Thursday, July 31, 2003

(Via Uffish Thoughts)

Just in case you care a whole lot, I'll be making personal appearances at the following locations over the next few days:

Thursday, July 31, 4:30 PM
I'll be appearing at lovely Penn Station to meet the boyfriend's train.

Thursday, July 31, 7:00 PM
Catch me taking in the new Karen Mack-Michael Holland show Gashole V: Summer Wind at Don't Tell Mama on West 46th Street.

Friday, August 1, 5:30 PM
Happy Hour Madness!

The rest of my schdule is strictly TBA. Maybe you'll get lucky, though, and spot me walking the streets. No autographs, though. Please.

Or, I had a 24-hour jump on Gawker on the news of the Nicotini.

And yes, I am exactly that insecure and pathetic.

Memo to Self: When changing templates in the future, remember to insert code for the site statistic tracker. Otherwise, don't whine that it's broken.

Sometimes I'm too dumb for my own good.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

... especially my site statistic tracker.

Or maybe Michael V. lied to me last night, and no one is visiting.


The Onion taps into growing sentiment about the recently-released movie Gigli. I'm not going to this movie unless the film-makers take The Onion's suggestions, including:

"Getting shot is fine, but what about an automobile fire in which Ben and Jennifer are shown perishing in a slow-motion montage, their newfound love discarded as they try desperately to claw their way past each other's melting bodies, while slowly roasting to death in their own fat? You'd be surprised at how many people came up with that one..."

This is too funny. (And strangely enough, just last night I was discussing the advance preparation of celebrity obituaries. Go figure.)

Cathode Ray, the Ft. Lauderdale gay bar, has introduced a truly disgusting-sounding concoction called the Nicotini.

"It tastes like a cross between vodka and chewing tobacco," said Fort Lauderdale resident Jonathan Cook after trying his first nicotini. "That's not necessarily a bad thing."

Er... yes it is, Jonathan. But I digress.

You will never find me with a Nicotini in my hands, but... to each his own. (Bottoms up, Jonathan!) What's disturbing in this Sun-Sentinel article isn't the disgusting drink, though. but the reaction of the Health Thugs. Don't they always tell us that they want to ban smoking in all public places because they're battling second-hand smoke? Well... guess what? Here, in their own words, see how the Health Thugs react to the Nicotini:

* "To me, it sounds likes a cocktail of death," said Elise Lindborg, who runs an Internet-based project called the Gay American Smoke Out.

* "This is craziness," said Glenn Singer, a lung specialist at the Broward General Medical Center. "It's crazy to give people nicotine-laced cocktails so they don't have withdrawal."

* "We tried to think of what places might come up with to get around the amendment, but I never would have dreamed of something like this," said Sandra Kessler, executive director of the American Lung Association of Florida.

I smoke, and I wish I could successfully quit, and some day (with a bit more motivation and a lot more willpower) I will. But the over-reaction of these people -- ostensibly concerned with the dangers to employees and non-smokers, but really concerned with running our lives -- demonstrates that the 'second-hand smoke' argument they use with regularity to ban smoking in bars, parks, etc. is nothing but their Trojan Horse.

Elsie, Glenn Sandra and their fellow Health Thugs should at least be honest about their intentions. If they want to ban cigarettes and nicotine altogether, then they should say that, rather than hide under the guise of protecting people from 'second-hand smoke.' Because no innocent, pink lungs are going to be damaged by spillage from a Nicotini.

Until they decide they are going to be honest, they're more disgusting than... well, than a Nicotini.
(original article via 601am, which is not responsible for the commentary...)

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

English has no words
For what we just did in bed.
Oh, wait: "Tedious."

“This has been fun, but. . . .”
I’ve got news for you, honey:
It wasn’t that fun.

Remember when I
Said I disliked oral sex?
I meant just with you.

For the recently-completed Blogathon, the always delightful Faustus gave the world 48 gay dating haiku. Hilarious... not to mention on the mark. Go to his site and scroll down to the entries ending on Sunday, July 27 to read them and find your own favorites.

Besides a lovely, drunken dinner party in beautiful Bronxville on Saturday night, I spent my entire weekend writing. I am happy to report that my manuscript is close to completion. Given the fact that it's due on my editor's desk in six days, that's a good thing.

But I am not going to make my deadline. No way, no how. I have two major (and one minor) pieces to write, a trip to see Gashole V: Summer Wind scheduled for Thursday, and -- most importantly -- the first visit from the boyfriend in over a month. Oh yeah: plus, my evil friend Michael V. and I have a regular Tuesday evening date at this place. (For what it's worth, I consider it research for my novel. Wait until it's published in June '04 and all will be explained.)

By the way, when you and your friends buy the trade paper version of The Night We Met (coming in September!!), you'll get a bonus: a dozen pages from Novel No. 2: Trust Fund Boys. If that's not incentive enough to make you whip out your visa card, I don't know is...

FYI, for some strange reason my internal links aren't working. So everytime I've tried to amuse you (and myself) by making some self-referential comment and linking to an earlier post, you're being sent to the top of the page, instead of to the item of interest. Stupid Blogger.

My web-tracking site statistics aren't updating, either. According to bSTATS, no one has visited TRL since Friday, July 25. Ordinarily, I might think that's true, since I'm new to blogging and have not yet had the time to race around the blogosphere acting like a link whore. However, since I have personally visited my blog since Friday, I know that the stats are wrong.

Ah well. Things break. As long as someone who isn't me gets busy and fixes them...

Friday, July 25, 2003

'Cause frankly, I hated the old template. Hopefully, I'll like this much better. Whatever. Live with it for the weekend, while I continue to work on my next Great American Novel, and remember that I love you all.

And for those of you (you know who you are) planning on going to Happy Hour, I'll see you in beautiful Hell's Kitchen after work.

By the way, TRL just added two new links to the sidebar for your reading pleasure: Queer Day and Let Me Get This Straight.

You're welcome.

Does "Mayors in Peril" sound catchy enough for a new made-for-television movie genre?

Gun pulled near Bridgeport mayor

Cher is in Rochester, NY, and I would say that she's behaving like a tourist, if Rochester had tourists.

She did follow Rochester custom, though, by making a pilgrimage to Wegmans. Good girl!

Jayson Blair's professional exile to Shameville didn't last long:

Former Times reporter Jayson Blair to write for Esquire, Jane

Thursday, July 24, 2003

And let's see who gets that obscure reference...
(via Fark)

"Bloomberg Back at Work After Shooting"

Did I miss something? Was someone shooting at him? Was Bloomberg's life in danger? Is the killer still at large? Is the Mayor's office a bullet-riddled, unsafe mess, with its ceiling about to come crashing down, killing everyone underneath in a crush of timber and iron girders?


In that case, everyone get back to your desks and shut up. Dumbass media...

My favorite Writer on the Loose here at TRL is, of course, Mr. Patrick Wallace of Apopka, Florida. Here is his latest installment. He's been funnier, but I love the photo he includes of his wife Rhonda and 'awful Chester Donaldson.'

In fact, I loved the photo so much that I found it here. (I'm a regular Colombo, right?)

Some of Mr. Patrick Wallace's photographs we can look forward to seeing in the future:

Awful Chester Donaldson and Unwashed Jean Warren, who used to own the drive-in theatre.

Little Snotty Gary from the Fina Station

Joanie, the Weber Bar-B-Que Grill Widow

Scenes from the Pleasant Days Mobile Estates WingDing -- 2002

Dear Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Blair:

So how many things are wrong with the Amazon UK web site for my novel?

1. Who gave you stupid Brits permission to call me "Bob"?

2. Learn English, dammit. Or does the Queen make a name ending in an s a possessive by placing an apostrophe in front of the s?

3. Is the phrase "overly sensitive" one of your inbred island's euphemisms for 'gay'? [I'm ignoring the typo there. See? I can be a nice guy.]

4. "His life is fraught with... drag queens..."? I just don't know what to say.

5. And then there's this final indignity: UK sales rank, 433,600; US sales rank, 32,234 (as of this posting).

Keep it up and I'm never gonna do a book-signing at Buckingham Palace.


Okay, the frivolous essay writing is out of the way. Now for the important stuff: killer tacos!
(via Fark)

In the wake of yesterday's fatal shooting of New York City Councilman James Davis in the Council chambers, there has been a great deal of speculation over how something like this could happen. Well, yes, there were obvious -- if understandable -- security lapses, but there's another aspect of the incident that has left a lot of people shaking their heads in wonder: why did Davis escort the man who would end up killing him past the metal detectors and into the council session? And why, when a colleague commented unfavorably on the killer's intensity, did Davis tell him, "Don't worry about him. He's a military guy. He'll relax after a while."

Why, in other words, did Councilman James Davis make it possible for Othniel Boaz Askew to kill him?

Since everyone else is speculating, let me throw in my four cents as a veteran of scores of political campaigns.

There are a lot of crazies out there. That's not news. You can find them in every occupation, or pursuing every hobby. But they are especially prevalent in politics. And by the way, when I write about 'crazies,' I don't mean otherwise rational people who hold extreme positions on the issues. I'm talking about the Tin Foil Hat Brigade.

Politics draws the crazies for two reasons. First, the crazies are drawn to "The Issues" like moths to a lightbulb. Those issues can be anything from sewer reconstruction to flouridated water to the Second Amendment; the crazies -- seldom given to appreciating the nuances of public policy -- are attracted to what they usually perceive as the clear rights and wrongs of public policy.

Second, politics can be a high-profile endeavor, and the crazies are attracted to the proximity to power. To feel that they know their state assemblyman or city councilman or town supervisor is a validation of their own sense of self-worth.

Now, sometimes a crazy will even run for office. Sometimes, a crazy will even win. But based on my observations over the years, you can sleep with a sense of security tonight, knowing that most of your elected officials are basically sound of mind.

Why, then, do elected officials let the crazies hang around? Why don't they cut them loose... get them out of their hair?

Simply put, politics is labor-intensive. There are petition signatures to obtain, campaigning to do, hands to shake, brochures to distribute, doorbells to ring... And no one performs that labor with the intensity of a zealous true believer. The crazies who are drawn to politics therefore become cheap labor for the more rational politicians, who put up with their... uh... eccentricities because they derive the benefit of manpower.

I'm only speculating here, remember, but it seems entirely possible to me that James Davis knew that Othniel Askew was a bit... askew (sorry), but saw him as a political foot soldier who would help him advance his career.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the crazies are still crazy.

There is no moral to the story. Except that you should always be very careful about who you wave past the metal detectors.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I have decided that when August comes, and my manuscript is completed, and all else is well with the world, I will return to the gym. Oh, sure, I know you probably find my unique combination of Adrien Brody biceps, Alec Baldwin abs, and Anna Nicole thighs to be sexy and attractive, but, well… maybe I just have body-image issues.

For the past few years, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with New York Sports Club. Sometimes, I think I can’t live without my gym, and that we’ll be together forever. It whispers softly in my ear how impressed it is with the weight I’m lifting… it smiles approvingly as I add another mile to my run on the treadmill… and it always makes sure to compliment my calves.

But at other times, it turns into an evil bitch, shrieking that I’ll never have washboard abs, my arms will always be scrawny, and I’m a big girlie girl because I’m terrified of free weights. Although even when it’s an evil bitch, it compliments my calves.

I was a latecomer to gym membership, almost f— f— thirty-five years old before a friend convinced me to join NYSC. Even then, it took a few more years before I started a regular routine. What it took, really, was a sudden divorce, and the realization that I was on the market again for the first time in a decade, because gay dating in Manhattan is a competitive sport.

So I pumped and ran and squatted and cross-trained, and every now and then I’d slack off a bit. And then I’d start over again. I wasn’t turning into Schwarzenegger, but that was never my goal. My goal was to not turn into… whatever I’m turning into.

My last great love affair with NYSC was last fall, when the then-boyfriend and I worked out together on a fairly regular basis. We were both preparing for summer preening on the beaches of Fire Island. But when that relationship ended as suddenly as it had started, fizzling out immediately and inexplicably, so did my relationship with the gym.

But that was then.

Time moves on. Wounds heal. Now I’m in a new relationship… a stable relationship. And now, just as I let romance back into my heart, it’s time for me to let New York Sports Club back into my heart, too.

But it better continue to compliment my calves, or there will be hell to pay.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Crazy, crazy day. Don't expect to hear anything until much later. If at all.

Just one thing, though. A reader tells me that whenever he clicks on a link here, he gets thrown offline. Is anyone else having that problem? E-mail me and let me know, por favor. (This is supposing that the e-mail link doesn't throw people off. It's a twisted, twisted web, it is...)

Monday, July 21, 2003

Back in my hometown, there's this sort of obnoxious radio talk show host, who also has a sort of obnoxious web site. While I seldom read the talk show host's sort of obnoxious columns, from time to time I read the essays posted on his site from men and women looking for a writing outlet. Every now and then they work themselves up into an internecine frenzy, to my great amusement.

Recently, the regular members have been joined by a writer calling himself (or, perhaps, herself) Mr. Patrick Wallace. His musings have to be seen to be believed. Pants-wettingly funny. I almost wish they were true, instead of an Emily Litella-esque satire.

Mr. Patrick Wallace Has Purple Pool Water

Someone Owes Mr. Patrick Wallace His Free Pork Chop Dinner

Mr. Patrick Wallace and the Killer Weber Grill

(via Newsday)

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting item on legal hypocrisy in the same-sex marriage debate in today's Daily Dish. Arizona state law explicitly denies same-sex couples the right to marry -- no surprise there -- but infertile, elderly first cousins, well... that's another story. Read all about it here: "Marriage and Procreation."

Oh, and if any of my first cousins are reading this, I'd like to say that I love you all, but when we're shriveled and old and living in Arizona, that's still going to be too icky for me to contemplate.

I should have written this.

But before you dismiss us as a bunch of hopeless dipsomaniacs — we do exercise restraint. Most of us are well aware of the serious consequences of drinking far too much on a regular basis, particularly in the morning and at lunch. We call this a "drinking problem," the biggest problem being, of course, that in the long run you will have to either quit drinking or flush your life down the toilet — two equally depressing options which, if you think about it, are tantamount to the same thing.

Read the rest here.
(VIA Fark)

Saturday, July 19, 2003

1. It's a beautiful Saturday, and I've just logged another 5 hours in the office.

2. My eye is still swollen and red and weepy.

3. Due to (1) and (2), I am yet another day behind on my manuscript.

4. I thought I had this agreement with the world that I was not supposed to be pissed off until August. But last night on my walk home from Happy Hour, some illiterate, $5.25 an hour supermarket workers threw tomato-soupy/spaghetti-saucy stuff out onto the sidewalk... and all over my khakis. Then they laughed. Then I called 311 to report them, but 311 referred me to 911, so I didn't call because... well, because (a.) this wasn't exactly a house burning down with children trapped inside, and (b.) in my post-Happy Hour condition. I sort of forgot the name of the supermarket, and I didn't want to sound like an idiot on the phone.

But I'm walking back past there tonight -- carefully, and on the other side of the street -- so Gristede's or Food Emporium or Dagostino's or whatever you, watch out.

Friday, July 18, 2003


You're Ontario. You like comraderie and will do
whatever you can to fit in with your desired
crowd. You may even be very exclusive in who
you associate with. Money and status means a
lot to you. But try not to let those desires
rule your life.

What Canadian Province Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
(via SoBlo)

morally deficient
Threat rating: Medium. Your total lack of decent
family values makes you dangerous, but we can
count on some right wing nutter blowing you up
if you become too high profile.

What threat to the Bush administration are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
(via Tales from the City)

Homer Drinking
"Son, a woman is a lot like a...a
refrigerator! They're about six feet tall, 300
pounds. They make ice, and, um...oh, wait a
minute. Actually, a woman is more like a beer.
They smell good, they look good, and you'd step
over your own mother just to get one. But you
can't stop at just one. You wanna drink another
woman!" You're the lusty, drunken, party
type. Booze, and members of the opposite sex
are pretty much all you think about. While your
party attitude may land you some fun and all,
it could also get you into some trouble. Not to
mention the fact that you annoy the hell out of
some people with your drunken desires.

Which Advice Quote said by Homer Simpson are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Er... well, close enough.

(via Words Mean Things)


I must be taking the wrong trains. Or the right ones...

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Yay. Karen and Michael have updated their web site.

Don't. Miss. This. Show.

Good morning. My right eye is red and swollen shut. I have a blazing headache. I ache all over. My stomach is... well, we won't go there. Let's just say that it isn't pretty. And I'm sweating up a storm.

I think I have what these kids had.


Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post has the scoop: these days in Washington, it's all about Canada. Oh yeah... a postscript: has the White House completely lost its mind?
(via Gawker)


Thursday, July 17, 2003

Since someone asked, here are a few tips from The Rob Log on how to make your dollars last just a little longer when you're caught in a sudden financial squeeze.

1. Walk to Work. Okay, so I had gotten a bit lazy over recent months, and took the subway to work. Mass transit shaved 10 minutes or so off my commute, but added an additional $4 in daily expenses. This one was an easy one.

2. No. More. Cabs. Cabs can be an especially difficult thing to give up, especially when My Regular Bar is in Hell's Kitchen, but home is on the far edge of the Upper East Side. A cab ride home only takes 15 minutes or so, but costs $10-12. Nice. On the other hand, mass transit can take over an hour, but only costs $2. When dollars are short, kids, take my advice and go MTA. Just make sure to completely empty your bladder before leaving the bar. Seriously.

3. Speaking of bars, well, yes, my Happy Hour hours have had to be trimmed back. But it's possible to still play with the other kids. Rule #1: try to stick to Happy Hour, when the drinks are measurably cheaper (especially at My Regular Bar.) Rule #2: restricting those nights out to one or two per week is advisable. Going out five or six nights a week used to be fun, but is sort of counter-productive to the whole 'saving money' thing.

4. When drinking at home (alone, pathetic, like some old lady who dies unnoticed and is eated by her cats...), you can still cut back. For instance, if I was inclined to practice such antisocial behavior, I have found that even the cheaper chardonnays are better than the stuff I pay much more money for on a by-the-glass basis at, oh... let's say My Regular Bar.

5. Dry-cleaning should also be minimized, so when you're drinking at home, try not to spill on your clean khakis. I'm trying very hard to cut my dry-cleaning bill (which, at $35 per week or so, was admittedly a bit ridiculous) through dramatic measures like resisting the urge to take things in every time I think about wearing them.

6. Cigarettes are expensive and socially reprehensible and I love them so forget about it.

7. Vitamin Water costs $2 per bottle. Tap water is free, and I've already got multi-vitamins that don't expire until June, 2004.

8. If you unplug your telephone between the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM, Monday through Sunday, so that bill collectors can't reach you, you have plausible deniability.

And there you have it. Follow these tips from TRL, and save, save, save!

You're welcome!

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I don't usually remember dreams, and I wish I didn't remember the one from last night.

For some reason, I was advising Martha Stewart, and she was holding a big rally in support of herself. Without remembering the specifics, I'm sure it was tastefully done. Anyway, after an unsettling conversation in the men's room -- while I used the urinal, at that -- we walked out into the rally, only to discover that Al Sharpton had taken it over and was turning it into a campaign rally.

So what do you think? Does this dream symbolize something? Or should I avoid three-day old pasta salad in the future?

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Big deal. I've done this. (via Fark)

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At this particular point in my life, there are a lot of things going on. In the interest of public safety, I think I should give you a quick summary.

Work has been a grind, and I'm starting to burn out after eight months of 50 hour weeks. I need a vacation, but there is still too much I have to put behind me first. And in any event, I don't have any...

Money, because I (a.) made a few erroneously optimistic assumptions about my potential income earlier in the year; and (b.) took on some heavy financial commitments as a result of those assumptions, leaving me in a huge hole. Not that I could spend money anyway, because I have a...

Deadline to deliver the manuscript of my next novel to my publisher in two weeks, but since I've been tied to the office, I'm way behind, so now I'm spending every waking non-office moment on the computer. Mornings, nights, weekends, and all of this without...


I keep going because I know that the manuscript will be done by the end of the month, job pressures should lighten up, and the financial woes will be somewhat under control. But for the past few weeks, the muscles in my back have been knotted up from stress, and I expect to remain in physical discomfort and under mental pressure for the next few weeks.

Which is my way of saying that you don't want to piss me off right now. It would be highly advisable to wait until August.

Thank you. That will be all.

Is there anything better than a phone conversation with your boyfriend at 6:30 AM? Is there a better way to start the day?

Well... talking face to face would be better. But still...

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Remember how some people said that we misunderstood U.S. Senator Rick Santorum a few months ago, when he argued that the Supreme Court should uphold state bans on private, consensual sexual relations between adults? Remember how some people said that Santorum was an "inclusive" Republican?

Guess not. He's still at it:

In the interview with the magazine GQ, Santorum, R-Pa., was asked what he would do if one of his six children told him of homosexual urges.

"I would treat it like I would any other thing my child comes to me with," Santorum answered. "Try to deal with it in a loving, supportive way."

He continued: "You try to point out to them what is the right thing to do. And we have many temptations to do things we shouldn't do. That doesn't mean we have to give in to those temptations..."

Dumbass. Would one of you Pennsylvanians run for the Senate, or something?


And now, on to the first post of any discernible public use. Those of you who are my friends must, must, must join me on Thursday, July 31 for the all-new, all-summer version of Gashole*, starring the awesome Michael Holland and Karen Mack.

* -- Oops. The link is out of date. Still...

The show will be at 7:00 PM at Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, Manhattan. If you've seen earlier Gashole shows -- the 70s, 80s, Grammys, and Oscars -- you know you won't want to miss this.

And those of you who are not my friends should be there, too. (They're also performing the show on Thursday, July 24, so no excuses!)

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Hola. Welcome to The Rob Log.


Because now, instead of e-mailing friends whenever I find fun and/or provocative links, they can check in here at their own pace.

Because I'm just that fascinated with myself.

Because I can always use another diversion.

Because no one else has linked to this drawing of Ann Coulter's soul hovering above a naked woman on a rock.

Because... why not?

For those of you who stumbled in here and haven't already left, here's a quick primer on the man behind The Rob Log: I'm a writer, a (mostly-reformed) politician, a huge fan of Friday Happy Hour, a gay Manhattan resident (unique, right?), a huge fan of Tuesday Happy Hour, an ardent moisturizer, a huge fan of Thursday Happy Hour... ah, you get the point.

So welcome to TRL, and stop by again. Something interesting is bound to happen...