Does no one else remember the episode of Charlie Brown where he meets a little girl who has a weird cough and bruises easily? Did no one—other than myself, learn about death at the same time as ole’ Chuck? Charlie Brown faced his ultimate humiliation in the face of cancer in this episode, losing the only person that every truly loved him to a sudden and shocking end. I only remember two moments from the episode clearly; the first being ole’ Chuck walking this lil’ girl onto the bus and her hitting her elbow. She bruised by the time they found their seats, and she said that’s just how it is for her. And then she coughed, weakly—the sure-fire sign that a cartoon character is dying of natural causes. The next moment I remember is Charlie Brown, sitting on the bus alone, staring out the window as sad music plays.
Why this just suddenly popped into my head tonight, I wish I could tell you, but it makes its rounds every now and then. Sometimes I’ll be cooking a meal: boiling some noodles and preparing a sauce when I’m struck with the vision of that bald-headed kid grieving on the school bus. Not a lot of TV I’ve seen has stuck with me through the years like that, and this is something that I just watched because I like Snoopy. How fucked up is that? I don’t know why I started with that dark little tidbit. I’m in a good mood.
I had a good day; I was tired, but the day was productive, and I felt the accomplishment from last night. It was a huge post for one of these dailies, and an audacious one to try and record right away, but I did it and got it out—yeah, I went to bed at two a.m. and dragged my ass all day, but I started something. And, as you can tell, I’m continuing it. This was actually the original idea for Fat Dog.
In October of 2014, Tyler Fudge of the FUDERATION and I started a little show called The Semi-Awesome Podcast. It was just us, trying to find our voices and interests on a podcast, and we did it semi-regularly for a year. Eventually, Fudge decided he wanted to do a wrestling show, so he started the “World Wrestling Fuderation,” which eventually transformed into the current day show. He’s over a hundred episodes in, it’s pretty impressive.
I had an idea for a daily, five to ten-minute podcast called Daily Joel. Eventually though, the phrase Fat Dog entered my life and I changed the idea. We recorded a mental health talk show, where I talked to different people about their lives and struggles with their own. We recorded the first episode in December of 2014 and thus began something that faded in an out of existence and never really found it’s voice. There’s about fifty-five odd episodes of Fat Dog just sitting in the cloud, collecting virtual dust. There weren’t too many episodes where I talked to people, but it was a fun way for me to figure things out. Thinking back, its almost like I was a toddler, learning how to do basic things.
I’m much happier about where I am with it now—it feels like the original seed of an idea took almost four years to the day to blossom into a viable project, and now I’m harvesting. I’ve gotta keep this brief though, I’ve got sixteen hundred words until dinner, because it seems like I sat in a pool of motivation tonight. Which is good, because it’s the first day of National Novel Writing Month.
So, now that I’m reading these posts out loud on the podcast, I feel like I need to end with a challenge or something of the sort— something to engage people. I’ll get back to posting about my clothing and stuff, but tonight I want to challenge all of you to set a goal and not only accomplish it but to build a habit around that feeling. If you’re anything like me and end up focusing on the big picture, rather than the steps in front of you, this is the best advice I can offer you, from personal experience. Also, just breathe.
See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.