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.

Hurricane Henn Blew into Town, Part I

Hurricane Henn blew into town this weekend, and as his reputation would suggest–and my scars prove–Rich left my world with the lawn furniture up in a tree.

Rich, who like yours truly, was recently laid off, and decided to come up from New York City (from the Baltimore area) to attend a book signing by Niel Gaiman, a writer who made his initial fame in comics, with Sandman, and has since progressed onto novels. The movie Coraline 3-D is based on his Gaiman’s book.

In classic Rich fasHurricane Henn blew into town this weekend, and as his reputation would suggest–and my scars prove–Rich left my world with the lawn furniture up in a tree.

Rich, who like yours truly, was recently laid off, and decided to come up from New York City (from the Baltimore area) to attend a book signing by Niel Gaiman, a writer who made his initial fame in comics, with Sandman, and has since progressed onto novels. The movie Coraline 3-D is based on his Gaiman’s book.

In classic Rich fashion, he was supposed to be on the road on Friday at 2:30, after seeing Watchmen (for my review, see the Movies, TV and DVD section). The plan was that he was going to bring some of his key Sandman books for Neil Gamain to sign, but, due to a delivery screw up, Rich was delayed (without his planned books), and so had to scour his basement for something else for Neil to sign. Rich finally got on the road at 4 pm, and rolled into Manhattan by 8 pm. There I met Rich and fellow writer Jim Chambers. We chowed and had a few drinks, including some powerful martinis at the Westin bar at 43rd and 8th Avenue. After a few more beers at my place, Rich and I closed up shop around 1 am.

On Saturday, we went down to the book store around noon, and it took until 3 pm before we could get his books signed. But that’s when the real mayhem ensued.

We stopped off for a slice a Jay’s pizza, and then took the L train into the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn to meet Rich’s niece, and her boyfriend. We met at Barcade, which is just what it sounds like–a bar that has video arcade games. We sucked down a few beers, and played Frogger, Q-Bert, Galaga, Ms. Pacman and all the old-school classics. We then moved onto Alligator bar. It’s a dive bar which had one unique plus–for every drink you bought, you get a ticket for one personal brick-over pizza. We drank, we chowed, we shot pool.

Afterwards, Rich and I headed back to the city, but not before I took some bruises. The doors were closing on the L train heading back to Manhattan, so in my rush to catch it in time, I ran over there to stick my foot in the door, but since the platform was slick … [i]whamo! [/i]… I went flat on my back. I’ve got the bruises on my elbow and hip to prove it. Still, not to be deterred, Rich and I headed up to the Grand Hyatt bar in midtown, where my buddy Kevin is a bartender. Rich and I knocked out a drink each before meeting Kevin for a few beers around the corner. From there, Rich and I headed over to meet film-maker on the rise Todd Gilio (www.drawingwithchalk.com) at an Irish pub near Madison Square Garden, where Todd works as a waiter.

Finally, a few more beers and chicken fingers down, and Rich and I were headed back to Queens. Thankfully, I woke up just in time to catch our stop, or we would have woken up at the end of the line! We were both so hammered I had to literally drag Rich off the subway, until we could stumble back to my place.

By the time we finished the journey, we hit one book signing, five bars and drank at least a 12 pack each.

It was a hell of a time indeed, but I’m paying for it now.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/03/09 17:16

Watchmen – My Movie Review

The big question has always been whether the classic, 12-issue comic book series Watchmen could be successfully adapted into a movie. It’s a daunting task for sure, given how textured and complex the story is, and all the themes running through it.

This movie adaption is definitely faithful to the original story, it looks just like the comic, and there are some truly inspired moments. The opening montage is great, and

the best character in the comic–Rorschach–is by the far the best chaThe big question has always been whether the classic, 12-issue comic book series Watchmen could be successfully adapted into a movie. It’s a daunting task for sure, given how textured and complex the story is, and all the themes running through it.

This movie adaption is definitely faithful to the original story, it looks just like the comic, and there are some truly inspired moments. The opening montage is great, and

the best character in the comic–Rorschach–is by the far the best character in the movie. Night Owl is also particularly good. There’s a great prison sequence, and some of the visuals are stunning.

The director deserves all the credit in the world for finally bringing Watchmen to the screen in this incredibly ambitious experiment. But overall I found Watchmen to be a long, slow, dreary, humorless, poorly acted mess that simply doesn’t work well as a movie. At large, the movie lacks the comic’s charm. Many of the other main characters fall flat–and some dreadfully so–while many of the smaller, supporting roles are just awful. The script is another problem. Even though it’s taken almost verbatim from the comic, the words that read so amazing on the page don’t translate to the screen. They’re stiff and dull so that I almost always felt I was watching something fake. The sets were like that, too.

Even at 2 hours, 40 minutes, Watchmen may have been helped be being longer. There were too many quick scenes–trying to jam in so much information–that the plot was hard to follow, each scene seeming incomplete. The depth of the plot really needed more time to breathe, which was just an inherent problem from the beginning.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of individual pieces to like about this movie, and it’s a crazy experiment for sure, with some truly great moment. There are certain scenes, and a few performances, that I’ll always want to go back to. But as a stand-alone movie, Watchmen doesn’t hold together well. In the director’s noble quest to stay faithful to the comic, he seemed to forget that he was making a movie that has to work on it’s own merits. In all fairness, it was a very difficult undertaking. Unfortunately, it just didn’t all come together.

Bam! 5,000 Words or Bust

As I head into the home stretch on CROSSLINE, book number 2, I find myself wanting to finally be done, to get the point where I can say to myself, yep, this is it. First draft is complete. But as with many things, the closer we get to obtaining what we want, the more illusive it can seem. So to give myself an extra jolt, I challenged myself this weekend.

Typically, a good writing day–or what’s considered a productive writing day–is knocking out 1,000 words in a sitting. The idea being tAs I head into the home stretch on CROSSLINE, book number 2, I find myself wanting to finally be done, to get the point where I can say to myself, yep, this is it. First draft is complete. But as with many things, the closer we get to obtaining what we want, the more illusive it can seem. So to give myself an extra jolt, I challenged myself this weekend.

Typically, a good writing day–or what’s considered a productive writing day–is knocking out 1,000 words in a sitting. The idea being that if you can write 1,000 words a day for 90 days, you’ll have 90,000 words. And that’s a book. Right now I’m at about 75,000 words, so I’m close, but I’m not there yet.

Saturday was a good day. I indeed knocked about 1,200 words, so I did my job. But for Sunday, I summoned my inner Emmeril–[i]bam![/i]–and cranked it up a notch. My challenge was to write 5,000 words in one day. Yep. 5,000, or five times the word count for a normal "good" day.

When Sunday came along I was at the desk by 10:30 a.m., and with Liz out in the city visiting friends, I had the apartment to myself. No distractions, no excuses. And so I went.

Of course, the big question is: did I actually write 5,000 words?

In a word – no.

But … but … I did write almost 2,000 words, so even though I fell far short of my goal, I still wrote twice as much as on a normal good day. I feel pretty good about it, too. Going into Sunday I really thought I had a shot at 5,000 words, but as the day wore on and I realized I needed to do more plotting–just hammer out the sequence of events–than to work on the fine print, I found it deep in my heart to let myself off the hook.

It may not have been 5,000, but I’ll take 2,000 words any day.

I Got Totally Hosed at a Book Signing

Last night I attended a book signing at the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble. They have a great events space on the third floor, which I didn’t even realize was there until I showed up.

The book signing was for Christopher Moore, one of my absolute favorite writers. He wrote my all-time favorite comedy, [i]Lamb[/i], and he’s got a few other doozies, including his vampire comedy [i]You Suck: A Love Story[/i], and his latest book which he’s promoting, [i]Fool[/i].

I saw Christopher MLast night I attended a book signing at the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble. They have a great events space on the third floor, which I didn’t even realize was there until I showed up.

The book signing was for Christopher Moore, one of my absolute favorite writers. He wrote my all-time favorite comedy, [i]Lamb[/i], and he’s got a few other doozies, including his vampire comedy [i]You Suck: A Love Story[/i], and his latest book which he’s promoting, [i]Fool[/i].

I saw Christopher Moore a few years ago at a signing, and he’s great. He doesn’t do a reading, but gives a talk and then takes questions. Well, for anyone who’s never seen him in person, he’s hilarious. Wow. I mean, he’s just loads of fun. He’s really not so much a writer of humorous books, or an absurdist, which he is, as he is a true comedian. He’s that funny. He should be on Leno. This guy can hold court for an hour and have the room in stitches. He’s actually so good at entertaining his crowd that I’m more than mildly jealous.

(Okay, okay, enough with the fawning over him …)

Having been to one his signings before, I knew that he draws a big crowd. I expected at least 100 people, maybe more. In fact, I think more than 200 people finally showed. But I was prepared. I showed up at 6:30 for a 7:30 signing. I figured that was plenty of time to get a good seat, and, more importantly, be close enough to the front so that I wouldn’t have to wait too long to get my book signed after his talk.

Herein lies the problem. They way they had the space set up is that, when you first walk in, there were six rows of chairs–about a dozen across. But adjacent to those rows were another six rows of about 20 chairs across, and these rows were situated on an angle, so it was really hard to tell which set of chairs was going to be considered [i]up front[/i].

I guess I don’t have to tell you which section I was in.

%$#@!

Taking a chance, I sat in the first seat of the third row–of what turned out to be [i]the second set of chairs[/i]. So in reality I was in the ninth row, which meant that there was about 100 people ahead of me, even though I was there before most everyone else!

But it gets worse. In the second row of the front section, there were four empty chairs, with paper signs on them saying RESERVED. There was a musical event before the signing, so nobody seemed to know if the RESERVED chairs were from the previous event, or for the reading. Well, after awhile I decided that I was going for it. And, one of the chairs didn’t have a sign on it, so I said, "that sucker’s mine."

Not so fast. The event organizer–typical organizer ball-buster type–tells me no, no, no that’s reserved, you can’t sit there. Annoyed, I said okay, fine, not wanting to be the guy who makes a public stink about his seat (although I was really tempted). And back I went. But then …

The room was completely packed so that there people standing outside the event space because all 200 chairs were filled. And yet the Ball Buster let in four people–who got there [i]way[/i] after me–and put them in those empty seats in [i]the second row! [/i]I was so pissed! So naturally I said to the Ball Buster, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s not right. I’ve been here an hour and you already kicked me out of those seats."

And she said, "you’re right, it’s not fair, it’s not right," and then dropped off those four late comers, essentially telling me to stick it.

Well … Chris Moore was a great speaker, as always, and it really was fun. But underneath I was fuming the whole time, and when he was done, the line was just too long for me to wait, so I never got my book signed after all.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/03/03 10:22

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