(Ed Note: This is an archived ‘about’ page, written in late 2003 and thoroughly out of date. Please see instead the current About Charlie and Where the Hell Was I? page. Thankies.)
Well, what can I tell you, really?
Way back in the hot July summer of 1970, a child was born in Los Angeles, California. Both his parents worked — his mother in an office, and his father as a bluegrass street musician, if you can call the latter ‘work’. He was young and impressionable, doing his best to stay out of trouble — and the hospital — while becoming fascinated with L.A.’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. In the meantime, he traveled, spending time in Kansas with his strict Presbyterian grandparents, and in Europe, with his other grandfather. He took up breakdancing, learned the guitar, and planned, above all else, to make it big some day. He dropped out of school at sixteen to follow his dream, and moved to New York to try his luck. Failure came quickly, though, and he soon made his way back to the West Coast to try another angle. He would not be deterred so easily.
And that man went on to become Beck.
(Um, I’m not sure why I told you all that. Let’s start over, shall we?)
On a steamy July night in 1970, a star was born in the Bronx, NY. The proud parents were a hard-working couple from Puerto Rico; they’d made the difficult move to the States to provide a better life for their baby. Early on, it was clear that the child could dance. And that it had an enormous ass. Before long —
Wait, hold on. Sorry, that’s Jennifer Lopez. Damn. One more try.
I, too, was born on a hot July night in 1970. While my material successes have been somewhat more… um, modest than my monthmates above, I make up for it with… uh, being cooler. Yeah, cooler. And I write a blog. And I think I’m taller, too. So nyah!
Anyway, back to me. I’m not sure what you’d want to know. I suppose I can give you the ‘driver’s license’ version of me. Here’s what my current license says: Male, 6’3″, 180 pounds. Hair brown, eyes hazel, contact lenses needed to drive. Oh, and I’ll donate organs, too, once I’m through using them. That’s about it, I suppose. The weight’s off by twenty pounds or so; I think I just copied info from my previous license. Hey, speaking of which, here’s a really small crappy image of the picture from that license. It’s maybe ten or twelve years old now. I look a little happier in the current photo, by the way. Older, sure. Bigger, yes. Drunker… well, about the same. But happier, definitely. Downright friggin’ jolly. Maybe I’ll scan it in one day; it’s probably better than the train wreck of a mug shot I just gave you.
Is that enough? Can I stop now? No? Well, crap. I guess I’ll tell you everything, then. I’d better start at the beginning…
I grew up in a pretty crappy part of the country. I don’t think I’m quite ready to tell you where exactly, but I’ll tell you this — the name of the state I grew up in has a compass direction in it. Can you think of any states with ‘North’, ‘South’, or ‘West’ in the name that shouldn’t be landfilled over and forgotten about? Me, neither.
(Oh, all right — we’ll save the beaches of the ones on the coast. Fine. Everything else must go.)
So, suffice to say that my childhood was dull at best, and screaming willy-inducing at it’s worst. I don’t have a sister-wife myself, but I know people who do. ‘Nuff said.
I grew up an only child, which will no doubt explain an awful lot if you keep reading my stuff. My parents divorced when I was two or so… and remarried about a year later. I have no idea why, and I don’t really remember any of it myself. Maybe they just wanted some time off. Maybe one of them wanted to become a porn star, and came back when they didn’t have the ‘right stuff’, so to speak. Or maybe I was just too much for one parent at a time to handle. Whatever it was, I really can’t say. I’m sure it contributed to whatever mental instabilities I have, but on the conscious level — I got nothing. Just thought I should mention it.
Speaking of horrible influences on my fragile psyche, I’m also a product of the United States public schools system. (In one of the crappier of the forty-eight contiguous states, remember. Most of my teachers did more drooling than schooling. I taught my high school math teacher how to tie his shoes. It was not pretty.) And just to prove that the system failed me more or less miserably, I’ll tell you this — after eighteen years of living in the armpit of the nation, bearing the brunt of jokes and sneers because of where I was born, I decided to do something about it. I opted to move away for college — get a fresh start, see the world, and finally find out what real civilization — where people have all their teeth, and wear shoes, and everything — was like. I used all of the intellectual power at my disposal to think of the most exciting, energetic, downright exotic locale I could find. I was looking for a life-changing, eye-opening college experience.
So, of course, I ended up in Kentucky. Central Kentucky. Rural central Kentucky.
(Damn you, public schools!)
No big city, no nightlife, no jetsetting crowd. And still not enough damned teeth to go around.
(For Chrissakes, is dentistry that fucking hard to come by? These people always had their frigging horses shoed and their crops tended — is it so much to ask to add a little brushing and flossing to the daily routine?)
Anyway, the less said about my college experiences, the better. (Most of it’s sealed in my criminal records now, anyway. I’m not really allowed to talk about it.) There’s one exception, however — I met my wife in college, and we’ve been together ever since. (In a couple of weeks, it’ll be thirteen years together. And almost five since I unchained her from the radiator. She was a little hesitant at first… but I think I’ve sort of grown on her. I barely even need the hypnosis any more.)
Um… moving on. So, I got the hell out of college and moved to Pittsburgh.
(Which is better. Not exactly ‘happening‘ or ‘metropolitan‘, but better. I was learning.)
I spent the first four years there as a biologist-in-training, and wondering why the hell I didn’t really like it. In college, I thought I’d like it.
(Maybe I didn’t really catch on that all the beer and parties and sports and shit weren’t really part of the major itself. I don’t know.)
In any case, I finally got fed up and got into computer programming, which I’ve been doing ever since. And I’m getting tired of it now. Anybody out there need a nonsense writer?
(So, does getting bored with your career every eight years or so count as ADD? Eight frickin’ years seems like a pretty damned long attention span, if you ask me. But no one ever does…)
After a couple more years in Pittsburgh, the wife and I packed up shop and moved to the Boston area.
(Finally, civilization! The only people who don’t have enough teeth around here are the Bruins. Hallelujah!)
We spent three years
flushing half our fucking money down the toilet paying exorbitant rents in Brookline, and this spring moved — with our plucky mutt — to a house of our own in Watertown, just a hop and a skip outside of Boston proper.
So, that’s the life history. What else is there? I’m a big baseball fan. I play volleyball, softball, and golf.
(None of them well, but all of them with gusto. Or maybe it’s ‘pesto’. I always get those two mixed up. You should probably never come to my house for pasta.)
I’m an aspiring standup comic — my first (and quite possibly last) show is on November 16th, 2003. (Come see!) And… aw, hell, I don’t know. Haven’t you read enough already? If you want to know more, go see my 100
Things Posts About Me, or read the About the Blog page. If the shit above isn’t already more than you want to know, I can guarantee you’ll get your fill from those other links. Enjoy!