something similar to slam poetry. I emphasize the word ‘similar’ only because 1) I’m not that good at spoken word anything in front of a crowd of people and 2) since you’re only going to read it for now, it’s honestly up to you to add your own voice to my words. Think of my little “poem” here as a slice of free verse. I threw in breaks where I felt they were most natural, so it honestly has no set rhyme pattern — though there are internal and end rhymes aplenty — or Shakespearean meter, but dammit it flows nicely. Without further ado, here it goes:

When you were a kid, you went to the parade, smiling

It wasn’t a charade, you were genuinely excited

To smell horse shit and see Miss Small Town in her thrift store ball gown

She wore it, smiled, and waved a white glove — the Queen —

As buckets of sweat poured and gleamed from every pore

GOD DAMN THE SUN

“Look son,” your Mom says as she puts her hand on your head,

“Look at the big red fire truck!”

You look and think, “Hmm, fuck, she was right…”

But you see no fire, no fire in sight

You’re totally lost, until you see the Chief toss a handful of

Candy from the side of this massive machine

It’s like early Halloween, except mom doesn’t need

To check the pot for razor blades or syringe holes

The only thing holding you in worry is the slight chance

Of choking if you eat in a hurry or maybe

Your vision going blurry if a rogue Tootsie Roll

Locks on to your cornea and transforms you

Into a nine-year old Stevie Wonder,

Without the dreadlocks or piano chops, just you, completely under

A blanket of blindness, like a midnight Linus

Nevermind this; the truck is gone and your patience is done

All the candy has been tossed and all that remains

Is a Cadillac of veterans with oxygen tanks and wooden canes

“Mom, this is boring; those guys are old; I’m tired; let’s go home.”

“Leave me be, son, leave me alone. I want to thank these men for their service.”

What nerve! It’s those guys that get thanked and you have to wait

To ingest your taffy and toffee? You’re scoffing: “Uuuuugh, that’s lame.”

Fast forward to today and the parade holds less appeal

Life is real: Miss Small Town still lives in the same house

With the same neighbors and still has the ball gown

She clings to the past, her peak, even though her job

At the grocery store got cut last week and

The gas station took down its sign: Looking to Hire

The fire truck is still technically “in use,”

Though its parade days have been put on hold

Fires are as frequent as a case of polio

Building codes just aren’t as fucked as they used to be,

So the truck sits in the garage down on Maple Street

Twenty-one years old and you still often stroll by

In hopes that more bubblegum will be hurled at your eye

Disappointment sets in until you remember you have a job

And you can buy your own goddamn candy

It’s not necessarily a job you’re proud of,

But that’s what you get when you drop out of community college

You had dreams, but eccentricities and major differences

Are shunned by the townspeople that love

“Rolling coal” and automatic guns

They tell you that you must know

How an engine runs or how to make a time clock go,

But it’s all meh as long as you can buy your own butterscotch, right?

What a pathetic, dim bright side when you waste away your time

Don’t forget the vets like it seems everyone else has

Not long after the parade in ’01 some kids lost their grand dads

That Cadillac’s been scrapped; a new pick-up’s taken its place

Fresh faces on leave will soon ride in the bed on a hot summer day,

While your kid tugs at your shirt asking if you HAVE to stay

You tell her, “No, we can go. This part’s kind of boring.

Besides, daddy’s gotta work in the morning.”

This is as good as it gets: Believe it.

Welcome to Eden.

.

.

.

Thank you.

comparison-of-bull-dog-and-old-man

The Time of Change and Transfer

I guess now is as good a time as any to let everyone know what my deal is.

Let me just start it off like a Band-Aid: I’m not going to be coming back to U of M next year. There, aren’t ya glad that’s over?

Now, the details. Over the past two years I have met a lot of amazing people, most of whom I consider to be some of my best friends. Between my 4th Hinsdale Family, my 3rd Palmer Extended Family, and anyone else who may have come into my life at random points throughout these past years, I think I did alright for myself. Y’all touched my life in ways you may not even know. Don’t kid yourselves, I touched yours too ;). All this being said there have been some bad times in my own life that have led me to believe that it’s time to make some changes.

I can’t think of a better way to do this, so I’m going to set up a little Q & A to answer all those questions that are going through your heads.

1. Why?

— It all boils down to my happiness. These past two years have been rough on me. I just don’t think I’m built for the college town life, ya know? The parties, the people, the whole experience just isn’t ME. I’ve spent more days in misery than in joy simply because everyone’s out having a good time and I’m in my room. I’ve felt mildly depressed almost everyday since I’ve been on campus. That’s not what college is about, is it? “Your depression is your fault Charlie. You can change that.” Oh, are you me? Do you know what’s going on in MY head? No, you’re not and you don’t. The lectures about how things can change need to stay at the doorstep because only I am me and only I know how I feel. Long story short, U of M isn’t for me. No it didn’t take me two years to figure that out, it just took me two years to dwell and to TRULY understand it. Trust me, it’s been on my mind since early last year. Life is far too short to remain unhappy. It’s up to us to find/create our own happiness.

That should be enough. If you’re just DYING to hear more reasons, let me know and I’ll be glad to fill you in.

2. Where are you going?

— Assuming everything goes smoothly in the transfer process, I’ll be heading to IPFW (Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne) next fall. The degree I’ll be getting will basically be from Purdue, it just won’t be from the main campus.

3. Are you still majoring in film?

— Sort of. The degree equivalent is a BA in Media and Public Communication with a minor in Film Studies. Once I graduate I’ll have everything I need to continue down the path of TV Production. Where that path leads me, no one knows.

4. IPFW sounds like a shitty school. Have fun NOT getting a U of M degree.

— Dude, shut your mouth. Just because my degree isn’t going to have a block M on it doesn’t mean I won’t be successful. I’m still determined to make it in my field and be the absolute best. IPFW is convenient for many reasons. 1) It’s accredited and most of my credits SHOULD transfer without much hassle. 2) It’s closer to home. Many of you know I’m a family-oriented man, so being a quick drive away from much of my family will do me some good. 3) I’ll be able to get a job, an apartment, and still go to school in a familiar place. I’ll be independent and I’ll be happy. Why question that?

5. Will you visit?

— Do you even have to ask? I love all of you guys and wouldn’t just disappear forever. I still won’t be terribly far away, so visitations are a must. How long can an average human being go without a healthy dose of Charlie? I don’t think it’s very long. I will be back, trust me :).

It has taken me quite a long time to muster up the courage to let all of you know this, so I hope I got the point across. Letting y’all know isn’t easy on me, but let’s just treat this as a good thing. We’ll all lead awesome lives in the end and stay in touch the whole time through. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

Now…we have ONE month left until this semester is over! Let’s make the best of it.

Smile Dammit,

Charlie

Steffin: Take Two

Been thinking, might change the plot line completely. The story I have now seems almost too cliche. I have been watching a bunch of indie movies like Slacker and Clerks and Swingers and find the independent, “friend” movie is the direction in which I want to move… We’ll see.

When I was a freshman in college, uh, last year, I wrote a very short screenplay entitled “Steffin.” It was the story about an overweight man (Steffin) in his mid-twenties who wakes up to find a pink thong on his bathroom floor and, with the the help of his stoned-out-of-his-mind best friend and mysterious foreign cable guy, tries to figure out whether or not he lost his virginity the night before. He can’t remember for one reason or another and his friends are about as helpful as Whitney Huston leading a weekend sobriety meeting at the meth clinic. When I wrote it I had in mind a Clerks-esque film style: more focused on dialogue and storytelling rather than a huge Hangover-ish adventure. I relied on character development and their words as opposed to the things they actually did to piece everything together. Characters didn’t spend a whole lot of time outside of Steffin’s apartment, though I did have to take some of the scenes elsewhere to develop everything. The story was far from original, but the way I wrote it was, in my humble opinion, rather saucy; however, I was unhappy with the overall product. It felt rushed and rough and frankly I could have done a much better job.

So here I am now at 11:30 PM thinking about what I could do to improve it. While I haven’t come up with very much, I have brainstormed enough to come up with a new beginning scene, a prologue if you will. Is it cool if I share it with you? If you’re shaking your head and saying “no” right now then you can shove it ’cause I’m about to post my idea for the first scene. Get ready, chilluns, because here it is: the prologue to the story of “Steffin.”

CLICK HERE TO READ “STEFFIN”

Far from perfect, but it’s a lot better than what I had before. AFTER this little scene is when the music will play and the title will pop up. Then the story will get under way. Let me know whatchya think!