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Russ Colchamiro has written 704 articles so far, you can find them below.


Re:The Police – Feb. 11th, 2007

I’ve read a few places that they are almost definitely going to do a tour, but I haven’t heard anything about them recording a new studio album. Now that’s something I’d be interested in!I’ve read a few places that they are almost definitely going to do a tour, but I haven’t heard anything about them recording a new studio album. Now that’s something I’d be interested in!

What’s That Again?

Yesterday I spent some time blogging about how I got so caught up in trying to keep everything under control at home and work while Liz recovered, that I lost sight of the fact that I’m only human, and can only do so much. I also noted that I think I learned my lesson, and that when another tough situation comes along, I’ll be better prepared to look for balance. To be realistic about what I can and can’t do.

Hmm. What that yesterday?

Not long after that very post last night, Liz compYesterday I spent some time blogging about how I got so caught up in trying to keep everything under control at home and work while Liz recovered, that I lost sight of the fact that I’m only human, and can only do so much. I also noted that I think I learned my lesson, and that when another tough situation comes along, I’ll be better prepared to look for balance. To be realistic about what I can and can’t do.

Hmm. What that yesterday?

Not long after that very post last night, Liz complained of back and chest pains, and having some tightness in her breathing. She was clearly in distress, and was scared and upset. And for a recovering heart patient, that’s totally understandable. So I tried to keep my cool–which I did–and helped her calm down. I then gave her some massage therapy on her back, which reduced some of the discomfort.

But by bed time Liz wasn’t doing well, and we agreed that in the morning, if she was still struggling, that we’d call the doctor and see what’s what. Believe me when I say I was more than tempted to call 911 that night, because, hell, I’m not a doctor, and I don’t know what’s a normal irritation and what’s a genuine problem. And with a heart situation, your mind wonders …

And man did I stress last night. I barely slept, and when I did, it had nightmares.

One of the reasons is that I was scheduled to take a day trip to Washington, DC, on Thursday, and the thought of Liz needing to go back into the hospital was putting me over the edge.

So I got up early this morning, and decided to work from home, no matter how Liz felt. Better safe than sorry. And after she got up, she did feel better–although not great. So she called her cardiologist, who said that she might have fluid on her lungs, and that she needs to come in for a chest x-ray and an EKG, which she’s getting tomorrow.

I told Liz that I would cancel my business trip so that I could be with her, but she’s such a low-maintenance patient–she’s low maintenance to begin with–that she talked me out of it. My sister-in-law would go with her instead and stay with us that night, as I wouldn’t be back until 3 or 4 am. Having her pinch-hit for me should have helped me relax. But it didn’t.

Instead of just doing what I knew I should have done–and wanted to do; i.e. cancel my trip and be with Liz at the doctor’s office–I figured I could handle the stress of Liz going in for more tests [i]and[/i] go to DC for an overnight trip, keeping it all together.

Once again …

Uh … yeah.

Not only was I stressed, I was probably at my peak stress of this entire process. As I noted yesterday, it was so difficult for me to wind down as it was, to finally unclench and accept that Liz was on the mend, that my psyche couldn’t bare the thought of having to amp back up to that insane level of trying to doing it all … and yet I tried to do it again anyway!

Why didn’t I just cancel my trip? Because. Because I’m UberHusband. Because I’m SuperRuss, and I can do it all.

Except when I can’t.

So I finally canceled my trip, and within seconds of doing so my stress level came down about a bazillion percent.

Now … I know I said yesterday that the next time I faced a tough situation that I’d be more reasonable. Well [i]this[/i] time I really, really mean it …

Highly Recommended – lauralallone.com

More on this soon, but for anybody interested in reading the stories and blogs of a really great person, and a good friend of mine, check out the writings of Laura Lallone at www.lauralallone.com.

Laura is a writer, personal coach and public speaker, who focuses on staying positive and being an active part of a world community of which we’re all connected. She tells great little stories we can all relate to, is humble, funny and is just all out good folk whose goal in life is to inspire othMore on this soon, but for anybody interested in reading the stories and blogs of a really great person, and a good friend of mine, check out the writings of Laura Lallone at www.lauralallone.com.

Laura is a writer, personal coach and public speaker, who focuses on staying positive and being an active part of a world community of which we’re all connected. She tells great little stories we can all relate to, is humble, funny and is just all out good folk whose goal in life is to inspire others.

I guarantee that if you give her writing a chance, you’ll be a fan.

I know I am.

www.lauralallone.com

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2007/02/07 09:07

I?m No SuperRuss

Yesterday I heard from a friend of mine?who?s an ambitious writer sort herself?and I was reminded of how important it is for me to be honest with myself about what I think I can realistically accomplish, and in what time frame.

Over the last six weeks especially, I?ve been getting a pretty good lesson about finding out where my limits are?and hopefully about doing a better job of preparing myself for the future. Just before, during, and now after, Liz went into the hospital for surgery, it Yesterday I heard from a friend of mine?who?s an ambitious writer sort herself?and I was reminded of how important it is for me to be honest with myself about what I think I can realistically accomplish, and in what time frame.

Over the last six weeks especially, I?ve been getting a pretty good lesson about finding out where my limits are?and hopefully about doing a better job of preparing myself for the future. Just before, during, and now after, Liz went into the hospital for surgery, it was necessary for me to crank it up a few notches, picking up the slack, especially around the house, and helping take care of her as she recovers.

So during that time I was still working full time and acting as Liz?s primary care giver, sending out emails to our family and friends about her status, and arranging for visits and trips back and forth to the hospital and doctors. Along the way I had a vicious case of food poisoning. And yet overall I still insisted on getting up at 5 am every day to either work our or write, and kept building this Web site?generally acting as if I could do it all and then some, now matter how much got piled on.

And for a few weeks, I was doing it. Until reality hit me. Hard.

Very. Very. Hard.

During those first few weeks I was amped up on adrenaline and wanting to prove that I was Uberhusband, faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and … you get the idea. The thing is, I was amped up?so amped up?that I wasn?t quite thinking right. It?s like talking to someone on drugs. They can jabber on like a maniac and yet also seem full of conviction. You can?t imagine them doing what they say they?ll do, and yet they still seem real convincing.

I was so amped up there was a part of me that didn?t want to come down, because I couldn?t imagine coming down from being up that high and then getting all the way back up that high again. And I had to be up that high. Had to.

How else could I keep it all together?

Times will come about when, at least for a short time, we need to act this way. Sometimes our situation is such that we need to make a short-term sacrifice because it helps someone we important to us, or perhaps is for the greater good. And I?d do it again in a heartbeat if faced with the same situation.

But it was a mistake for me to think that I could keep up the pace. And yet that?s exactly what I thought. In my head, I figured, ?wow, I?m really firing on all cylinders. I?ve turned a corner somewhere. This is amazing. Imagine how much I?ll get done for the rest of my days now that I?ve figured out how to operate at this level. For I am Uberhusband. I am SuperRuss, and I can do it all.

Uh … yeah.

Well, I?m not firing on all cylinders anymore. Heck, I?m barely firing on any cylinders right now. I?m wiped. I?m sleeping in most days?until at least 6 am, if you can you believe it; I took a few days off from the gym. I even went out with the guys on Saturday night. And I still need more time to recharge. Liz is feeling much better now, and I don?t need to be her everything anymore, so I don?t feel so bad not doing as much.

And I see pretty clearly now that the pace I maintained, while sustainable for a while, is a thing of the past. During that short time I was convinced that I had it all under control and that I could keep it up forever. I couldn?t. But who could?

My wife is on the mend and I?m still in one piece, so all things considered I?m feeling pretty okay about the whole thing. Hopefully I?ll remember this the next time I get all fired up about something. I consider myself to be a pretty efficient guy, but just like everyone else, I have my limits. And if I find myself again operating at a pace I can barely believe, I hope that I?m lucid enough to take a time-out, check that pace against reality, and remind myself that if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn?t.

Rexed Out

Okay. I?m a big boy. I?m here to take my lumps. I made a big thing about how during the two weeks prior to the Super Bowl the press essentially bitch-slapped Rex Grossman something fierce, and how?without even having played the game yet?they were considering him to be one of?if not the?worst quarterback in Super Bowl history.

Yikes.

Rex didn?t do much to prove his critics wrong. I was rooting for him all the way, and the Bears were still in the game, even in the 4th quarter, but thoseOkay. I?m a big boy. I?m here to take my lumps. I made a big thing about how during the two weeks prior to the Super Bowl the press essentially bitch-slapped Rex Grossman something fierce, and how?without even having played the game yet?they were considering him to be one of?if not the?worst quarterback in Super Bowl history.

Yikes.

Rex didn?t do much to prove his critics wrong. I was rooting for him all the way, and the Bears were still in the game, even in the 4th quarter, but those two interceptions Grossman threw then capped off a pretty lousy game indeed. He looked bad. He played bad. I?m mean B-A-D bad.

And unfortunately for him, Grossman lived up?or down?to exactly what the press said he?d be: a guy who just isn?t up to the pressures of the big game. His fumbles, interceptions and general lackluster command pretty much guarantees his performance of being rated as one of the worst ever in Super Bowl history.

I don?t know if Grossman will ever get another Super Bowl shot, but yesterday was definitely not his day.

Sorry, Rex. I tried.

Rooting for Rex

Now that Super bowl is just a day away, I’ve finally decided who I’m rooting for.

Generally speaking I have nothing for or against the Colts or the Bears. I’m a Jets fans, so these two teams don’t really getting under my skin much. Although, I didn’t watch much football this year, just kinda got into the last few weeks.

And then a funny thing happened.

What the heck is going on in the press? Why are they absolutely bitch-slapping Rex Grossman? All the kid did–as a rookie, no lesNow that Super bowl is just a day away, I’ve finally decided who I’m rooting for.

Generally speaking I have nothing for or against the Colts or the Bears. I’m a Jets fans, so these two teams don’t really getting under my skin much. Although, I didn’t watch much football this year, just kinda got into the last few weeks.

And then a funny thing happened.

What the heck is going on in the press? Why are they absolutely bitch-slapping Rex Grossman? All the kid did–as a rookie, no less–is lead his team to a 14-2 record, and oh yeah, took them to the freakin’ Super bowl! So why are they pummeling us with nonstop articles about whether or not the couch should pull Grossman from the game is he plays poorly? Why do they keep writing about how he’s going to fold under the pressure of the big game. Why have I seen tons of coverage on how he’s one of the worst quarterbacks in history to ever start a Super bowl game?

It’s like the press is out to get this guy, like Payton Manning is deserving of his rightful place as a Super bowl hero, and Grossman is just some schlub who has the gaul to try and get in the way. This is nothing against Manning. I have no feeling about him one way or another, but he does get a lot of darn good press. All for a guy who’s also never been to the Super bowl before.

Kinda weird, huh?

I’m a journalist, so I understand pretty well the media’s need to have something to write about, but are they really this bored? Do they really have nothing better to do? It’s kind of a tough bit for Grossman, because there was two weeks of no football to cover, there’s no baseball and nobody really seems to care about hockey. So with the need to write about something, the media beats up on poor Rex.

So for that reason, I’m rooting for Grossman and Da Bears. I hope Grossman plays well and that the Bears win. And if that happens, you know how many papers, how many writers, are going to own up that they slammed him left and right, but turned out to be wrong?

We’ll be able to count that on one hand.

I hardly watched any football this year, but I have a real rooting interest tomorrow. I’m all in for Rex and Da Bears. Who’s with me?

Baseball Winnings = FK Sketches

Over the last few years I got back into Fantasy Baseball. I was in leagues when I was a teenager–one league was with my dad and my dad’s friend; another was with a friend of mine–but after a while I got tired of them and needed a break. But over about 10 years my teams won 4 times and came in second or third another few times. So I had a pretty good run.

The last three years I’ve been back, in two different leagues. In one league me and my dad have a team, and in another league, I rejoineOver the last few years I got back into Fantasy Baseball. I was in leagues when I was a teenager–one league was with my dad and my dad’s friend; another was with a friend of mine–but after a while I got tired of them and needed a break. But over about 10 years my teams won 4 times and came in second or third another few times. So I had a pretty good run.

The last three years I’ve been back, in two different leagues. In one league me and my dad have a team, and in another league, I rejoined the team my dad has with his friend. And over those three years my teams have won three times. Last year was particularly good. I won in one league, came in second in another, and then I came in second in the office baseball pool.

So, yeah, I’m a baseball dork. It’s my thing.

But how does this relate to FINDERS KEEPERS? Aha! That’s big question. My total winnings from these 2006 baseball pools amounted to $800. That’s right. Not a misprint.

Eight. Hundred. Dollars.

So dork that!

More importantly, those winnings are seed money for FINDERS KEEPERS. It helps pay for postage I need to send out query letters to agents, to attend writer conferences, and I’ll be using it to pay an illustrator–once I can find the right one–to do some character sketches that will appear on this Web site.

I never got into Fantasy Baseball to win money; I just want to win. It’s fun. It’s something to do. But the money came at just the right time. A wiser man than I told me once that if I just had some faith in the universe and did the things I needed to do overall, that the cash I needed would eventually come my way. At the time, I didn’t believe him. I wanted to, but it seemed too ridiculous.

Work hard, have a plan, be consistent. Have faith in the cash fairy.

Yeah, right. I won’t hold my breath.

Shows how much I know.

And if you’re wondering, I’ve just started doing my preliminary homework for the 2007 seasons. Drafts for both Fantasy Baseball leagues take place first week in April.

Come oonnnnnnnnn, baseball. Daddy needs to do some book promotions!

Illustrator Madness

It has been my intention all along to include several character sketches on the FINDERS KEEPERS web site. In fact, I’ve been really looking forward to it.

So two days ago I posted an ad on craigslist, looking for an illustrator. When I say I got my first response within two minutes of posting, that’s no exaggeration. Two minutes!

Amazing.

Since then I’ve gotten about 40 or 50 responses, and yet so far I’m only considering maybe two candidates. It’s not that the submitting artistsIt has been my intention all along to include several character sketches on the FINDERS KEEPERS web site. In fact, I’ve been really looking forward to it.

So two days ago I posted an ad on craigslist, looking for an illustrator. When I say I got my first response within two minutes of posting, that’s no exaggeration. Two minutes!

Amazing.

Since then I’ve gotten about 40 or 50 responses, and yet so far I’m only considering maybe two candidates. It’s not that the submitting artists haven’t been good. They’ve almost all ranged from adequate to really good; it’s just that there’s a certain style I’m looking for and I just haven’t seen much of it. It’s a little tricky for me in that I know the guy I want to hire–but he charges a fortune! Like 30 times my budget. So he’s out. Let’s face it, I’m on a very limited budget here. This is baby is self-financed.

I’ll hire students or professionals, just so long as it works.

The other problem is that when it comes to art, I’m not so great at articulating exactly what I’m looking for. It’s kinda like going to a museum for us non-art guys. I usually can’t tell the difference between a $1,000 painting a $1,000,000 painting. But I know what I like when I see it.

Same thing here. I’m not exactly sure how to tell these illustrators exactly what style I’m looking for, but when I view their samples and I see what I want, I’ll know it.

I reposted the ad this morning. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Dream a Little Dream

Much more often than not I don’t remember my dreams. Throughout most of my life, my dream memory has stayed on a pretty consistent rhythm. For reasons I never really figured out, I would go most of the year having no memory of my dreams, and then, for about one week straight, I would remember my dreams every night.

And then nothing.

This would typically happen about twice a year.

But for the last month I’ve been remembering my dreams almost every night. Maybe I’ve skipped a few Much more often than not I don’t remember my dreams. Throughout most of my life, my dream memory has stayed on a pretty consistent rhythm. For reasons I never really figured out, I would go most of the year having no memory of my dreams, and then, for about one week straight, I would remember my dreams every night.

And then nothing.

This would typically happen about twice a year.

But for the last month I’ve been remembering my dreams almost every night. Maybe I’ve skipped a few nights, but it’s been pretty consistent. My guess–and I’m not saying this is any great leap of logic–is that it’s just stress related to my wife’s recover from heart surgery. Not only has she been on the mend, but I’ve kinda had my hands full during this time.

It’s what you do when you love someone. You pick up the slack. Normally we share the household chores, but for now it’s just me. So even though each task unto itself isn’t so much, combined it adds up. There’s almost always something that needs doing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. Liz would do exactly the same for me if our situations were reversed. And overall she’s an amazing patient. It’s just that I really haven’t had a day off in about a month, when you add in my day job, the household demands, trips to the doctor and going to and from visiting my in-laws in New Jersey. Beyond the physical demands, it’s the mental part of it. I’m always kind of "on duty." So I haven’t had nearly as much mental down time as I’m used to.

Thus, my dream memory. I’m assuming. I haven’t had any dreams about the surgery or Liz’s health–at least not in any overt way–but most of my dreams have been a little dark, and a little intense. Nothing that a few weeks on a beach wouldn’t cure, but it’s been strange nonetheless. I’m sure it didn’t help last night that we watched CRASH on DVD. It’s a very good movie, but certainly no kinda fun. Probably not the best input right before bed.

I keep telling myself that I should keep a dream journal, just some book in my night stand so I can jot down any dream memories right away. And I keep not doing it.

Oh well.

Maybe my dreams’ll keep up, maybe not. There’s always a chance for another dream. Maybe even tonight. And when I wake up, maybe I’ll even remember what it is.

I’ve Never Tried …

Certainly there are more places in the world than one person could ever visit in a lifetime, and more activities than you could ever get to. But there are certain things that are accepted as being a fairly regular part of everyday life, experiences that are common to many, if not most, people.

For example, do you know anybody (from the U.S.) who’s never had a slice of pizza? Me neither. But if someone said that they never did, I think it’s fair to say you’d think that’s pretty friggin’ wieCertainly there are more places in the world than one person could ever visit in a lifetime, and more activities than you could ever get to. But there are certain things that are accepted as being a fairly regular part of everyday life, experiences that are common to many, if not most, people.

For example, do you know anybody (from the U.S.) who’s never had a slice of pizza? Me neither. But if someone said that they never did, I think it’s fair to say you’d think that’s pretty friggin’ wierd. I know I would.

Well, here’s my list of things that I’ve never tried. I’ve never:

* Had a cup of coffee

… I took a sip once when I was 10. Hated it. Never tried again. Never will. Ever.

* Eaten a White Castle hamburger

… When I was around 20, I realized that I’d never tried one, and then it started to become a thing with me. People always thought it was so wierd that I never had one. Now it’s like a badge of honor. I’ll go to my grave without ever having eaten White Castle. Just because.

* Been to a strip club

… paying a lot of money to see skanky hos with fake boobs surrouned by a swarm of horny guys who you know are just dying to pull out their johnsons and let the missles fly. Uhh … pass.

And then there are things I’d like to enjoy, but just don’t.

Most people who eat strawberries love them. I mean LOOOOOOOVE them. I’d like to be one of those people, but I’m not. I just don’t like them. I want to, but I don’t. My wife thinks it’s funny that I think this way, but (to me, at least) it makes total sense. Why wouldn’t I want to like something that so many people love? Wouldn’t wouldn’t I want to have that sort of pleasurable experience too?

And then ditto about wine. I just don’t like it. Can’t drink it. I’ve never been able to get more than a sip or two down my gullet. I’d like to like wine. People seem to get so into it. I feel like I’m missing out.

Oh well.

So what’s on your list?

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