General

My Top 5 Subway Pet Peeves

There’s some wonky mojo going around these days, and it’s showing up on the subway, big time.

So to let some of the steam out of my head, here are my Top 5 Subway Pet Peeves, in descending order:

Peeve No. 5 – Pushing your way onto the subway before I can get off the train. I know, I know. You are so totally important, and you MUST get a seat or you’ll, like, totally die. I get it. But hey, jackwad. Let the passengers off, THEN you get on. And if you can’t get a seat … wait for the next train. They run every two minutes.

Peeve No. 4 – Refusing to squeeze over. Look. We all want to be comfortable on the subway, but this is simply a matter of physics. There’s only so much room for all of us to sit. Most cars have benches that seat three people. If you’re there first, fair enough. You get to choose where you sit. But it’s a public subway car. It ain’t yours. So shift your keister over like three inches and let someone else squeeze in. Refusing to budge because, well, you’re a jackwad, doesn’t impress me. If you can’t be just a little accommodating, take the bus.

Peeve No. 3 – Singing along to your iPod let everyone know how cool you think you are. I’m an iPod guy. And I’ve been known to get a little funky with the music. We all get our groove going now and again. But if you want to try out for American Idol, do it at the auditions. Or The Voice. Or X Factor. Or in the shower. There’s getting caught up in the moment, and there’s “yeah, that’s right, I’m singing along to my music and what the f–k are you gonna do about it?” If you need that much attention, get a dog.

Peeve No. 2 – Throwing trash on the floor. I realize that holding onto your gum wrapper, empty soda bottle or extra french fry is a total drag. It’s so totally unfair to be expected to throw your garbage in, you know, a garbage can. As if! But guess what, jackwad. Subways are subways, just like garbage cans are garbage cans. And guess what again? They’re not the same. We share public transportation. It’s for everyone. Even most of the homeless people have the decency enough to clean up after themselves. So if you you want to throw trash on the floor, go back to your apartment, and you and dump all the trash you want. But until you get home, find a place for your trash. And if you’re having difficulty in finding a temporary storage space, I’m sure I can recommend a place for you to stick it.

And finally …

Peeve No.1 – Clipping your friggin’ finger nails! Dude! Are you serious? When you’re trapped in a metal box going 50 miles an hour underground, packed in like sardines, the last thing you want to hear is …. clack … clack … clack … with little shards of you on the floor. Gross. If you need a manicure, the city is loaded with salons. You got gunk under your fingernails, you need a full blown clip session … for the love of all that is holy, wait until you’re off the damn subway and you can shed pieces of yourselve wherever you like.

Russ’s Review: Community, Modern Family, The Office

Last week I blogged about some intense dramas — The Killing, Boardwalk Empire and Moon. This week … time to laugh! Here’s my take on three comedies, some into their second season, another on its wind down.
 
Community: Started off with an OK premise — lawyer who loses his license goes to back to community college to re-instate himself, and is surrounded by quirky characters — but was headed toward the land of Meh. And since then it has gotten so surreal and wonderfully weird that I simply can’t look away. Breaking from the traditional mode and going “out there” did the trick, going for satire and pop culture spoofs at every turn. From paintball and Quentin Tarentino spoofs to stop animation specials. Hilarious, strange and fun. I never get tired of Community’s brand of bizarre.
 
Modern Family: Season 1 was great, and season 2 has been a very solid sophomore effort. It’s been a little over the top at times, losing just a tiny bit of the groundedness it showed from the beginning, but it’s refreshing to watch a comedy that is smart, packed with great characters, and centered around a family that actually likes each other, despite getting on each other’s nerves. A winner. Phil’s waggy-dog personality. Gloria’s va-va-vaoom. And if you can’t love Manny, who can you love? That kid cracks me up.
 
The Office: Well, this old gal is starting to get long in the tooth. Season 7 has been a little uneven. It started slow, but as we got closer to Michael Scott reuniting with his true love, the season just got better and better, although Steve Carrell’s final episode was a little anticlimactic, given how his character had until that point lived and breathed Dunder Mifflin. Meanwhile, Will Ferrell’s guest role just hasn’t worked out anywhere near like you would think. I can’t imagine The Office surviving for long without Steve Carrell, but I’ve been in from the beginning, so I’m willing to see if they can bring in someone new to breathe fresh life into it. I’m not expecting much, but then again, nobody thought The Office would get this far anyway.

Russ’s Reviews – Boardwalk Empire, Moon, The Killing

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to update on the TV and movie front, so here’s a collection of a few I’ve had the chance to watch of late:
 
Boardwalk Empire: I went in really wanting to love this. Great cast, excellent production values, quality performances across the board and a gangster saga with politics, sex, violence and macabre humor. I’m in.
 
And yet while I enjoyed Boardwalk Empire … I didn’t quite love it. There’s a certain episode-to-episode intensity that wasn’t quite there. Don’t get me wrong. Quality show, and I’ll keep watching. But for all the expense and hoopla surrounding it, I was hoping for a little bit more. Overall, I’d give it a B/B+. Maybe season 2 will bring it up to an A.
 
Moon: There aren’t too many “indie” sci-fi movies, but Moon certainly qualifies. Part 2001, part Solaris, this slow burn of a movie offers a terrific, multi-layered performance from Sam Rockwell. The first half of Moon is really creepy, while the second resolves the conflict.
 
Again, I went in with high expectations and came away a little disappointed. But for a debut movie from director Duncan Jones (who recently directed Source Code), he shows that he definitely knows what he’s doing. Moon is not for everyone, but worth a look.
 
The Killing: Yikes. The title says it all. If you’re looking for fun and laughs, you are so totally in the wrong place. I’ve only seen the 2-hour pilot so far, but if the rest of the series is the same, it’s going to be a long, intense run. Brilliant on almost every level, this series will rip your heart out, especially if you’re a parent. Not easy viewing by any stretch of the imagination, but after 2 hours it has established itself already as one of the best shows on TV.
 
Next up … The Office, Community, Modern Family

Russ’ Guest Blog – Bart Simpson and Finders Keepers

Hey Gang-

Eat my shorts! Below is a link to my latest Wattpad guest blog, where I manage to link Bart Simpson to Finders Keepers.

Cowabunga dudes!

http://blog.wattpad.com/post/3215891894

 

Russ’s Guest Blog: Simon’s Battle with a 4,000 Pound Car!

Hey Gang-

This week’s guest blog for Wattpad is up, with photos of Alex and Simon.

Enjoy!

http://blog.wattpad.com/post/2958073825

(This blog is updated, from an original post in October 2010).

Russ’ Top Ten Movies of 2010

Hey Gang. A little later than usual this year, but at last I’ve compiled my Top 10 Movies List of 2010. As always, please note that this list is a combination of the movies I simply enjoyed the most, and would want to watch again, fused with those that I thought were technically superior. 

 

With that, here’s my list:

 

 

10. Inception: For a movie that has multiple mind- and time-bending layers, the narrative is surprisingly easy to follow. Crazy special effects fused with a journey through mind and spirit, Inception requires multiple viewings to follow all the threads and symbols. Some of the scenes dragged on too long, but it’s a crazy, fascinating ride.

9. Cyrus: A quiet and understated movie in which John. C. Riley and Jonah Hill (who really acts in this one) square off for the affections of Marisa Tomei (Riley’s new girlfriend; Hill’s mother). On the surface it’s pretty simple, but the nuanced performances make this a compelling watch that drew me in from start to finish.

8. Black Swan: Natalie Portman’s Golden Globe was well deserved. This psychosexual thriller takes you through the fragile mind of Portman’s ballerina, who unravels as the pressure of leading Swan Lake comes to a head. Dark, trippy and intense.

7. Kick Ass: For pure adrenalized fun, this is my favorite movie of the year. Geeks trying to be superheroes with an actual story, wicked fight scenes and a breakout star in Hit Girl. Not for everyone, but if you like the genre, this one’s a keeper.

6. The Social Network: Slightly overrated, it’s still an awesome window into the evolution of Facebook and the players that pulled it all together. How much is fact and how much is fiction, I suppose we’ll never really know, but Jesse Eisenberg carries the movie, with a script that unfolds more like a legal thriller than an historical document — in an era that is still defining itself.

5. Ghost Writer: This mystery thriller from sick pup Roman Polanski starts out being one movie — Ewan McGregor is hired to “ghost write” the memoirs of Pierce Brosnan’s questionable former British Prime Minister — and as it unravels, very much becomes another. Stick with it until the very last frame. You won’t be disappointed.

4. The Kids are All Right: A family dramedy for our strange modern times about a middle-aged lesbian couple, whose teenaged kids track down the donor father they never met and disrupts their lives. The performances are pitch perfect about a family that is anything but. Hilarious and poignant, this movie resonates on multiple levels. A winner.


3. How to Train Your Dragon: One of the best animated movies ever. Thrilling and fun, Dragon is a rip-roaring adventure that had me laughing, cheering and calling out for more. A classic.

2. True Grit: The Coen Brothers did it again. They have mastered the art of juxtaposing silent tension with abrupt violence, with just enough pauses in between to let you breathe. There’s nothing complicated about this tale of revenge, but it was amazing to watch the determination of 14 year old girl win over a craggy old gunslinger to bring justice to those who deserve it.

 

1. The King’s Speech: Colin Firth gives an amazing performance as a quiet man thrust into the radio spotlight — while forced to overcome a tormenting stammer — all as the specter of World War II hovers. The characters don’t know just how devastating Hitler will one day become, but as the audience, we do, and that tension puts this otherwise character driven tale over the top.

 

Just missed:

 

The Town – Another good effort from Ben Afleck, who has now proved that he’s a total pro behind the camera. An action packed hiest movie with great performances. Could have easily cracked my top ten. And on a second viewing, it just might.

Green Zone: Matt Damon delivers again with this political action thriller that brings the intensity of the Bourne movies to the international chaos of the Middle East. Heart pounding battles in a dark desert maze that’s continually tied in knots.

The Fighter – Christian Bale gives a great performance, although overall I found this to be Rocky without the theme music. A quality movie for sure, but not as rousing as I had hoped.

Worst of the Year:

 

The Expendables – I truly wanted to like this movie. 80s action stars blowing stuff up real good. What’s not to like? And yet …

I’ve heard all the talk that it’s supposed to be a wink-wink to those cheesy classics we loved with Arnold and Sly and Bruce Willis, but this is just a loud, horribly acted, horribly written dud. One of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time.

The Love, Sex and Lust of Finders Keepers

Hey Gang-

Here’s my newest guest blog for Wattpad, discussing the love,  sex and lust of Finders Keepers.

Have fun!

http://blog.wattpad.com/post/2844016844

 

Russ’ Wattpad Guest Blog: The WHAM-O! Effect

Hey Gang-

Over the next few months I’ll be doing some guest blogs for Wattpad, an online site that helps authors get their work promoted through an e-reader format.

Wattpad has quite a global reach, with 5 million new visitors a month.

Here’s the first of my guest blogs for them, this one discussing the WHAM-O! Effect and its role with Finders Keepers.

Have fun!

http://blog.wattpad.com/post/2715466745

Publishers Weekly Hails ‘Finders Keepers’

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY HAILS ‘FINDERS KEEPERS’
 
Calls Sci-Fi Backpacking Romp ‘Unique and Funny … with ‘Style and Panache’

        –Adventurous Buddy Story from Author Russ Colchamiro   
                  Captures Spirit of Vonnegut, Adams, Pratchett–
 
SANTA CRUZ, C.A., January 12, 2011 – There’s a new galactic buddy story in town—and its name is Finders Keepers.
 
Available to booksellers through publisher 3 Finger Prints, the hilarious debut novel from author Russ Colchamiro is getting rave reviews:
 
“Unique and funny [with] … style and panache. … [Finders Keepers is] a strong debut from a very imaginative writer.” — Publishers Weekly

“A rollicking novel.” — Science Fiction & Fantasy Association of New Zealand

“Funny and adventurous … A great reminder to live life to the fullest!” — Rob Magnotti, Comedian, Late Show with David Letterman

“Fantasia in print!” — Thomas O’Callaghan, international best-selling author of Bone Thief and The Screaming Room
 
For fans of hilarious science fiction and fantasy classics such as Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, plus TV shows and movies such as Time Bandits, Quantum Leap, The Big Bang Theory and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Finders Keepers is a character-driven adventure that mixes chapter-to-chapter cliffhangers with humor, pathos and time-bending, galaxy-twisting pratfalls.
 
Caught in that netherworld between college and a career, novice traveler Jason Medley and adventuresome Theo Barnes stumble through hash bars and hangovers; religious zealots and stalkers; food poisoning and thunderstorms; saucy girls; overnight trains—and the specter of adult responsibility!
 
But when a jar of the Universe’s DNA accidentally falls from Eternity, these new friends find their loyalties put to the test—unaware that a motley crew from another realm is chasing them across the globe, with the fate of the Milky Way hanging in the balance.
 
You can also look for an exclusive Publishers Weekly article about Russ Colchamiro and Finders Keepers, by interviewer Casi Graddy-Gamel, to appear later this month on the Publishers Weekly web site.
 
To carry Finders Keepers, visit 3 Finger Prints at www.richkoslowski.com, or email the3geeks@aol.com.
 
Finders Keepers is the first in a planned three-book series.
 
Length: 301 pages.
 
ISBN: 978-0-9794801-4-0
 
NOTE TO EDITORS: REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
 
About 3 Finger Prints
3 Finger Prints is owned and operated by award-winning comic book artist and writer Rich Koslowski. His impressive collection of work includes the ongoing series, The 3 Geeks; award-winning docu-style Three Fingers; Elvis-themed The King; Santa Clause-meets-Die Hard romp, The List; and the newest project he illustrated, the blues themed BB Wolf and 3 L.P.’s, a re-imagining of the classic tale. Rich is also a regular contributor to Archie Comics, and is a licensed artist for Family Guy and The Simpsons. Please visit RichKoslowski.com for a complete listing of 3 Finger Prints titles.
 
About Russ Colchamiro
With the launch of his debut novel, Finders Keepers, Russ Colchamiro is now at work on his second novel, Crossline, and has plans to write at least two more novels in the Finders Keepers series. A former journalist, Russ co-wrote the supernatural comic-book miniseries, Timespell, and has had short fiction published in Moose Bound Press Anthology, Illya’s Honey and Fast Food Blues. He lives in Queens, N.Y., with his wife, Liz, twin babies Nate and Abby, and their gregarious dog, Simon. Russ encourages you to email him at russ@russcolchamiro.com.

 
Media Contacts:
 
Amanda Marsh
3 Finger Prints
(631) 647-0834
Amanda@buzzmaestro.com

Rich Koslowski
3 Finger Prints
the3geeks@aol.com
                              

Contest: Win a Free, Signed Copy of Finders Keepers

Hey Guys-
  
So you’ve read the Finders Keepers prologue, seen the great reviews and devoured all the goodies on my Web site, and now you know you want a copy, but for some reason, you haven’t picked yours up yet — or you’re dying for a copy inscribed just for you.

Well, I can help. What you have to do is:
  
1- Friend the Finders Keepers Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/hfEejF) or follow me on Twitter @FindKeepNovel;
 
2- Post a note on your Facebook wall or on Twitter about Finders Keepers with a link to the purchase page (http://bit.ly/9HzqQT), and
 
3- Send me an email at russ@russcolchamiro.com and let me know that you posted the link. In your email, please tell me that you would like a FREE, SIGNED copy of FINDERS KEEPERS made out to you.

One winner will be chosen at random on the weekend following December 31 (and
winners’ names will be posted on my Website, on the Finders Keepers Facebook page and in my monthly newsletter).

 

Again: the winner will receive a FREE, SIGNED copy of Finders Keepers personalized to you.

 

And ….. there’s more than one way to win! Anyone who participates gets an automatic $2 OFF COUPON for your purchase of a signed copy of Finders Keepers …. but only if you buy it from me directly.
 
To do so, email rcolchamiro@gmail.com saying, “I’d like to buy Finders Keepers with a $2 coupon” and I’ll send you a PayPal note where you can pay direct.
 
Can’t wait to see who the winner is.
  
Good luck!
 
Russ

You Could Be Reading...

Crossline

Blog Archives

Goodreads

Russ Colchamiro's books on Goodreads
Finders KeepersFinders Keepers
reviews: 10
ratings: 303 (avg rating 4.00)