The Official Web Log of Famous Author Rob Byrnes,
brought to you from the center of the universe:
West New York, New Jersey
Defining Deviancy Down Since 2003
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
NOTHING LIKE BEING PREPARED
If you still have a few dollars, post-holiday, you can now preorder Trust Fund Boys from Amazon. Yes, you'll still have to wait six months to read it, but at least you'll get to check one item off your June, 2004 to-do list.
Monday, December 29, 2003
2003: MY YEAR IN REVIEW
And now, here are a few of the highlights (and a lowlight or two) from my past year. 'Cause I know you care.
First, and most obvious, 2003 was the year I launched The Rob Log, bringing joy to... er... four or five people. I also received my first two royalty checks, and learned some harsh new realities about the publishing world. Friends of mine saw their books published, and I made some new friends through the wonderful world of web logs and the close brotherhood of Kensington Publishing writers. Not to mention the readers who became friends. Yes, I'm talking to you in Montral and El Paso and San Antonio and Ottawa and Belgium and Los Angeles and Malaysia and Tucson. (You in Key West sort of scared me.)
Oh, yeah, and I also finished my manuscript for Trust Fund Boys. Yay, me.
It was the year in which I slipped away from a seedy bar for a tryst in a hotel room with a stranger from out of town, and ended up falling in love. So, yes, sleazy anonymous sex proved its purpose in life once again. When, oh when, will you good people listen to me?
It was the year in which I suffered through incredible (and self-induced) poverty, paying foir the excesses (literally!) of my past. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that after a few years of mostly rent-free coasting, 2003 was the year in which I started shelling out $2,000 a month for an apartment. But the cavalry always seemed to show up in the nick of time, so I won't whine about that now.
Professionally, this was the year in which Gridlock Sam called me 'quirky' in the Daily News... I showed up in a party photo in Gotham Magazine (or so I'm told; I never actually saw the picture)... I had quotes and profiles in more community newspapers than I could count...
Personally, this was the year in which my brother made me a first-time uncle... I learned to smoke outside... Michael and Karen unleashed 16 new iterations of Gashole... I turned 45... that other Michael and I launched Townhouse Tuesdays...
All in all, it's been a good year. And 2004 promises to be better. Stick around for the ride!
Sunday, December 28, 2003
TWO QUICK QUESTIONS FOR MY LOYAL READERS
(Or Anyone Else Who Cares)
For the past few
Novel No. 1 -- The Night We Met -- was about a gay writer in his mid-thirties who meets the thirtyish, ostensibly heterosexual son of a Mafia boss. Complications ensue.
Novel No. 2 -- Trust Fund Boys (coming in June 2004) -- is about an almost-forty actor who meets a guy in his mid-thirties, and together they embark on an ambitious social-climbing scheme. Complications ensue.
Now, I have a few thoughts about Novel No. 3. And here is where I'd appreciate your input, either through the comments section below, or by e-mailing me. Although I address these mostly to people who have bought my books, but I encourage anyone and everyone to jump in here.
1. Do younger readers (say, 30 and younger, for the sake of argument) have a problem with the fact that my characters are generally older than my readership? If you're 28, do you have a problem relating to the adventures of a 39-year-old who is starting to thicken at the waist and can no longer stay up until 5 AM?
2. Does a romance (a *secondary* romance -- the main characters would still be in the 34-45 age group) between two elderly gay men hold any appeal? I am NOT threatening sex scenes -- you all know that I don't write those, anyway -- but I'd like to know if you think it would be a romantic turn-on, or a distraction.
I like to think I'm writing some fiction that is a bit more inclusive than most gay commercial fiction. I've said this so often in the past that it's become My Own Private Cliche, but this stuff is not Proust. That's not what I've set out to write. But still, judging by my e-mail in-box, there are a handful of people in the world to whom I've made a difference. That was never my goal, but it's a pretty fucking cool result.
In The Night We Met, many of the characters were straight, even though it's a gay romance. In Trust Fund Boys, I have major Puerto Rican and black characters (and an over-the-top Japanese-American queen, but that's another story.) So what do you think? Can Novel No. 3 endure a secondary romance between two older folks? Do you think it would be sweet, or icky?
In any event, I can promise you that complications will ensue. 'Cause that's what I do best.
LOOK AT ME! I'M DOING DONALD WILDMON'S BIDDING... AND I LIKE IT!
Far-right crazyman Donald Wildmon (one of those guys who routinely compares homosexuality to bestiality... you know the type) just sent me an e-mail, and asked me to forward it to at least one other person. But because Don and I are now apparently on a first-name basis, I thought I'd do him an even bigger favor, and post his e-mail here.
Hm. Now that we're 'Rob' and 'Don,' do I owe him a belated Christmas card? These situations are so awkward...
Subj: Over 600,000 have voted on marriage poll
Date: 12/28/2003 2:18:10 PM Eastern Standard Time
Participation in America’s Poll on Homosexual Marriage at marriagepoll.com continues at a steady pace. As of noon Saturday, December 28, the results were as follows:
I oppose legalization of homosexual marriage and “civil unions” total votes: 201914
I favor legalization of homosexual marriage total votes: 378691
I favor a “civil union” with the full benefits of marriage except for the name: 52238
If you have not already voted, click here to do so. Be sure to forward the poll on to your family and friends.
Only votes that have a valid email address associated with them will be counted. We will be purging those with invalid email addresses, which may cause poll results to change somewhat.
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association
P.S. Please forward this email to at least one friend.
As Don says in his e-mail, if you haven't yet voted, please do so soon! And tell the AFA that I sent you. My buddy Don will get a kick out of that.
Friday, December 26, 2003
WORST. FRIDAY. EVER.
I have to be at work, but I'm bored. And no one is updating their blogs, no matter how many times I refresh. And my boyfriend is incommunicado, having fun with friends and relatives in Colorado. And the kids at my publishing house are on vacation until the second week of January. And something is wrong with the new pair of contacts I popped in this morning. And I'm getting all whiny and shit.
I wonder if it's too early to start Happy Hour.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT FROM TRL
I got brave this afternoon and coded. Scary, right? Maybe next week I should perform eye surgery or something.
But now, at least, I've slightly broken away from the Blogger template. I like the new look, although it still needs some tweaking.
It's cleaner... more aesthetically pleasing. Well... to me, at least. And I look at it a lot more than anyone else, so I know these things.
If you like, let me know. If you prefer a generic Blogger template, well... there's always Andrew Sullivan. Although Andrew asks you for money, and I'm too lazy.
And Merry Christmas. (I wish I was less tired from work, and therefore better able to satirize the season, but I'm not.) I love you guys -- especially those who have bought one of my books -- and look forward to a lot of fun in the future.
Maybe I'll do something clever for New Year's Eve. I mean, I owe you entertainment, right?
Merry Christmas (and/or whatever else you're celebrating.) Call me if you want to get together. I'll just be hanging around my apartment doing laundry. Crying. And drinking alone.
Have a holly jolly, kids!
MAMAS, DON'T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE BEAUTY QUEENS
Disclosure: my first cousin is a former Miss New York State. (We share a gene pool, so that makes sense.) To the best of my knowledge, though, she is not destined for any of the following headlines:
Former Miss South Africa Attacked by Hippo (Via Fark)
Parents of Slain Child Beauty Queen JonBenet Ramsey Sue Fox News Network (Via Drudge)
Georgia Beauty Queen Faces Murder Charge
Maybe my cousin is doing something wrong.
Monday, December 22, 2003
IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU GET HERE, AS LONG AS...
WAIT. NO, SORRY, IT DOES MATTER!
Everyone who has a web log has experienced this: some stranger types a phrase into a search engine -- say "Britney Spears hot sex with hyenas" -- and because in the past you've used a few words in rough proximity to each other -- say 'Britney Spears' and 'hot sex with hyenas' -- that stranger lands on your site. Even though your blog entries were about, on one hand, Britney having a three-way with JT and Paris; and, on the other hand, your drunken evening in Wyoming.
Er... maybe I share too much.
Anyway, somehow I have typed a few crowd-pleasers into The Rob Log that bring me many, many visitors. "Photos of Timothy Treadwell" has been a big hit, as has "Howard Dean's height and weight." (Because you'd go to a stupidass blog for that information, right?) I have also received more than my fair share of hits for "Roy Horn" [Ed. "The Other White Meat!"]; tintinitis; and -- strangely -- "Billy Hufsey."
But someone has now found TRL by searching for Barbara Feldon tied up. And that's just wrong.
Friday, December 19, 2003
AND IN A VERY SPECIAL VERY SPECIAL EPISODE OF 'THOSE WACKY ROWLANDS'
I'm speechless. Truly speechless.
Corruption claim governor says he was called by God
A FEW RANDOM FRIDAY THINGS WHILE I'M WAITING FOREVER FOR A SET OF MAILING LABELS TO BE PRINTED AND I SWEAR TO GOD I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG BUT IT'S HOLDING UP THE ENTIRE PROCESS OF MAILING THE OFFICE HOLIDAY CARDS AND I'VE JUST ABOUT HAD IT AND I'M ABOUT TO WRITE OUT THE GODDAMN ENVELOPES LONGHAND!
Doesn't everything about this seem very, very wrong?
Michael Holland's new CD is out. I'm positively wetting myself.
Remember my post a few days ago about PETA's "Mommy is an Animal Killer" campaign? Michele at A Small Victory found the images. Wonderful!
Michael stood me up for Happy Hour, leaving me cold and alone and very, very sad. Bitch.
Okay, that's enough for now. Let's see if work is being done in the other room...
UPDATE: This I love.
This I don't.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
WE'RE NUMBER FIVE!
At this immediate moment, I am the fifth-ranked Google recommendation for "The Rob." I am humbled. And seriously thinking of changing my name. Thank you.
AND NOW A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE OF 'THOSE WACKY ROWLANDS!'
It's a difficult Christmas in the Governor's manion for John and Patty: not only has the media discovered that John has been accepting freebies from contractors and his own employees (special guest stars Dabney Coleman and Vanessa Redgrave) and lying about it, but First Step-Son Ryan -- already in trouble for drug possession -- gets busted for egging a father who was trick-or-treating with his children! But after Patty parodies 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' and reclaims the mantle of victimhood, hearts melt across Connecticut and the entire family settles in for a heart-warming Yuletide toast in front of the fireplace... well, except for Ryan, who's firing up a blunt behind the garage. John: John Goodman. Patty: Lisa Kudrow. Ryan: Robert Iler. Grandma Rowland: Cloris Leachman. Joe Lieberman: Joel Grey.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW, AND IT'S ONLY WEDNESDAY
Hello, kittens. I am once again popping my head into BlogWorld for one reason and one reason only: to assure you that I am still breathing.
Er... wait, let me--- Yes, yes, I am still breathing.
But after returning from my weekend in DC, I've been crazybusy at work. I think the worst is over... I hope the worst is over... so with a little luck I'll be back to entertaining you tomorrow or Friday. There are tales to tell.
In the meantime, here's a story from the Boston Herald to warm your heart:
Keep your doggie or kitty friends away from mommy - she's an animal killer!
[Exclamation point mine, 'cause it's appropriate.]
Thursday, December 11, 2003
MISS ME? GET USED TO IT.
It's not that I'm still hungover from my birthday weekend (me, me, me, Gothamist!), and it's not that I'm dead.
But this week has been crazed at work, and I've been spending my evenings
And this weekend, I'm off to DC, so you won't be reading new, exciting adventures of my life until Monday, at the earliest. When I return, though, it will be with vivid memories of the hour or so I'll be spending with the Boi From Troy.
Now that should keep you on the edge of your seats for a few days. Ciao!
Monday, December 08, 2003
DELETIONS AND STUFF LIKE THAT
Yeah, I deleted last night's entry. Mostly 'cause it made minimal sense. Memo to self: what seems clever after 6 hours of cocktails seems sort of stupid after 6 more hours of sleep.
Speaking of cocktails, I've noticed something lately. Is it just me, or does everyone's life in New York City revolve around drinks? It seems that every extracurricular activity somehow leads to booze. For instance:
Cabaret = drinking
Comedy shows = drinking
Holiday parties = drinking
Going to the bar and staying until you can barely stand = drinking
Maybe it was just this past weekend. I dunno...
I realize that this entry is all about me, therefore violating the Gothamist Rules, but that's all right. I make my own rules here at The Rob Log, and it's all about me, me, me.
By the way, today is my birthday. Once again: me, me, me.
Friday, December 05, 2003
AND, OH YEAH...
Countdown to my (and Billy Hufsey's) 45th Birthday: Three Days. Have you finished your shopping yet?
Meanwhile, Bradykins is racing to New York via Amtrak at this very moment (I think), through the Great Nor'Easter of Aught-Three. What drama!
HE HAD IT COMING...
I suppose most of us have had a soft spot for a con-man type at one time or another. Or maybe that's just me. But this guy was just begging to be taken. I have half a mind to scam him myself, just 'cause he's such a dumbass and it would be so easy.
Don't get me wrong: he's probably a nice guy and all. But "a fool and his money," and all that...
Thursday, December 04, 2003
DECEMBER 8 CELEBRITY FACTOIDS
As you would suspect, a few celebrities other than Famous
Georges Feydeau (born 1862)
James Thurber (1894)
Lee J. Cobb (1911)
Sammy Davis Jr. (1925)
Maximiliam Schell (1930 -- finally, someone who's still alive!)
Flip Wilson (1933... and we're back to dead folks again)
David Carradine (1936)
James Galway (1939)
Jim Morrison (1943)
Gregg Allman (1947)
Kim Basinger (1953)
Sam Kinison (1953)
Billy Hufsey (1958... yes, I share my d/o/b with Christopher from "Fame")
Ann Coulter (1961... oh good fucking lord!)
Teri Hatcher (1964)
Sinead O'Connor (1966)
December 8 deaths include:
Tris Speaker (1958... I share his soul with Billy Hufsey)
Golda Meir (1978)
John Lennon (1980)
Slim Pickens (1983)
Martin Ritt (1990)
Howard Rollins Jr. (1996)
(Thanks to IMDB)
FUCK YOU, BILL HICKS
"Perhaps I should just take up the military motto of don’t ask, don’t tell—then no one would know how old I was and I could do as I damn well please!"
Girl should get over himself. Where's he been living? Neverland?
MEMO TO BILL HICKS: Make yourself some older friends who can show you that life doesn't end at 40. And take the self-pitying whining to an analyst, not to your readers, 'cause we really, really, really, really don't care.
So sayeth the almost-birthday boy.
NEW ON THE BLOGROLL...
I've been an occasional reader of Crash and Byrne for a while, and now seems like a good time to add him to my list o' links. I mean, his last name is 'Byrne,' so he's almost a relative, right? Not to mention that we're tied together forever through membership in the Gay Mafia. And on top of everything else, he turns 35 the day before I turn 45. Crash could be the younger brother I never had..
Oh, wait. I have a younger brother. Scratch that.
Also joining us is Mark at Zeitzeuge, who's not having a good day today. By the way, can anyone translate "Zeitzeuge" for me? Google keeps giving me 'time witness,' but I'm sure there must be a smoother translation.
GET OUT YOUR CALENDARS
Here are a few of my upcoming public appearances:
Friday, 12/5: Happy Hour at Posh, with Special Guest Star Brady. If I'm not too intoxicated too early, I might try to do this:
Saturday, 12/6: The Lynette and Rob Show Reunion Special (also known as the annual holiday party I host with my former roommate.) No offense, kids, but if you haven't already been invited... well, you know that drill.
Sunday, 12/7: If I'm not too hungover, I might try to do this, because Keith Price and Blanca Dominguez are two of the funniest people in New York:
Monday, 12/8: My 45th Birthday Extravaganza! AKA: Getting drunk again at Posh.
Tuesday, 12/9: Townhouse Tuesdays with Michael.
Friday, 12/12: I'll be appearing in Washington DC with the BoiFromTroy at either lunch or, later, for drinks... or both.
Saturday, 12/13: Still in Washington, this time as Guest of Honor at the V Party (er... that's a Roman numeral 'five'.) (Just kidding about that 'guest of honor' thing, too.) (And no more parentheses.) (This time I mean it.)
So I'll see you around, right?
SPEAKING OF MY READERS...
An overnight e-mail reminds me that I have been remiss in not mentioning that I met one of my readers the weekend before last. Let's call him "Anthony," just for fun. And now I'll mention him, 'cause I don't want him to feel neglected.
Anthony popped down from Montreal to visit friends -- not just me; alas, I'm not yet that important -- and we spent a mild Saturday afternoon/evening walking every inch of the West Village and Chelsea, and talking about... well, mostly talking about what a great novelist I am. That, and a lot about politics. And Dolores Hope. (You had to be there.)
It was fun, and the conversation was interesting and easy. Anthony, make sure to let me know the next time you're going to be in the Big City. But next time, we're doing a lot less walking.
I HEART KRAIG MEYER
Even though sales of the masterpiece novel The Night We Met are only limping along now, 15 months after publication, customer reviews continue to trickle in. I just received my fourteenth Amazon review from Kraig Meyer of San Francisco, who had the good taste to award it five stars, calling it his "favorite gay novel of summer 2003." Good boy.
For those of you keeping score at home, Kraig's was the ninth 5-star review. Four others were 4-star reviews. And then there's that illiterate bastard in Blacksburg, VA who gave it only two stars, but I'm pretty sure that was a phony review and a phony location posted by you-know-who.
Add to those stats my perfect five for five at Barnes&Noble.com, and it breaks down like this:
***** = 14
**** = 4
*** = 0
** = 1
* = 0
Damn, I'm good. And thanks again, Kraig Meyer of San Francisco!
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
TICK... TICK... TICK...
It's been such a busy day that I almost forgot this, but:
Countdown to my 45th Birthday: f-- f-- f-- five days!
BLOG TARGET OF THE WEEK: "THE SIMPLE LIFE"
But really... how can you not?
As Paris and Nicole do their damnedest to make Jessica Simpson look like Ben Stein, bloggers are taking aim:
* at 601am, Aaron now seems convinced that it's time to soak the rich.
* "Kathy Hilton seems incapable of speaking at all, but we can hardly be surprised. Atticus of Rhodes had many techniques for creating great orators. Botox was not among them." At D-NASTY.
* Bunsen has an interview with Paris's ass crack.
* Jossip begins an episode-by-episode review (I think). (Via Gawker)
* "They're possibly the most malignant thing to hit a heartland family since Dick Hickock and Perry Smith visited the Clutter family in Holcomb, KA in 1959." At Low Culture.
More as they pop up. 'Cause I know you care.
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Michael had a celebrity encounter this morning. I'd tell you who, but he swore me to secrecy, which means I can't tell anyone until I'm 23 minutes into Happy Hour tonight. So sorry.
But I can reveal that on Saturday night, Brady and I were pretty sure we caught a glimpse of Barbara "Agent 99" Feldon in an Upper East Side diner, grazing on a lettuce leaf with a side of botox.
Ah, my fast-paced life...
Monday, December 01, 2003
ROUND AND ROUND AND ROUND AND ROUND AND...
Noted with amusement: NRO reports. 601am cites NRO. Gawker cites 601am. Let Me Get This Straight cites Gawker. And now, TRL cites everyone. Just because.
Oh, by the way, I really don't give a damn about the A&F catalog. Chalk that up to age. Speaking of which: the countdown to 45 is now seven days. Yikes.