Friday, October 31, 2003

This isn't the greatest scan, but it will have to do for now. On the left, the cover art for TRUST FUND BOYS (coming in June, 2004... have I mentioned that lately?) At the lower right, an inset of the New York magazine cover that inspired it.

If you want to somehow symbolize California in your choice of Halloween costume, you have a few options. Yes, yes, you can always do Schwarzenegger, but isn't everybody doing that this year? I suppose you can also go as BoiFromTroy, which would be unique, but -- no offense, Boi -- who's going to know who you're supposed to be?

No. Your California costume has to be obvious, without being too obvious. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Over at, Rob Cockerham designed a geographically-correct costume, which sold for $71 on eBay.

2. More subtle is this costume designed by a 15-year-old boy in Maine.

3. Most subtle would be wearing a costume that's been recalled. (Please note that Option #3 also meets the incendiary criteria of Option #2.)

Yes, I know that I promised to upload the book jacket for my next novel -- TRUST FUND BOYS -- coming to a bookseller near you in June, 2004. But guess what? You'll just have to be patient.

However, there's no need for you to feel sad, because you are about to read.... ........ the jacket copy!


First he invented his name. Now he's reinventing himself. A failed actor and recently fired temp, he's created a life centered on survival and hopefulness. (Think "Sweet Charity," but with better shoes and less Fosse.) But plucky doesn't pay the rent. Rent money pays the rent. The kind of green that you can get if you use your charm and good looks to convince other people that you're already wealthy... which of course connects you to other wealthy people who are happy to buy you things as long as you're one of them. No wonder the rich stay rich.

He appears to be the sort of person Brett's pretending to be: a confident trust fund baby who has it all. (Think tan. Think preppy. Think adorable.) But the only confidence Jamie really has is of the "confidence game" variety. When Jamie and Brett meet by chance one night at the Penthouse, a watering hole for rich, older gay men and the younger men who love their wallets, sparks fly... and they continue to fly even after they discover they're both playing the same game. So how can two handsome, thirty-ish guys make their way in New York's high society on a laughably low budget?

... Brett and Jamie's cynical plan to integrate themselves into New York's wealthy gay social circuit where the Sugar Daddies are plentiful and the living is easy. Before you can say, "How to Marry a Millionaire," the two men are mixing it up with a "Velvet Mafia" of gay power-brokers, suspicious socialites, and social climbers, while running away from compromising Internet photos, creepy roommates, the constant threat of exposure, their own nagging consciences, and Astoria. They've got their work cut out for them, but their greatest challenge is this: Can true love prevail when both partners are basing their lives on deceit? Once you've lived as someone else, can you ever really get back to yourself? And if a gay man falls in a forest, and no one is there to hear it, who gets his suits?

In this inventive, witty novel of love and identity, Rob Byrnes -- author of the diabolically funny THE NIGHT WE MET -- takes readers on a wild ride through the "good life," where no scheme is too outrageous, no one is who he claims to be, and nothing is more risky than pinning your hopes on the real thing -- if you can find it.


There. Makes you want to run out and pre-order, doesn't it?

This queen puts the 'bitch' in the NY Blade's "Bitch Session":

"Someone told you that you were hot at 35 and you still believe it 10 years later? Die gracefully already."

I wish I knew him. I would very much like to be present at his 45th birthday party. Heh heh heh.

Speaking of 45, I have 38 days to go. Which is my way of saying: less dawdling, more shopping for birthday presents.

E-mail from my friend Chris, and a Halloween cautionary tale:

Not since Halloween night 15 years ago, when I saw a man dressed up as a line of cocaine (complete with one hand holding a huge rolled up $bill and the other holding a huge cardboard razor), conducting a sobriety test for a cop on the side of his car, have I seen a Halloween costume that so badly "hurt" the wearer.

This morning on my way to work on 57th street, there were 2 cops questioning and holding a guy. As I got closer, I made out the image that the guy was wearing a priest's collar and suit and had what looked like, a young boy whose upper body was covered in a plastic bag - all you saw were his little legs and sneakers. And as I passed the "spectacle", I heard one cop yelling "For Christ's sakes, it looks like you just abducted a kid, what the hell were you thinking?" and the guy, stammering "It is just a prop".

Of course, this was right by Howard Stern's building so, who knows...

Free Cat

Last night I killed a man with my bare hands, just to see him die.

But I had to leave the room briefly to take a leak, and I ended up missing the big moment. Damn. Now I have to do it all over again tonight. Fortunately, I have a little list:

* People walking under open golf umbrellas on the narrow stairs down to the subway. Or under scaffolding. Or when it stopped raining 23 minutes ago. You must die.

* People pushing, shoving, elbowing, through crowds on the subway platform, 'cause that overcrowded train that's about to leave the station is the last train ever, and if they can't wedge their fat asses in the doorway, life as we know it will cease to exist. You must die. And you must die twice if you're carrying a golf umbrella.

* People blocking busy sidewalks and pushing copies of amNewYork in my face. You must die. And your little newspaper, too.

* Drivers blocking the box. And also the drivers who think they can cure gridlock through repeated long blasts on the horn. You must die. Especially if you drive a big rig with an air horn, in which case you are so dead.

* The guy in the big inflated Quiznos costume standing at the corner of Third Avenue and East 50th Street. Death will save you from further embarrassment.

* All the cold-callers who see my name in random business directories, then call up and ask specifically for me, acting as if they know me, and then when I drop something important to take the call, they try to sell me toner or temp services. Die! Die!!! DIE!!!!!!!

I think I'm gonna have a busy night.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

When shadows fall inside the United States Capitol, the place turns into one big ghostly circuit party. Or so sayeth (well... hinteth) the Associated Press. (Interesting article, but you're looking for that last paragraph, sailor.)

"Everyone is telling us to leave, but we're waiting 'til we see the flames," said Chrisann Maurer, as she watered down her yard and her house in heavy wind. "I'm afraid, but I've got a lot of faith. I just think there is enough people praying that we might be safe," she said.
(via Fark)

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

The United States Senate takes on the weighty issue of college bowl games, 'cause apparently all the nation's and world's issues about peace and prosperity have been resolved.

or, Look! Reviewing while sober! Catch it while you can.
This past weekend, while down in DC to visit the boyfriend, I caught a couple of movies. Because I know you pop into TRL to guide you in selecting your entertainment, I thought it would be a nice public service if I reviewed them very, very quickly. You're welcome.

First up: INTOLERABLE CRUELTY. Robby like. George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones are fabulous, even if their chemistry isn't always red-hot. A dark, clever, romantic comedy, dripping with those Coen Broethers touches. What's not to love? As a sidenote, I have to ask if Zeta-Jones plays a nasty self-centered bitch in all of her films, or just the ones I've seen. And if so, is she like that in real life? Is Michael Douglas permenently emasculated by now?

Anyway, the movie is a delight, with enough twists and turns and edgy cynicism to temper the romantic comedy elements. Not that there's anything wrong with romantic comedy, of course, but it's much more enjoyable with a dark side. Go see this movie.

Next victim: MYSTIC RIVER. I hate to say it, but this was a big disappointment. No, it wasn't the worst movie ever made, but there were too many things wrong with it... implausibility upon implausibility. Let's start with the fact that Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon are supposed to be in their mid-thirties. Let's top that by adding that Tim Robbins is supposed to be in his mid-thirties! Tim Robbins Jr. maybe... (Okay, okay, I know that Robbins -- like Bacon -- is only a few months older than I am, but kids: that's mid-forties the hard way. Susan Sarandon must be Catherine Zeta-Jones's role model.)

And it's a bleak, bleak movie. That would be fine if it made sense, but it really doesn't. I defy anyone to tell me that the pay-off for sitting through these 120 minutes of laughless darkness was worth it. In a world where coincidence is the norm, the film's resolution might be merely far-fetched. But in this world, it's not.

And there you have it. Two sober reviews. I knew I could do it!

I'm way, way remiss in mentioning this, but 11 days ago or so I saw the newest iteration of the Michael Holland (swoon*) - Karen Mack phenomenon, "Gashole: More More More of the Mess That Was the 70s." As always, it was a great time, and its new location -- Mama Rose's, on Second Avenue -- is a great space.

So I'm going back. Saturday night, I'll be back in the audience. You should be, too. If you spot me, I'll be happy to sign an autograph...

* -- When I ran into Michael (in a bar, of course) a few weeks ago, I told him that I always added the 'swoon' after mentioning him. So now I have to do it for the rest of my life. Not one of the more difficult things I've had to remember...

I have no idea who I'm supporting for President in 2004 at this point, but now that Howard Dean had declared he's a 'metrosexual', well... I think I have to take that into consideration.

What's next? Is he going to link to his Friendster profile?
(via Drudge)

UPDATE: (Damn! 601am beat me to it by three hours! Well, listen, Aaron, some of us have to work for a living!)

The Valley Family Forum, located somewhere in Virginia I don't want to go, deems The Advocate to be "offensive," and want it taken off the shelves.

The members of the Valley Family Forum don't get out much, do they?

This week's hard-hitting subversive news from The Advocate:
There's Gay Stuff in Cirque du Soleil
Siegried and Roy ("Roy Horn: The Other White Meat"(t)) Are Homos

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The BoiFromTroy has me officially scared. Four hundred trips to the gym in 301 days? That's a bit... uh... overly healthy, I think.

Not that I'd tell him that, of course, 'cause if I did, he'd crush my head like a grape. Let's just say that we're roughly the same height and weight, and I've only been to the gym once since last December (despite continuing to pay the $90 per month, which makes me... sort of stupid, really.) Of course, 168 pounds looks different on different people...

I think I need a cocktail. Now that's something I could be obsessive about.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Drudge has the story.

Friday, October 24, 2003

In a little more than an hour, I'm supposed to be on a train to DC, where this cute little blond kid named Brady will hopefully be waiting for me. If he's not, then I'll be back later tonight. But I'm betting he'll be waiting for me at Union Station, so don't look for my return until Monday.

In the meantime, why don't you try sending the Mboto picture (below) to your more gullible friends, and see if you have better luck getting them to take the bait than I did. I mean, wouldn't you feel a sense of a job well done if Mboto showed up in your in-box three months from now? I know that I would.

To all my friends who already have visions of sugarplums Happy Hour dancing in their heads, please try to enjoy yourselves without me. It will be difficult, but think of it as an opportunity to get to know each other better. After all, there really is no reason why I should always be the center of attention.

On a final note, I know I promised you a scan of my new book jacket, but it won't happen until next week. The image was scanned, but the resolution is so high (and the file, therefore, so large) that I can't upload the jpg to TRL. You'll just have to be patient.

Ciao, kiddies! I'll send you a postcard!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Apropos of nothing, I was reorganizing some files this afternoon and found this:

The backstory: last year, some friends and I got tired of finding weepy and/or inspiration chain mail in our in-boxes, so we decided to perpetrate a scam. I found the photo on some random site and, a few swipes at creativity later, we had created the sad tale of Mboto.

Our goal was for Mboto's story to travel around the world, one gullible e-mailer by one gullible e-mailer, until he returned to our in-boxes. Alas, we know of but one person who was guileless enough to swallow the story and forwarded it along with the ice carvings of firemen and angels and the stuff that keeps in business.

We probably made an error in not asking people to forward money or greeting cards...

Please wake me up from this nightmare!!

UPDATE: A reliable source tells me that Carrot Top cruised him in the men's room at the Detroit Airport a few years ago. In my source's own words: "VERY GROSS." I agree, without even being there.

I really need to professionalize and consolidate a few things around here. For instance, for some reason I am completely unable to update and redesign, which annoys me... not to mention, it makes the site increasingly useless. This is a problem when one is gearing up to promote one's second novel. Also, I've never been able to send mail through the site. Stupid Yahoo.

And now there's TRL, and while I appreciate the ease with which Blogger allows those of us with the technical proficiency of Mr. Patrick Wallace to set up our little exercises in narcissism, I'm enough of a control freak that I'd really like to be able to do more with the site than I'm apparently able to do. And instead of having a piece of me here, and another piece there, and e-mail routed through a third place, I think everything should be under one roof.

And I want all of it in a package that I can figure out without hurting myself.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do. If those of you who know what you're doing have any suggestions, please e-mail me. I will love you forever, and buy you a drink, too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Even though my next novel won't be on the shelves for another eight months, I am now in possession of a few copies of the dust jacket, and I definitely like the cover art.

It seemed vaguely familiar to me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it, until my editor informed me that his inspiration was New York Magazine's infamous "Trophy Boys" article, circa 1997:

We're liking it very, very much...

This is perfect. I can almost hear his voice:

Limbaugh Says Drug Addiction A Remnant Of
Clinton Administration
WEST PALM BEACH, FL—Frankly discussing his addiction to painkillers, conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience Monday that his abuse of OxyContin was a "remnant of the anything-goes ideology of the Clinton Administration." "Friends, all I can say is 'I told you so,'" said Limbaugh, from an undisclosed drug-treatment facility. "Were it not for Bill Clinton's loose policies on drug offenders and his rampant immorality, I would not have found myself in this predicament." Limbaugh added that he's staying at a rehab center created by the tax-and-spend liberals.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I know that you're probably thinking that there can't possibly be a downside to being Famous Author Rob Byrnes. Hob-nobbing with Hillary and Cumming and Jason and Carrie Candace... having Happy Hour cocktails with Horshack... jetting off to DC every other weekend to be with the boyfriend, who happens to be connected to an international spy organization (I'd post a link, but then I'd have to kill you)... churning out fiction... living life in the fishbowl that is TRL... and, in my spare time, serving in the Gay Mafia.

Well, yes, come to think of it, there really isn't a downside to being me. Well... maybe Horshack. But mostly it's a pretty decent life. So... where was I going here...?

Oh yes. The exhaustion. Life is full, and life is fun, but I really can't remember the last time I got decent sleep. That is why I am making a radical departure here and announcing that:

* Tonight there will be no Happy Hour.
* Tonight there will be no wild escapades.
* Tonight I will not be Famous Author Rob Byrnes. Tonight, I will be Homebody Rob Byrnes.

(Quick! Somebody talk me out of this...)

Michael just wrote an entry on the ridiculously cheap cigarette and alcohol prices in St. Maarten, but complains that Coca-Cola is too expensive, adding that "if we could live on cigarettes and booze alone, St. Maarten would be the place."

I like Michael, but he seems to be under the impression that we can't live on cigarettes and booze. We can. Well... cigarettes, boooze, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

He stands corrected.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Hey -- why wait?
(via BoiFromTroy)

I don't know what this trial was about, but it must have been more interesting than the ones in which I've sat on the jury.

You know, my hometown -- Rochester, NY -- was a great place to grow up. It's a small but sophisticated city... or so I thought. Unfortunately, I have to question the level of sophistication when the local newspaper thinks that this is newsworthy.

Memo to the editors of the Democrat & Chronicle: that isn't news.

Researcher finds people worldwide share this: songs that get stuck in your head

Friday, October 17, 2003

I know I promised this at some drunken point in the middle of last night, but now here is my recap of the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund's fundraiser. From last night. Most of it before the drunkeness.

We start at 5:45-ish on Thursday, October 16. I say 'ish' because Official Rob Byrnes Ex-Boyfriend(tm) Shaun (check in soon for the action figure!) has never obeyed the normal conventions of time. He actually didn't ascend from his House of Money-Grubbing until 5:57. Not that I was watching the clock.

I wasn't. Really.

So, we wander over to Remi, for a very light dinner. Nothing to report here, except when I took a smoke break, Kevin Cathcart got up to speak, and I was trapped in the vestibule for 10 minutes until he was done, knowing all that time that the entire restaurant -- except Cathcart -- could see me through the fishbowl-like window. I tried really hard not to pick my nose.

And then on to the show, which the four of you are are reading this really want to know about...

WICKED was... not the worst evening I've ever spent in my life. But I needed a day to think about it, befiore I wrote my review. Here goes:


Got an extra $100? Go see WICKED.

Concise, right?

Okay, okay... here are a few more details:

The concept was clever, which is the primary reason it lives at the Gershwin. But the execution was... uninspired. Let's get to specifics:

ACTORS: Kristin Chenoweth and Idinia Menzel were awesome. They made the show. Carole Shelley played Carole Shelley. The most unfortunately-named-actor-ever -- Norbert Leo Butz -- played Jeff Conaway in Grease. And Joel Grey played... I dunno. What was that? I'm a Joel Grey fan -- despite being in a car that amost ran him over on Greenwich Avenue (remind me to tell you that story one day) -- and I expected the best. Instead, we got Joel Grey chanelling Martin Short's 'Ed Grimley' character, coupled with a soupcon of his Amos Hart-"Chicago" star turn.

BOOK: Dance: 10; looks: 3. The concept was interesting, and kept me watching. But it was a one-trick pony (does that make me sound like Paul Simon?) After every tourist from Kansas got the obvious, was there a need to drive that 'obvious' into the ground? By the way: there were guarateed laugh lines every time someone in WICKED used a shopworn WIZARD OF OZ line (e.g., "there's no place like home") in a marginally different context. Pathetic. Note to writers: LOSE THOSE NOW!

MUSIC AND LYRICS: Most of it was forgotten 15 seconds after I heard it. Side note: for some reasson, every time Steven Schwartz tried a rock number, all I could think of was Engliand Dan and John Ford Coley.

FINAL ANALYSIS: I've seen worse. Do not mortgage your home to see this play, but it's...

... it's...

... okay. And especially good if you've got young children or relatives from Mandan, North Dakota coming to town, and you don't quite know what to do with them.

ANYWAY, AFTER THE SHOW... our party of five went to Therapy on East 52nd Street. I can't speak for everyone (especially given the e-mail Shaun sent out at 3AM), but I was an angel, and home at 1:00...ish.

I thought I'd have more to write, but I'm still sort of lagging after last night. So I'd better get to bedbefore someone drops a house on me...

Rockford has had a busy couple of days. It's nice to see him working again.

Garner 'Rules' in Guest Stint

GOP Sources: Garner to Challenge McCarthy

ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

(Via Art Is For Losers)


Apparently, the Yankees won their playoffs.

I know this because in the time I spent in Hell's Kitchen waiting for a cab, and the time I spent on the Upper East Side walking from said cab to apartment, numerous people were out on the streets screaming "YANKEEEEEEEES!!!" before slipping in their own vomit and smacking their foreheads on the curb.

Honestly... who needs the mass media when you live in Manhattan?

Oh, and here's a teaser: coming up tomorrow, TRL reviews a Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund fundraiser, which included a dinner-ette, hanging with the ex for the first time in forever (and learning that the damn computer nerd doesn't even read this blog), and the upcoming Broadway musical WICKED.

Let it roll, babies. Let it roll.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Tonight I recognized that I might have a problem. When I'm not being amused by something else -- or, sometimes, when I am -- I'm checking my stats... who's been to my site, how they found me, who they love more than me, what I can do to make them love me mostestest...

Well, maybe not all of that, but still... this is not right. I told myself that I wouldn't get obsessive about TRL, and I won't.

Someone give me a pill. Or a distraction. Or a pill...

My rule: it's not my deal to comment on strictly local NYC news stories. That's for Gothamist or 601am or Gawker.

But rules were made to be broken, so here we are.

As you undoubtedly know by now, a Staten Island Ferry crashed into its pilings a few hours ago, and one ten twelve fourteen fifteen ten people have died, and many others have been seriously injured.

As of roughly 9 PM, less than six hours after the accident, people are falling all over themselves to blame... the wind.

Yes, there were gusts of 40 mph or so out on New York Harbor this afternoon. But these are biiiiig boats. I took that ferry line twice a day -- ten times each week -- for a year, and I'm telling you now: biiiig boats. BIG! Get it? These boats have survived residual hurricane winds and, well, the occasional real hurricane. These are not wimpy little shrimp boats bobbing in the Gulf of Mexico.

And Sandra Bullock wasn't on the Staten Island Ferry this afternoon, either.

Here's my opinion, totally formed by guessing: Major Staff Fuck-Up.

I suppose I could be proven wrong... but I doubt it. I think someone in control had a lapse of attention and judgment, which is okay if you're me, but the opposite of okay if you're, say, an airplane pilot...

... or a ferry pilot.

I hope I'm wrong. I'm sure we'll learn soon enough.

UPDATE: Accoring to NY1, the ferry captain may have tried to commit suicide. The plot...thickens.

(via Fark)

This site is the #2 Google search result for +"Alan Cumming" +arch-rival.

Remind me that I did this tomorrow when I'm whining about the amount of work I have to do...

or, What a Swell Party It Was

So last night I decided to attend a party hosted by the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District and Gotham Magazine to kick off the BID's "Pink Ribbon Project," which raises funds for breast cancer research. It's not only a good cause, but I worked for the BID when the project was first conceived four years ago, so I feel a special connection. Plus, I still know the people there. Plus, I'm always game for a party at the Whitney.

But oops, I did it again.

Okay, okay... I was fine during the party. Totally on good behavior. I even managed to applaud politely when Gotham publisher Jason Binn's engagement was announced, despite having just read this on Gawker. And I didn't even laugh at Candace Bushnell, who was, like, ohmygod, just like Carrie Bradshaw, and maybe, like, a little drunk. Or maybe she's, like, always like that.

Whatever. Jason and Carrie Candace set a new world record for making a cameo at a feel-good charity event. I think they were out of there before Evelyn Lauder could make it up to the microphone.

As I said, I was on fairly good behavior (for me... maybe not for you) until the party ended at 9:00, at which time Whitney security grabbed drinks out of hands and herded everyone out the door. Positively Prohibitionist. I don't think there was a partygoer left in the room after 9:03.

So what's a poor boy to do?

There was the option of attending an after-party that Jason Binn was hosting somewhere, and maybe, like, hanging with Candace Carrie Candace, but it didn't, like, start until, like, 10:30, and I'm not as young as I want to be. Plus, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to bring a gift. So my former co-workers and I decided to, like, hit the local bars. First Bemelman's Bar at the Carlyle, where we stayed for one drink until the bartender informed us that, if we wanted a second, we'd have to pay a cover charge, 'cause the pianist had come on duty. Well... not for nothing, but we were the entertainment, not the pianist, so we hiked across the street to the Mark.

And the rest is history.

Somewhere in the 11:00 range I made my departure, weaving through the streets of the Upper East Side -- in the rain, of course, and without an umbrella -- on my 20-minute walk home, which probably took me 30 minutes, given the fact that I was not exactly moving in a straight line. I arrived at my apartment sopping wet and drunk, drained a bottle of Vitamin Water, called the boyfriend, and passed out fell asleep.

And that was my night. How was yours? More important, how was Candace's?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Let's see...

Were you looking for information on what to expect on your first visit to a lung specialist? You've probably already realized that AOL sent you to the wrong place. But good luck, and let me know what you find out, since I'm only a few years behind you!

Antonio Sabato Jr. nude? Sorry... not here either. But I am very sorry.

Timothy Treadwell... photos... videos... gross (?!)... photos of body...

Link to two little stories where a guy gets eaten by a bear and your number of visitors sky-rockets. Maybe I should write a quick paragraph on "Roy Horn: the Other White Meat."

10 Worst Cartoon Characters of all Time

[Bonus: Kazoo, from the Flintstones is Number 9. Two Kazoo references -- actually, it's "The Great Gazoo," but whatever -- in the past few days. Cumming must be so proud...]
(via Fark)

Last night while I was hanging out on the front terrace of Posh (where smokers have been banished under the Bloomberg Act of aught-three, but you already know that) , one of the neighborhood kids passed by, walking his dog. Said dog in turn hopped up on the porch to visit the banished.

Ordinarily, this would not be noteworthy. In fact, ordinarily it would inspire me to say something like, "Get your fuckin' dog out of the bar." But before I had a chance to get nasty, I learned that the dog's name was 'Fosse.' Too cute. You know what's even cuter? Instead of "Shake," Fosse lifts his paw to the command "Jazz hands." And the command to walk is "Hip roll."

Too cute. If I ever get a dog, I am so stealing that routine.

Related: My favoritest Bob Fosse movie.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Okay, you already know the answer to that question. Sort of. These web logs can be almost anything. Each has its own personality, and blah blah blah blah blah.

But as a new-ish blogger -- a Robby-come-lately -- I've been thinking about the question and, more to the point, discussing it via e-mail (for the record, they asked me) with some other relative newbies. And I still don't have an answer.

Maybe because I just feel it is what it is. I had no preconceived intentions when I started this three months ago, except to have another play space. I'm not here to hone my writing skills or find an audience. I'm not here to be especially thoughtful or profound, or to tell you how I think you should think (despite the TRL tagline.) And I'm not here to make new friends from the web log community (which in any event includes just about everyone, doesn't it?)

If I happen to slip and write something thought-provoking, or if you become a fan of Famous Author Rob Byrnes because you stumbled across TRL, well, fantastic. And if we meet some day and become fast friends, that's just great. But really, I'm just here because I'm here.

And while I'm on the subject of The Rob Log, this is probably a good time to answer a few questions about my links. Lance Arthur has a very funny mock-interview on his site -- "Weblogterview" -- in which he writes:

"You link to people hoping they'll link to you
and then when they don't you take their link
off because they really weren't worth linking
to in the first place."

I'm sure there's a lot of that out there. (And since Lance always cracks me up, I'm adding a link to him in this update. Is that poetic, or what?) That's not what I'm up to here, though, because I'm not out hunting down an audience and, frankly, don't know what I'd give it if I found one. When your boyfriend, several exes, parents, siblings, roommate, co-workers, 300-member mailing list, and a few members of the Board of Directors of your day job visit your web log, it puts limits on a lot of political opining and random bitching about your boyfriends, exes, parents, siblings, roommates, co-workers, mailing list, and day job.

Before I started TRL, I read blogs -- a lot of blogs -- for almost a year, and I found some favorites. Those are the recommended reads on the sidebar. Yes, they include a lot of the 'Popular Kids,' but there is a reason those kids are popular. I didn't link to them because I'm in high school and hope to become popular by proximity to the popular. I link to them because they're worth reading. I'm quite confident that most of my links have no idea this site exists, and that's just fine with me. You should read them because they're good, not because I want them to be my friends and come over for sleepovers and pass notes in math class.

By the way, I should add that there are a few sites I read regularly that I don't link to. Let's call them the 'car crash' sites. I keep going back 'cause I can't avert my eyes...

And, yes, my links are a mixed lot. Some are there because I find them thought-provoking, some are there because I think they're very funny, some are there because I've become caught up in following their lives, and some are there because they offer links to hours of information and/or amusement. Even politically, they're a mixed lot: everything from center-right to anarchist. As a retired politician, I often find the opinions expressed hopelessly naive, lacking in perspective, or evident of a life unlived in the 1960s and early 70s, but that's all right. A link at The Rob Log does not connote 100% agreement on any individual item.

So there you have it.

Now, that having been said, I should note that I give good reciprocal link. Latest victim: BoiFromTroy, self-described "Gay. Republican. Sports Fan In West Hollywood, California." Enjoy! (Or should that be 'Enjoi'?)

Friday, October 10, 2003

So far, most of Schwarzenegger's transition team makes some degree of sense.

But... Ivan Reitman?

I'm sure incoming California Labor Commissioner Danny DeVito will have something to say about that!

So last night I was at the annual dinner of the Empire State Pride Agenda, along with celebrities like my boyfriend, new blogger Michael, my arch-rival, Tim Curry-wannabe Alan Cumming, and a thousand other people. I must note that Cumming would not look me in the eyes and made a point to stay as far away as possible from me. Coward.

Anyway, all the usual suspects were there: Hillary, Chuck, George, Judith, Tim Curry... oh wait, sorry that was just Cumming again. All in all, it was pretty much the standard-issue political dinner -- complete with requisite preaching to the choir -- but you can't quibble with the cause.

Michael has written about the dinner here. Michael is also trying to be less narcissistic by limiting his use of the work "I." Well... whatever...

By the way, my man JayMaster in the UK tossed me some nice comments about my book on his blog. Thanks, JayMaster!

Thursday, October 09, 2003


Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Over at Gawker, Choire helpfully guides you through Manhattan's acceptable and unacceptable.

Now I might not have to cancel my subscription to New York magazine. Although I will have to cancel TRL. It's all so confusing...

Maybe I'll just wait to see what next week's list says...

Grizzly People Founder Timothy Treadwell has lived peacefully with Alaskan grizzlies since the late 1980s. From late spring to autumn he immerses himself among these fascinating animals, who combine fearsome power and emotional depth unseen in most creatures. Living without weapons or fire, Treadwell studies the animals, all the while protecting them from humans who would kill them for trophies and their valuable body parts.

'Harmless' bear kills self-taught 'expert'

In other words, don't plan your schedule around Timothy Treadwell's speaking appearances.
(Via Cain Was Framed, further via Gawker)

Monday, October 06, 2003

Let's see. There's my first book.

And Brett Colt's first video.


UPDATE: Here's a better link to the... er... 'art video.' There are worse photos out there, but this should still be considered so totally not safe for work.

(This is something that I, of course, did not know, until my friend Mike in Rochester brought it to my attention. 'Cause I don't know things like that. I'm an angel, I tell you...)

This week is going to be wild enough during the daylight hours. For some reason, everyone in Manhattan has scheduled a meeting with me between Tuesday and Friday (only one meeting today, because it's Yom Kippur and the city has effectively shut down).

And then there's the evenings. Here is where I'll be, if you're looking for me:

Wednesday night, I'll be at Dillon's, on 54th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues, for Judy Barnett's CD release party.

Thursday night, you can find me at the Sheraton for the 12th Annual Fall Dinner benefitting the Empire State Pride Agenda.

Saturday night, it's time for the brand new Gashole 70s extravaganza starring Karen Mack and (swoon) Michael Holland. Despite the fact that my lowereastsidephobia generally keeps me north of 14th Street, I think I can brave the half-block south on Second Avenue to Mama Rose's.

Plus, my boyfriend will be in town. Meaning that I'll have to do laundry before he gets here. If I can fit it in...

Crackin' up over a phrase Toby of vividblurry used to describe a man in his late 30s (see his October 5 entry).

"Middle aged."

Only a kid, right?

About a month ago, I was hanging around the bar (surprise!) with a few friends, and some random girl wandered up and engaged us in conversation. I have no idea how the topic came up, but she was shocked to learn that my friends and I were in our forties. For some reason, that really pissed me off, which is sort of wild, considering that I usually pride myself on looking slightly younger than I am.

I guess I just decided at that moment that there was nothing wrong with being born during the Eisenhower Administration, and that strangers shouldn't assume that everyone born before 1976 looks like, well, Eisenhower.

I can change almost everything if I want -- my weight, physique, eye and hair color, style, career... -- but I'm never gonna be able to change my age. I'll continue to jokingly claim that I'm 35 until I die (that's sort of my equivalent to Jack Benny's "39") but I'll always be proud to have been born in the waning days of 1958, because (a.) I really don't have any choice in the matter, and (b.) you really do gain some wisdom and maturity with age.

(Also, if I was 20 again, I'd be saddled with the hair and fashion of the 70s, and I really don't think we want to go back there, do we?)

So, yes, I will be 45 years old before this year ends, but I'm not middle-aged. I am merely better seasoned.

Now hand me my walker. I want to get some air...

Sunday, October 05, 2003

I just spent four hours cleaning a 40 square foot bedroom. Okay... maybe it's 80 square feet. I'm a gay man, so I have license to be dramatic.

In any event, I think so gross that I think I'll have to break up with myself.

I wish I had a good excuse. A physical disabilty, say... or some tactile disorder that didn't allow me to sense that grit was building up on my window sills. (I live in a second-floor apartment in Manhattan, with no AC, so grit does build up.)

But, no, I'm strictly a victim of my own laziness. I've known this bedroom was an embarrassment for months, and I found every excuse to avoid dealing with it. After all, no one uses it but me (and my boyfriend, in rare cameos). Who would ever know?

I knew. And that knowledge was not a good thing.

My promise to myself from this point on is this: I will clean. I will live like a normal human being. I will not let my bedroom again come to resemble a clogged catch basin.

(And if I fall behind in any of these pledges, and you're fortunate enough to see my bedroom, please don't remind me of what I just typed. Otherwise, cleaning is your job.)

Friday, October 03, 2003

I know I only worked 3-1/2 days this week, but ugh. Ah well... at least a lot got accomplished this week. Work is like that when you're up at 5 AM every morning.

Now, though, it's late Friday afternoon and I'm burned out. (Er... that would explain the numerous entries this afternoon. The lack of original content would be explained by the fried brain hidden under my highlights.) Happy Hour -- oh, blessed Happy Hour -- awaits me!

By the way, I've added a few TRL Recommended Reads -- Elizabeth Spier's brand spankin' new blog for New York Magazine, The Kicker; and my new pal from the UK, JayMaster -- and we'll keep an eye out for Michael the Country Boy to see how he progresses in this medium. There are a few more folks I want to link to when I get the chance, and although I know that news will fill you with anticipation and keep you awake at night, you'll just have to be patient.

This weekend I get to copyedit my manuscript and scrub my bedroom. (I wonder if I can clean while holding a wineglass?) Don't you wish you were me?

The Non-Expert: Raises & Terror
(Via The Kicker)

Top Twenty New Jobs for Rush Limbaugh
(Via Gawker)

"The only way this could get worse for Premiere Radio would be if they caught Dr. Laura writing Rush's prescriptions."--An anonymous radio executive at the NAB Thursday.

(Via Michael Graham, in turn via NRO's The Corner... and why am I skimming all these conservative blogs on a Friday afternoon, anyway?)


What lesser-known Simpsons character are you?

Brought to you by the good folks at

(Via Jaymaster)

Over at A Small Victory, Michele has seen the skeletons... and wants them shoved back in their closets. Now go read "Electioneering."

I remember the good old days when politics was collegial, rather than one long game of "Gotcha." Or maybe my memory has faded. Whatever. Michele is right, and that's what's important here.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

One particularly evil influence in my life is my friend Michael, who makes me go drinking when I would ordinarily be home baking cookies for the old folks at the retirement home or reading to blind children or giving stray puppies sponge baths or all three at the same time. Sort of a mix and match deal...

Anyway, inspired by moi, Michael has started a web log: A Country Boy in New York City. A gay, bib-overall-wearin' Kentucky boy with slightly conservative leanings... Hmm. This should be interesting.

So it's bad enough that a dumbass aide to dumbass Senator Kit Bond (R - of course - MO) exercised the ultimate in bad taste by naming his blog after the tail number of the plane that crashed and killed Governor Mel Carnahan in 2000.

But did he have to use the same template as I use at TRL?

Now really...

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Compaq FAQ: Where do I find the "Any" key on my keyboard?
(Via Kottke)

Watch out, kiddies. The Libertarians are out to conquer New Hampshire.

Next stop Iowa?

So my boyfriend popped over to a Dick Gephardt presidential campaign fundraiser in DC last night. No, he's not necessarily committed. He just loves himself a party.

And today, he's complaining about the after-effects of something called a Gephardtini.

Ummm... baby? Not for nothing, but the name should have tipped you right off.

For futurte reference, here are a few other drinks to avoid at all cost:
Rum & Clark
Dennis Kucinich on the Beach.

Did you miss me after my week in lovely Rochester?

I had a nice time. Thanks for asking. I was only there for a long weekend, but it was every bit as relaxing as my vacation in August. Not only did I get some quality time with random sets of parents and my sister, but I managed to see a number of old friends. No, I didn't see everyone. I'll catch up with them the next time.

One observation about Rochesterarians: I had forgotten how much they can drink. I mean, I'm hardly the poster boy for sobriety, but... whiskey in your coffee at 10:00 AM? Now really, Patrick!

But you know what? It was fuckin' cold up there! And I wasn't dressed appropriately, 'cause my head was still in summer mode. Unfortunately, autumn followed me back to New York City, and now it's cold here, too... and for some reason my sweaters are all MIA.

Damn. I didn't plan out this change-of-seasons thing very well.


(Via Andrew Sullivan)


(Via Queer Day)