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Five Random Things I’m Grateful For

Maybe it’s the holiday spirit in me, maybe it’s the beer (both perhaps?), but here are five random things I’m grateful for, in no particular order:

Maybe it’s the holiday spirit in me, maybe it’s the beer (both perhaps?), but here are five random things I’m grateful for, in no particular order:

* Seinfeld reruns – Elaine won’t take her Orioles cap off at a Yankees game, Kramer gets whacked in the head, and his portrait hangs on a wall. As always, on the surface, it’s about nothing, and yet’s it’s totally about all the little elements that we get tied up with. Awesome.

* James’ and his Kung Fu – James if five years old and has a personality that is truly transcendent. He has a great smile, a joyful personality, and packs a great fake Kung Fu punch. Awesome.

* The smell of garlic – I have to admit that garlic does a number on my stomach, so I can’t eat it much, but the smell of garlic is wonderful.

* My dog Simon – the longer we have Simon, the more fun he is. He’s a favorite wherever he goes. Fun, friendly and just good natured. Sure, he gets a little bonkers now and again, but who doesn’t? We can take him anywhere and he fits right in. Liz picked out a winner with him.

* Daredevil comics – one of my favorite hobbies is to sit back and read comics. Lately, I’ve been on a Daredevil kick. This hasn’t been my all time favorite run, but the storylines keep me coming back for more. Daredevil is dark like Batman but athletic like Spiderman. And for every jam he gets out of, he finds three more that are worse than before. I’d like to see him smile once in a while, but for dark superhero escapism, Daredevil will more than do.

My TV Review: WEEDS Season 4

I’m now four seasons through [b]Weeds[/b], and at this point I think it’s safe to say that this once dark and funny show has, as they say, jumped the shark.

I’m now four seasons through [b]Weeds[/b], and at this point I think it’s safe to say that this once dark and funny show has, as they say, jumped the shark.

The first two seasons walked the fine line in which our heroine, Nancy Botwin, sells marijuana to make ends meet after her husband died, leaving her with virtually no insurance money (or job) to supports her two sons, inquisitive, pubescent Shane, and good-looking, knucklehead teenager Silas. Nancy struggled to stay out of danger, and jail, as she both dealt and then grew her pot, while also trying (and failing) to be somewhat of a responsible mother, all things considered.

By season three, the plot threads were all over the place, and now, with season four, they’re just downright ridiculous, even for a show that stretches plausibility anyway.

Andy and Doug become touchy-feely ‘coyotes,’ smuggling illegals over the border? Come on. They’re stoners, not stupid, but this makes them seem like complete morons.

The fun and intrigue of the show was that the characters were reckless and naive, but not totally oblivious, always just a stone’s throw from real peril. And now Nancy is hooking up with the drug-dealing, gun-running Mayor of Tijuana, but doesn’t think it’ll come back to get her when she rats him out to the DEA? Uh. Hello?

The bright spot of season 4 is Albert Brooks as Nancy’s cheep, crusty gambler of a father-in-law, who brought a new energy to the show, but then left after only three or four episodes, and never returned. Bummer. Maybe he’ll be back for season 5.

I still hold out just a sliver of hope that [b]Weeds[/b] will make a creative comeback, although at this point, it doesn’t look good. [b]Weeds[/b] is still watchable, but it’s best days are long gone.

How Success is Like Wrestling a Gorilla

Lately I’ve been on what is probably my most ambitious writing schedule in years. There’s no doubt that it would be [i]so so so so[/i] much easier to not just not put in the hours, to just write when I get the chance. But then, I wouldn’t be on the verge of finishing the first draft of my next book, which is a great feeling.

Lately I’ve been on what is probably my most ambitious writing schedule in years. There’s no doubt that it would be [i]so so so so[/i] much easier to not just not put in the hours, to just write when I get the chance. But then, I wouldn’t be on the verge of finishing the first draft of my next book, which is a great feeling.

I’m tired a lot, but in the end, the extra effort pays off.

I saw the quote below, and felt like I could relate:

[b]”Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.” [/b]? Robert Strauss

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/11/02 14:19

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/11/02 14:22

Fall Updates – Horror! Suspense!

Hi Gang- My schedule has been absolutely nutty of late, with tons of fun to report, including the last wave of conventions for the year. So here goes with a heaping scoop of updates:

Hi Gang-

My schedule has been absolutely nutty of late, with tons of fun to report, including the last wave of conventions for the year. So here goes with a heaping scoop of updates:

* The Baltimore Comic-Con was an absolute blast. I bought comics, hung out with partners-in-crime Rich Henn and Jim Chambers and promoted Finders Keepers like gangbusters. To see all the pics, and catch up on the action, check out my blogs and the PHOTOS section on my site (www.findersk.com). I’ve also got pics up on Facebook.

* The Big Apple Comic-Con in New York City was also great. I bought even more comics, hung out with the guys, drank a LOT of beer and ate bratwurst up at Heidelberg on the Upper East Side. And I had a very good meeting with a publisher. So that was encouraging. For more pics of that weekend … oh, you know the drill. 🙂

* So what does all this activity all mean for Finders Keepers? The publishing opportunities are starting to take shape, with talks in place for a 2010 book launch. Patience is part of the game …. grrrrrr …. so I’m letting the process unfold as it does. Sit tight for updates (must … stay … patient … musn’t … black … out …)

* Meanwhile, I’ve been doing my darnedest to keep up a rigorous writing schedule these days–probably my most ambitious pace in years–and so far so good. I’m getting close to the half way mark on Crossline, with things looking good for completion by year’s end. So with a little good fortune I’ll have a first draft circulating to my writer’s inner circle for review in early 2010, and then after some revisions on my end, off to my agent and the publishers.

* I may be little late to the game on this one, but, hey … at least I’m here now. Going forward, look for more Facebook posts from me mixed in with my Web site blogs, pics, and musings about my adventures in publishing, plus all the other random goofiness that comes dripping out of my brain (I’ll tackle Twitter another day).

* In the spirit of Halloween weekend, fellow writer dude and master of horror and suspense Jim Chambers has a big announcement of his own. Dark Regions Press is publishing Resurrection House, a collection of his short stories and horror musings. DRP is issuing it in two signed hardcover editions (one of which includes 2 extra stories) and a paperback edition, with a cover and illustrations by Jason Whitley.

To purchase Resurrection House, or check out the online excerpts and story samples, go to:

http://www.darkregions.com/resurrection_house.html

http://www.jameschambersonline.com/story.htm

* For those of you who have been following the rise of the critically acclaimed independent movie Drawing with Chalk from buddies Todd Giglio and Chris Springer, you’re in luck, because DWC is playing in NYC! Come join the NYC movie premiere on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 9 pm at the Quad Cinema. And there will be a party afterwards. Hope to see you there! To order tickets, go to:

http://www.movietickets.com/house_detail.asp?house_id=216&rdate=11%2F14%2F2009

*And last but surely not least, Liz and I are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary on Monday. That’s seven years married, nine years together. It’s been great every step of the way. The gods have been very kind to me …

Well, that’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back around the winter holidays with some festive thoughts, and all the news that’s fit to print.

Thanks!

Russ

www.findersk.com

DirectTV is Whizzing on Chris Farley’s Grave

If you haven’t seen this commercial for DirectTV, it will make you absolutely ill if you do. Well, it makes me want to puke.

It’s one of those commercials where they mix in old movie or TV footage with new footage, so you supposedly can’t tell the difference. I supposed it’s clever in it’s own way, a la Forest Gump, when Tom Hanks was shaking hands with Nixon.

In this mockery of human dignity, Chris Farley, from Tommy Boy is standing in a living room, in front of his movie and real lIf you haven’t seen this commercial for DirectTV, it will make you absolutely ill if you do. Well, it makes me want to puke.

It’s one of those commercials where they mix in old movie or TV footage with new footage, so you supposedly can’t tell the difference. I supposed it’s clever in it’s own way, a la Forest Gump, when Tom Hanks was shaking hands with Nixon.

In this mockery of human dignity, Chris Farley, from Tommy Boy is standing in a living room, in front of his movie and real life buddy David Spade, and saying, "look, fat guy with tiny jacket, fat guy with tiny jacket," and doing his muscle builder pose to split the jacket down the back. And, of course, Chris Farley is, you know … dead.

Meanwhile, David Spade is on the couch, but he’s talking to us, while the "dead" Chris Farley does his shtick.

The reason? To sell freakin’ DirectTV subscriptions!!!!!!!!

Really?????

Here’s the link to the commercial. http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=15571&count=0

Have we really sunk this low? Direct TV has, and so has David Spade. I guess being washed up drives you to do some pretty putrid things.

Somebody please convince me that’s there’s dignity left in the world …

Baltimore, Big Apple Comic-Con PHOTOS

For Baltimore and Big Applce Comic-Con pics, go to the PHOTOS section.For Baltimore and Big Applce Comic-Con pics, go to the PHOTOS section.

My Movie Review: Anatomy of a Murder

I love watching old movies, especially old crime movies. This weekend I watch [b]Anatomy of a Murder[/b], staring Jimmy Stewart and directed Otto Preminger. He stars as a small town lawyer who defends a man for murder. His client admits to the crime, as the man he killed raped his wife.

It’s an interesting premise, in that we know the murderer committed the crime. But is he guilty of murder, was his crime justified, or was he "temporarily insane?" And was the attacked woman a teaI love watching old movies, especially old crime movies. This weekend I watch [b]Anatomy of a Murder[/b], staring Jimmy Stewart and directed Otto Preminger. He stars as a small town lawyer who defends a man for murder. His client admits to the crime, as the man he killed raped his wife.

It’s an interesting premise, in that we know the murderer committed the crime. But is he guilty of murder, was his crime justified, or was he "temporarily insane?" And was the attacked woman a tease? As a beautful young woman who didn’t act much like she’d been raped, did she have a habit of finding trouble with men? Does her story even hold up?

We get to see all the behind scenes negotiations and lots of courtroom action, with Jimmy Stewart at his bet.

For its day, it was an extremely provocative film–even banned in some cities–for its open discussion on the details and violence of rape. Pretty tame by today’s standards, but back then, this was raw, ground-breaking stuff.

I wouldn’t quite put this in the "classic" range, as it’s a little bit dated, but if you’re looking for a good time at the movies with an ending that might leave you wondering if justice was truly served, then this is definitely worth your time.

My Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

This weekend I finally caught up with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I had heard mixed things about it, ranging from pretty entertaining to pretty bad. I’ve enjoyed the X-Men movies so far (I even liked the much criticized third movie, although it was clearly the weakest of the first three).

Unfortunately, the fourth installment in the franchise is an outright dud. Yikes. Not good.

Hugh Jackman was his usual charismatic self, but otherwise this was a baaaaaaaad movie. The writing was awful,This weekend I finally caught up with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I had heard mixed things about it, ranging from pretty entertaining to pretty bad. I’ve enjoyed the X-Men movies so far (I even liked the much criticized third movie, although it was clearly the weakest of the first three).

Unfortunately, the fourth installment in the franchise is an outright dud. Yikes. Not good.

Hugh Jackman was his usual charismatic self, but otherwise this was a baaaaaaaad movie. The writing was awful, the acting was awful (outside of Jackman and Liev Schreiber), the action sequences were mostly staged and just too fake for their own good and story unto itself was just lazy. Been there done that.

When it comes to superhero movies I’m pretty much willing to suspend all levels of disbelief and just go with the flow. Entertain me. But when you fill a movie with cliched writing and sloppy plots, well, it’s tough to overlook the flaws.

I wanted to like this movie, and in a bad way it was, I suppose, minimally entertaining. Kinda. Sorta. In a lame TV movie kind of way. But this was far and away the worst of the four X-Men movies. In fact, it was just far and away a bad movie.

Oh well. Maybe the next one will be better.

Best New TV Shows of 2009

It’s still early in the new season, but of all the new fall TV shows, this is what I’m watching:

[b]* Modern Family[/b] – With Ed O’Neil as the unwitting patriarch, Modern Family is a half-hour comedy about three families–related in different ways–getting by in the modern world. At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times poignant, this is the best new comedy I’ve seen in years. Totally worth the effort.

[b]* Flashword[/b] – This sci-fi whodunit — about a global blackout that lasted tIt’s still early in the new season, but of all the new fall TV shows, this is what I’m watching:

[b]* Modern Family[/b] – With Ed O’Neil as the unwitting patriarch, Modern Family is a half-hour comedy about three families–related in different ways–getting by in the modern world. At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times poignant, this is the best new comedy I’ve seen in years. Totally worth the effort.

[b]* Flashword[/b] – This sci-fi whodunit — about a global blackout that lasted two minutes, with everyone in the world "flashing forward" six months — looks good, has a good mystery and a novel concept that keeps me coming back. At times, it does too much explaining so that we "get it," but so far, so good. I’m in. For now, anyway.

[b]

* Community[/b] – There’s no new ground broken here — a lawyer is busted for not having a real degree, and goes to community college to get one. While hitting on the hot chick, our lawyer starts a "study group," with his ragtag assemble players, including Chevy Chase. Has promise. Good but not great, seems like it could really pick up its game once it has a few more episodes under its belt. We’ll see. I’m giving it a chance.

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