My Brain is Cluttered

My brain is cluttered.

I’m in the process of getting a bit uncluttered, but there’s a lot of strands and shrapnel floating around in there. This weekend was one of the good, stay-at-home, not-go-out-too much lay around weekends were I watched a lot of TV, took a few naps, and just got my brain to settle down.

Typically, Saturday is my big, get a lot of stuff done day, but I didn’t have it in me. The culmination of the past few months caught up with me, and I just didn’t have the focuMy brain is cluttered.

I’m in the process of getting a bit uncluttered, but there’s a lot of strands and shrapnel floating around in there. This weekend was one of the good, stay-at-home, not-go-out-too much lay around weekends were I watched a lot of TV, took a few naps, and just got my brain to settle down.

Typically, Saturday is my big, get a lot of stuff done day, but I didn’t have it in me. The culmination of the past few months caught up with me, and I just didn’t have the focus to deal with the various piles that had been, well, piling up. Unopened mail. Dishes. Laundry.

Sunday started out the same way. Liz and I spent the morning on the couch watching the last few episodes of Dexter Season 2–so good; I’m so totally hooked on Dexter–and then … I started to get my mojo back. I went to the gym. I showered. And I finally … finally … finally got to the mail, and paid some bills and just started to unclutter my living space, which just helped unclutter my brain.

I’m not quite totally uncluttered up there in the old noggin yet, but I’m a lot more focused than I’ve been in a while. It feels good. Over the past few months I let a lot of little things slide, and as we all know, those little things can add to up a big, messy pile that just seems to spawn and mutate until it totally takes over.

Well, it didn’t take over, but it sure moved in for a while. I’m glad to see I’ve kicked it’s butt out the door, and that I’m started to get back to my old routines.

My brain isn’t totally uncluttered, but it feels a whole lot better than it has a long while.

Everything that Happens is the Best Outcome

We’ve all heard the saying: everything that happens, happens for a reason. Some people by into this, some don’t.

Although I admit that I sometimes have trouble seeing–and accepting this idea–in the moment, I do believe that there is rhyme and reason to all that happens. When I got laid off at the beginning of the year, I certainly didn’t say, [i]Yay! Woo-hoo! I got laid off! Awesome[/i]! But now I have a new job, and if the Universe really has a plan, then this new job will end up being We’ve all heard the saying: everything that happens, happens for a reason. Some people by into this, some don’t.

Although I admit that I sometimes have trouble seeing–and accepting this idea–in the moment, I do believe that there is rhyme and reason to all that happens. When I got laid off at the beginning of the year, I certainly didn’t say, [i]Yay! Woo-hoo! I got laid off! Awesome[/i]! But now I have a new job, and if the Universe really has a plan, then this new job will end up being better–or more beneficial in one way or another–than the one I had.

In fact, within just a few weeks of getting laid off, my old shop was hit with a series of tragedies, including a guy I knew–a nice, young guy–who died in a surfing accident. My being gone spared me from having to be in the mix of the grief that office still feels about this and other rough events that occurred in succession.

Psychologist Carl Jung has this particular take on the theory of everything happening for a reason, and I’m paraphrasing: Everything that happens was meant to happen, and the reason I know this is because it [i]did [/i]happen. If something else was meant to have happened, then that’s what would have happened.

Taking this theory one step further, Chris Prentiss writes in Zen and the Art of Happiness: "Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that [i]can[/i] happen to me." This means that, according to Prentiss, whatever happened to me was not only meant to happen, but there was no other possible occurrence that would have been better than what actually did happen.

Wow. That’s a pretty exciting way to think about my life, and letting myself think and feel that way really gets my juices flowing.

If I break my leg falling down the stairs, does that mean that was the best possible occurrence that could have happened? If I’m a glass half empty kinda guy, then I’m thinking, [i]this stinks! Why did I fall and break my leg at all?[/i] But if I’m a glass half-full kinda guy, then I’m thinking, [i]wow. I’m really lucky. I could have broken my neck, and all I came away with was a broken leg[/i].

I want to say that without any hesitation I believe that everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that can happen to me. I try to embrace this idea as much as possible. And the truth is, the more I do think this way, the better I feel, the more optimistic I am and the more successful I become. And the less I think this way, the more I tend to struggle, get depressed and stressed out.

What I come away with is that–similar to any number of thinkers on this topic–it just seems to be in my best interest to see opportunity and upside in everything, even if grief, frustration and disappoint are staring me in the face. Zig Ziglar says that while positive thinking unto itself won’t bring you anything, positive thinking will help you do [i]everything better[/i] than negative thinking will. That’s pretty tough to dispute.

So I’m doing my best to always embrace the idea that everything that happens to me is the best thing that can happen to me, even if I can’t quite seem to think this way in every moment. But I’m going to think this way as much as possible. I just feel better about life–and myself–when I do. And if that’s the case, then that’s the kind of thinking for me.

New Job, New Mojo – I’m Back in Action

Well, I gotta admit it. Getting a steady paycheck again is sure better than not! My time being unemployed is now over. It’s nice to be getting back into a steady routine again.

My time between full time jobs was only six weeks, which, in the grand scheme of things isn’t very long at all, although I knew about the impending layoff about six weeks before that, so all in all I was carrying the weight of it for about three months. Still, I know, all in all not so long, but it was happening to Well, I gotta admit it. Getting a steady paycheck again is sure better than not! My time being unemployed is now over. It’s nice to be getting back into a steady routine again.

My time between full time jobs was only six weeks, which, in the grand scheme of things isn’t very long at all, although I knew about the impending layoff about six weeks before that, so all in all I was carrying the weight of it for about three months. Still, I know, all in all not so long, but it was happening to me, so it felt pretty darn heavy on my shoulders. It wasn’t fun.

But now that I’m back–and grateful for it–I can get back to a normal rhythm, and back to writing.

Besides the money part, which was a drag, it really bummed me out during my time off, because, even though I had more time on my hands, I had more stress, too, and I had a really hard time writing. I didn’t get nearly as much done on my book as I wanted to, and I was only blogging here and there, rather than a few times a week, like I’ve been doing the last few years. The stress of unemployment messed with my mojo. I just didn’t have it in me, which only bummed me out more. And on and on.

That’s old news, now! Going forward I plan on being my old writerly self, pumping out my books and blogging away, including getting back to the message boards with updates on the Philosophy and Positive Thinking threads. Truth is, I wasn’t feeling all that positive for awhile, and so that part of me kind went into hibernation. Well, that’s old news, too. And the reason?

I’m back, baby. I’m back.

Henned Yet Again- My Bloddy Duel w/ a Razor Blade

File this under my weekend of getting Henned …

Saturday morning, after a night of beers with Rich Henn, I’m up fairly early, and take a shower to wake up. I’m feeling moderately OK, all things considered, and am just looking forward to a relaxing morning. Before I get in the shower I was standing in front of the sink with my shaving kit, and when I reached into it for my travel-size shampoo, I recoiled.

Out came my finger, covered in blood. While rummaging around in the shaving kitFile this under my weekend of getting Henned …

Saturday morning, after a night of beers with Rich Henn, I’m up fairly early, and take a shower to wake up. I’m feeling moderately OK, all things considered, and am just looking forward to a relaxing morning. Before I get in the shower I was standing in front of the sink with my shaving kit, and when I reached into it for my travel-size shampoo, I recoiled.

Out came my finger, covered in blood. While rummaging around in the shaving kit, my razor managed to come loose, and my pointer finger ran roughshod right across the blades.

Not the worst thing that ever happened to me on Henn’s watch, but I’ve still got the grated finger as proof of my visit …

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/03/25 17:17

Hangovers and Beer Farts – I Got Henned. Again.

I got Henned. Again.

Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. I spent the weekend with Rich Henn down at his place (he lives in the Baltimore suburbs), and, as should have been expected, I came away in pain.

I didn’t slide into any subway doors this time, but I did sport a wicked hangover, especially on Sunday. After a day of lounging around watching movies (I took in Predator and Waiting), we took a trip out to a small comic shop about a half hour away, and then came back for a HenI got Henned. Again.

Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. I spent the weekend with Rich Henn down at his place (he lives in the Baltimore suburbs), and, as should have been expected, I came away in pain.

I didn’t slide into any subway doors this time, but I did sport a wicked hangover, especially on Sunday. After a day of lounging around watching movies (I took in Predator and Waiting), we took a trip out to a small comic shop about a half hour away, and then came back for a Henn staple meal: baked ham with mash potatoes and raisin gravy. And then, of course, came the beer.

We headed out to a local restaurant, and sat at the bar for an hour or so. We took down a few drinks, ate a side of meatballs and sausage, and around 11 or so, hunkered down at Henn’s basement bar. When his buddy, Ed, stopped by, the beers really started to flow, topped off by some liquored concoctions, which really did us in.

It’s also possible that we drunk dialed a few people–four or five times each between 1 and 3 am–but I suppose that’s another matter all together! It’s also possible that I was pushing the idea that we keep drinking, long after we’d passed our expiration dates, but I’ll also leave that out of the narrative for now.

When Sunday morning rolled around and I’d had at least three or four hours of poor sleep, I realized just how much alcohol we’d put down, and just how truly bad an idea that was. My head throbbed, and, well … there were beer farts. Lots of them. And it wasn’t good. My stomach was a mess. I really felt bad for the other passengers on the Amtrak back to New York, because anyone within five rows of me probably needed medical attention! I’m not proud of it, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do. If it’s any consolation to those people, I was in agony most of the way home. Apparently, Rich felt every bit as bad as I did.

It was only around 4 pm Sunday–when I finally got home–that my headache finally went away.

So, yes … I got Henned. Again.

I never learn …

Russ’s Newsletter: Vol. 3, No. 3 – Another Milestone – Is Crossline Complete?

Hey Gang,

 

Spring is in the air and the activity level is kicking back into overdrive:

 

* Closer and closer we get. Things slowed down for a while as the economy took a big pinch, but now another publisher has emerged for FINDERS KEEPERS. Is a deal coming? We’ll see. But between this new suitor and three or four others who are reading the manuscript, 2009 is looking brighter every day for FINDERS KEEPERS …

 

* April has been another major milestone for me. After more than a year in the works, I finally finished the first draft on my second book–CROSSLINE! I’m now in the editing stages, and once I’m finished shaping, rejiggering and applying all the writerly things that us writers do, I’ll pass the manuscript onto my writer dudes inner circle for feedback. After that I’ll work with their comments and make necessary changes, and then off to my agent it goes.

 

So indeed, this was a VERY big month.

 

* With the summer not too far off, that can mean only one thing. The San Diego Comic-Con 2009 is coming! I booked my flight last week, and the hotel accommodations are all set. I’ll have more updates as we get closer to the convention, but this is going to be a really big year for pitching FINDERS KEEPERS to the Hollywood crowd. Speaking of comic conventions, if you haven’t already, check out pictures from the 2009 NY Comic-Con in the PHOTOS section of my site, and read my blogs from February to check out all the action.

 

* I may be a little late to the party on this one, but for you Facebookers out there, be sure to join the FINDERS KEEPERS group on Facebook. It’s just another way to get all your FINDERS KEEPERS and CROSSLINE news that’s fit to print.

 

* And as part of the ongoing coverage of DRAWING WITH CHALK (www.drawkingwithchalk.com), please give a shout out to Todd and Chris, as their movie received nomination in the American Feature category at the Heart of England International Film Festival. Great job guys!

 

That’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back as June approaches with a new updates on FINDERS KEEPERS and CROSSLINE, and the latest on the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con.

 

Thanks!

Russ

www.findersk.com

AIG Can Shove that Bonus Money Up Their Cake Holes

What baffles me–what absolutely baffles me–is this nonsense with AIG. I really don’t care if they have a contract with the former executives that guarantees they get paid $165 million in bonuses (after wrecking the company), while AIG is now getting billions in taxpayer money (that is, our money; mine and yours).

The current leadership of AIG should simply say this: Hey, jerkwads. You want your bonus money, come and get it, because we’re not paying you a single dollar of it. Ever. And if What baffles me–what absolutely baffles me–is this nonsense with AIG. I really don’t care if they have a contract with the former executives that guarantees they get paid $165 million in bonuses (after wrecking the company), while AIG is now getting billions in taxpayer money (that is, our money; mine and yours).

The current leadership of AIG should simply say this: Hey, jerkwads. You want your bonus money, come and get it, because we’re not paying you a single dollar of it. Ever. And if you want to sue us for it, go ahead. Take your best shot. We will never, ever, ever pay you that money. Not now, not in a million years. Never.

For the current AIG executives to say that their hands are tied, that there’s nothing they can do, is pure b.s. Just don’t pay the bonuses.

And if the current executives [i]don’t[/i] take that position, then it tells you that they’re just as corrupt as the old ones.

My Film Acting Debut – Light Chasm

Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook I was reminded of a project I was involved in back in 1989. A friend of mine from high school, Don Philbricht, recently got in touch with me through Facebook, and through our back and forth I found out that he had in a box somewhere the only copy of a student film that he wrote, directed and narrated. It’s funny to me because, although I had no speaking lines, I was the star of this film. Yep. My film debut.

Entitled LIGHT CHASM, it’s about a guy–mThanks to the wonderful world of Facebook I was reminded of a project I was involved in back in 1989. A friend of mine from high school, Don Philbricht, recently got in touch with me through Facebook, and through our back and forth I found out that he had in a box somewhere the only copy of a student film that he wrote, directed and narrated. It’s funny to me because, although I had no speaking lines, I was the star of this film. Yep. My film debut.

Entitled LIGHT CHASM, it’s about a guy–me–who finds a box with a little black nub on it, and any time the nub is removed, the world goes black. Oooh. Freaky. It’s a Twilight-Zone-type short movie, and it was a hoot to make. We really had a blast, especially in the sound mixing stage, where it was difficult not to break out into wild fits of laughter adding the sound effects–walking, water splashing–as Don was doing the narration. And this was back in 1989 when the technology wasn’t exactly state of the art like it is today.

Anyway, Don has since posted this little gem on Youtube for your viewing pleasure. I’m just warning you in advance–or maybe this is exactly why’ll you’ll watch it–but I had a serious teenage Jewfro going on! That is some bad hair, let me tell you!

All in all we had a great time making this little movie, and it even won a student film award, although neither one of us can remember which one it was. So without any further ado, here’s the link to LIGHT CHASM.

Enjoy!

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgRcK3Eum8I)

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/03/22 19:36

My Newsletter: Tales from the NY Comic-Con ’09

Hey Gang,

Well, a lot’s happened since last time. This darn economic swoon clunked me right on the head, landing me on the unemployment line. But I’ve since bounced back with a new job, which I’m starting in a week, so I’m back in action.

As for the really fun stuff, here’s what I’ve been up to along my adventures in publishing:

* Last month was the NY Comic-Con, and a good time was had by all. Partner-in-Crime Rich Koslowski made the trek down from Milwaukee, and between eatHey Gang,

Well, a lot’s happened since last time. This darn economic swoon clunked me right on the head, landing me on the unemployment line. But I’ve since bounced back with a new job, which I’m starting in a week, so I’m back in action.

As for the really fun stuff, here’s what I’ve been up to along my adventures in publishing:

* Last month was the NY Comic-Con, and a good time was had by all. Partner-in-Crime Rich Koslowski made the trek down from Milwaukee, and between eating our weight in barbecue, borscht and pasta, and drinking ourselves blind, we did manage to squeeze in some Comic-Con time! But seriously (we did get hammered), the convention was great. I pimped out FINDERS KEEPERS all across the board and made some new connections.

To get the full story on the NY Comic-Con, check out my blogs from February 7-12, and go to the PHOTOS section on my site (www.findersk.com) for all the costumed crazies, er, I mean, fans, who not only attended the show, but agreed that FINDERS KEEPERS will be the next smash hit once it’s on the shelves.

* Now that I’ve got my employment situation settled and I can focus again, I’m back full throttle on CROSSLINE. I’m in the home stretch, with a first draft nearly complete. Just a little bit more to go and then I can do some serious editing on that bad boy and then send it around for some feedback. If all goes well, I’ll have a clean, completed manuscript by the end of the summer. And once that’s done I’ll get right to work on book No. 3.

* A few issues back I told you about DRAWING WITH CHALK (www.drawingwithchalk.com), the debut film from jack-of-all trades Todd Giglio. After that great screening in Tribeca, DRAWING WITH CHALK has already been accepted into multiple film festivals, both in the U.S. and overseas. This is just the beginning for Todd, so keep an eye out for him and his movie. I suspect you’ll become quite familiar with both before too long.

* And for this issue’s spotlight–and for anyone who wants to see something absolutely hilarious–check out this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgRcK3Eum8I). Lost in the archives for almost two decades, this is a Twilight Zone-type short student film from 1989, entitled LIGHT CHASM written, directed and narrated by high school buddy Don Philbricht, and starring yours truly. If you want to see a good Jewfro, you’re in for a treat! Man, talk about bad hair! But still, LIGHT CHASM won a student film award, so take that Academy!

That’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back in May with some groovy updates and the latest on FINDERS KEEPERS, CROSSLINE, the upcoming 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, a unique creator who may soon become a household name via the wonderful world of cable TV, and any new tricks I might have up my sleeve.

Thanks!

Russ

www.findersk.com

Hurricane Henn Blew into Town, Part II

If you’re wondering about the wreckage from Hurricane Henn, consider how my Sunday morning started off.

Recovering from the previous night and our bar-hoping jaunt through New York City, I stumbled out of bed around 10 am, which wouldn’t have been so bad except that it was actually 9 am in body clock time. It was Daylight’s Savings that weekend, so we lost an hour, and as I’m sure you know after a hard night beering it up, that extra hour is vital to recovery.

Thankfully I didn’t have If you’re wondering about the wreckage from Hurricane Henn, consider how my Sunday morning started off.

Recovering from the previous night and our bar-hoping jaunt through New York City, I stumbled out of bed around 10 am, which wouldn’t have been so bad except that it was actually 9 am in body clock time. It was Daylight’s Savings that weekend, so we lost an hour, and as I’m sure you know after a hard night beering it up, that extra hour is vital to recovery.

Thankfully I didn’t have a hangover, but I was pretty wiped out, and, because of that nasty fall I took on the subway platform, my hip and elbow were pretty darn sore. And then I went into the bathroom and, expecting to see the obvious effects of the night on my face–powdered skin, black rings under my eyes–I also noticed that my face was, well, a mess.

I don’t know if it was an allergic reaction from something I ate, or some skank bar bathroom soap I washed with, but my face from my forehead to under my eyes was puffy and covered in red blotches. I still have no idea what it was. And on top of it looking like I had the Ebola virus, it ached. So, yeah … I had that going for me.

Ah-ha, but the fun continued.

That day Liz and I had to head out to Queens to pick up my grandmother, as my family was taking her out to lunch to celebrate her 88th birthday. Normally, Liz and I park our car in the lot across the street, but since Rich was coming into town we parked the car on the street, letting him park in our spot in the lot. We’ve done this before.

Only this time, when we went down around noon, we noticed that we’d been hit with a $65 ticket! Turns out that our registration expired–at midnight the night before–and by 9 am–on a Sunday–they already nailed us. What’s worse is that Liz and I had the new registration ticket in our apartment, but because we didn’t pay attention to the expiration date, just hadn’t gotten around to switching the sticker. And even worse again was that, if Rich hadn’t been in town, our car would have been in the lot, and we never would have gotten a ticket!

The freakin’ Henn Factor nailed me again!

I’d love to say there’s a lessen to be learned here, and there is: Beware the Henn. But if I haven’t learned my lesson after 20 years of this, it’s unlikely that I ever will.

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