Friday, February 27, 2004

APPARENTLY, CONGRESS HAS FINISHED ALL ITS WORK AND NOW HAS PLENTY OF TIME TO SCREW AROUND
Senator Hillary Clinton and Representative John McHugh have gone all 'Pleasantville' on us, and are using their clout to fight 'The West Wing' producer Laurence O'Donnell's imagination.

Coming up:

Senator Bill Frist denounces the administration at County General for their shoddy medical practices.

Senator Rick Santorum makes a public plea for Will Truman to join Exodus International.

Senator Edward Kennedy asks Samantha Jones for a date.

Senator Barbara Mikulski asks Samantha Jones for a date.

Senator Barbara Boxer asks the BoiFromTroy for a date.
(UPDATE: The BoiFromTroy informs me that he is, in fact, a real person, and not a fictional television character. Okay, I'll give him that. Although he suspiciously did not deny the rumors about Boxer. Hmmmm...)

I just love Washington. Who needed 'K Street' when the entire city is one big blur of fact and fiction?

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S NEXT CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE
Hey, if you're on a roll, why not?
(Via Sullivan)

Thursday, February 26, 2004

QUICK QUESTION
Can anyone tell me what my sales rank is on this site?

Thanks.

BLAST FROM THE PAST
This is too damn funny.
(Via NRO)

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

THE VILLAGE PEOPLE IDIOT EXPLAINS IT ALL TO YOU
I clicked on a link which led to a link which led to a link which led to this asshole. (Note: since I was trolling in BuchananLand, I can't say it came as the hugest shock to me. When you're hunting worms, prepare to get muddy.) (Hmmm. That sounds like something Michael the Country Boy would say. But I digress...)

Anyway, I was amused enough by the fact that this dickhead Farah fellow dickhead makes his arguments against homosexuality by quoting scripture that really has nothing to do with homosexuality. I was even amused when he appropriated Bible quotations -- e.g., "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" -- that would bring even the most mature person (which is decidedly not me) to the brink of "I'm rubber, you're glue"...

But what most amused me is that this Farah fellow dickhead looks like a refugee out of the '70s 'Gay Clone' catalog:



I wonder if Magnum here gets mistaken for a big ol' queen very often? That would explain a lot.

MEL GIBSON CLAIMS FIRST VICTIM; DRUDGE HAS THE STORY
"HEART ATTACK DURING 'PASSION OF CHRIST'; WOMAN PRONOUNCED DEAD AFTER VIEWING FILM IN KANSAS"

[Sidenote: according to my detailed scientific calculations, this news means that "The Passion of the Christ" now has a slightly higher death toll than "Gigli."]

AS SAN FRANCISCO GOES, SCHENECTADY (?!) FOLLOWS
"If law allows, mayor ready to let same-sex couples wed"

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

JOHN DERBYSHIRE'S GREATEST FEAR
"This is a victory, not only for our state, but for America," Festa said. "Simply allowing consenting gay adults the same rights as heterosexuals was never the point. By forcing everyone in the state into a gay marriage, we're setting the stage for our more pressing hidden agendas: mandatory sodomy and, in due time, the legalization of bestiality and pedophilia."

(Lovin' me my Onion.)

GOTHAMIST, WONKETTE;
WONKETTE, GOTHAMIST

Oh, lord. Soon, nowhere on the Internet will be safe from pandas!

It's Panda-Monium!

The Bachelorette: The Panda Edition

Here's how TRL likes its pandas:



Fun Panda Fact: "Panda meat is unpalatable and hence little subsistence hunting occurs." (So remember: hunt pandas for the fun of it, not for sustenance.)

Okay. I'm done communing with nature now.

GASP!
I've been remaindered!

GASP! again: I'm apparently semi-responsible for 98 Degrees fan fiction.

This can't be right, can it? I think I'd better lie down.

THE DEFINITIVE 9-11 THEORY
Rudy Giuliani, out hustling votes for a future presidential campaign accepting an honorary degree in Norman, Oklahoma, has now learned the truth: al-Quaida was not responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks... but Wal-Mart was!

In related news, Halliburton has set up a field office in Bentonville, Arkansas. Developing...

EDWARDS '04: 'YEAH, I GUESS.'
Heh. This is, like, one week old, but I guess I'm not getting around BlogWorld much these days. Anyway, Allah is bestowing blessings, of sorts, on presidential candidate John Edwards.

I expect to see these posters held proudly at the Democratic National Convention.
(Via The Kicker)

Monday, February 23, 2004

HERE COME THE GROOMS?
Don't get too excited, Bradykins. It's still far too soon. But how did I miss this op-ed piece in last week's Daily News?

"It's legal for gays to marry in New York"

(Via Sullivan)

Friday, February 20, 2004

HITTING ME WHERE IT HURTS
From: XXXXXXX@rcn.com
To: famousauthorrobbyrnes@work.com
Subject: read it immediately
Message body: you are a bad writer
Outlook blocked access to the following potentially unsafe attachments: textfile.exe


Great. Now even virus-laden spam is dissing me.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

ALEX, I'LL TAKE "EUPHEMISMS" FOR $500
My hometown paper has an obituary today for a beloved radio personality. Now, death-of-radio-personality-in-medium-sized-market should result in a mundane, touchy-feely article, and this was. Fortunately, reading just the first paragraph paid off with the money quote:

"Friends of Bill Klein describe the WHAM-AM (1180) entertainment reporter as exuberant, over-the-top and dryly funny, a Nathan Lane-esque character with encyclopedic knowledge of Broadway theater, musicals and film."

Nathan Lane-esque?

Why, whatever could they mean?

Oh, wait! Reading on a bit, I see exactly what they mean:

"Mr. Klein was devoted to his mother, who died in 2000."

Er... so they mean that Nathan Lane is devoted to his mother, right?

Right.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

MATCH.COM ATTEMPTS TO READ MY MIND
I had some time to kill tonight waiting for Michael to finish doing whatever he does for a living and meet me for post-work cocktails. So I happened to stumble upon a Physical Attraction Test created by those lameasses at Match.com (via Hit or Miss), and one thing led to another, and, well...

Full disclosure: the following results don't necessarily reflect the physical attributes of Bradykins, which... er... means that they must be highly inaccurate. (No one noticed me sweating, did they? Good.)

Match-dot-com writes:
Thanks for taking Match.com's Ph.D.-formulated Physical Attraction Test, a revolutionary development in the world of relationships. This scientific system will help you narrow your search for those who are truly compatible with your physical preferences.

Below is the summary of your report. To view your complete test results, click here.
Or click here to search for single Match.com members who you'll find physically attractive.

Favorite Qualities
Your photo choices suggest a man over 45 is probably getting a little old for your tastes
You seemed interested in dating a man at least 25 or older
Very handsome men
Wide, square chins
Long and narrow "rectangular" faces
So-called "Mesomorphs," with square chins and wide faces

Favorite Looks
Some may call one of your types "Pretty Boys," but all you know is that they're gorgeous. The combination of classic good looks with small noses, beautiful eyes, and full lips is hard to resist. These guys tend to be clean shaven, have clear skin, and get good hair cuts. They're taking good care of themselves so they can be "pretty" just for you! [Well, you and the 1 in 3 men (33%) that are also after them!]

We call another type of guy that you seemed to consistently like "Pups." Their look goes with a certain loveable, puppy dog appeal. They're nice-looking guys, but they are imperfect enough to be approachable. Their big eyes and goofy smiles convey warmth and kindness. Like puppies, these guys can be a bit awkward and clumsy, so be prepared to have a drink or two spilled on you! Only about 1 in 10 men (11%) are attracted to this unique type, so they'll be flattered that you appreciate their charm.

Favorite Face Type
So-called "Mesomorph" faces obviously appealed to you. These faces can be shaped like a square or a rectangle, but are most noticeable because of their strong square jawline. The chins are clearly prominent from the front and side, and have crisp angles defining the sides of the chin. No sunken chins for you! This is by far the most masculine face type. Often, you'll also find strong, manly noses and beefy lips with this face pattern as well. About 41% of other men especially prefer men with this face type.



There. Now you know one more factoid about Famous Author Rob Byrnes.

A FEW POLITICAL THOUGHTS, FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
A couple of my friends who lean to the right -- namely him and him -- are having a bit of fun with various aspects of the John Kerry campaign.

The Boi notes that although Kerry is winning primaries, he's polling less than 50% of the vote. Now, I don't consider that surprising -- or, really, noteworthy -- in a campaign with a number of first-tier candidates, but I suppose you have to frame your argument with whatever tools are at your disposal. Even if, in this case, those tools would be a broken plastic sandbox scoop and WD-40.

For the Boi, I would only nod to this article, and add that at least when people aren't vote for Kerry, they aren't protesting with a vote for... Bill Wyatt?

Meanwhile, Michael sees a Democratic party leadership and media elite offering up Kerry as a sacrificial lamb. I think it would be a good idea to direct him here, for starters, to remind him -- and a lot of other people -- where the Rush to Democratic Salvation was just days ago. I'd also point out that the early endorsements -- the ones that propelled Kerry and John Edwards from also-rans to viability -- didn't come from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Guys, you know I love you. And I haven't committed my vote to Kerry or any other candidate (although I can think of a few people I won't be voting for.) But you don't have to rush to make your case. Not just yet. Wait until there's a real case to be made.

In return, I promise not to start a 'Draft Bill Wyatt' campaign in New York State.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

FOLLOW UP TO PREVIOUS POST
'Cause you see, if I could guest-blog at the BoiFromTroy's site, I could post things like this on it. And you know I'd never post links to silly news stories on TRL. Nuh-uh.

Her gift for Valentines? Stop looking at porn!!!

(INSERT SOUND OF HEAD BANGING AGAINST WALL HERE)
For the next few days, I am supposed to be a guest blogger over at the BoiFromTroy's site, while he's across the pond making Tony Blair regret his alliance with the USA. But I gots me a problem: I can't seem to access his site for the purposes of offering wry, witty observations about life and the human condition... or even the inane crap I post here on my own site.

Do any of you Movable Type users know if there's a secret I should have asked BFT before he jetted off? Like... do I maybe have to download MT to my computer? I can access the Main Menu, and I can edit my profile and set up 'bookmarklets', and I can compose an entry, but I can't figure out how to post it. Is it me? Am I stupid (please restrict your answers to this specific situation)? Or did the Boi forget something? (Yes, that must be it! Let's blame him!)

If you have any thoughts, comment away. If not, well... Sorry about that, Boi! Maybe next time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

KEEPING MYSELF IN PERSPECTIVE
My novel The Night We Met is, I like to think, well-written and fun. But it's not Great Western Literature and it's not going to save your live.

That's why I think this is hysterical:

PSYCHOHELP: The secrets of counselling & psychotherapy revealed through literature.

Damn. I had no idea I was so profound. I'd better re-read myself.

KEEPING OUR DECADES STRAIGHT
Is it just me, or didn't the 1970s end on December 31, 1979?

Yeah, I thought so.

So why is this picture of something that happened 343 days into the following decade included in a book titled "New York in the 70s"?

Just wondering. I do that too much, sometimes...
(Via Kottke)

THE ONION TAKES ON GAY MARRIAGE
How many times I have I heard most of these comments... and the people weren't joking.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

AH, SENTIMENT!
It's almost Valentines Day, and what better way to celebrate true love than with poetry by D-NASTY:

Shall we to the suburbs, my love?
Let us have two children!
So fair and blonde,
So pleasant and polite:

A slut and an asshole.



Damn, but don't I feel all a-tingle!

Monday, February 09, 2004

IF THERE'S A THIRD STORY, IT OFFICIALLY BECOMES A TREND

CINEMA-GOERS 'RIPPED OFF' ON POPCORN PRICES (Via Fark)

Movie Popcorn Pioneer Dies at 85

I HEART THIS EXPERIMENT
The science at Cockeyed.com keeps coming. Just in time for Valentines Day: "How Much is Inside Conversation Hearts?"

Highlights: the semi-scientific list of messages on candy hearts, and the last sentence.

MEMO TO: ANYONE PUT OFF BY YESTERDAY'S POSTS
FROM: FAMOUS AUTHOR ROB BYRNES


Yes, I meant it. No, I'm not turning terminally serious and pissy. But now it's Monday, and it's time to start having fun again!

I mean, all those Archbishops should still go straight to hell, but in a fun way!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

THE 'F' WORD
In my earlier post relating to a particularly venal comment by a Roman Catholic Archbishop, I initially used the 'f' word. When I related this to both my roommate and Bradykins, they urged me to get rid of that word, and I did. I'm not sorry I did that, but... well... maybe a little bit.

Here's the thing: I'm afraid too many people have bought into the old line that only stupid people with limited vocabularies use profanity. A lot of us have heard that since we were kids, but it's a lie.

Profanities can be very powerful. They can punctuate a statement, or express frustration, or express an thought far more sincerely than typing a mere "I disagree with you strongly, Archbishop O'Malley."

The 'f' word... the 's' word... whatever. They are the way real people talk.

To the extent I discuss anything too heavy here -- which will probably be minimal -- I'll probably keep those 'bad' words to a minimum. But I do believe a good 'fuck you' every now and then serves a purpose, so, despite my capitulation tonight, you are all on notice that I am quite willing to use the 'f' word with clergymen, congressmen, and anyone else who pisses me off.

I respect people who find the word offensive.

And they shouldn't use it on their own blogs.

ONE QUICK AND FINAL THOUGHT ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE
I have largely stayed out of the debate over gay marriage that's erupted in the wake of last week's Massachusetts court ruling, because I recognize that my mind is totally closed to the point where debate only frustrates me. If I hear one more person use the 'God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve' line, I'll scream. Honestly, people, that is a cliche that now has crossed the border into self-parody! Get a new line!

But I do have to toss out one comment, directed at those who worry about the fragility of marriage in modern culture. Those are the people who argue that the tradition and concept of 'marriage' and 'family' are under assault from widespread divorce, teenage pregnancy, unmarried couples living together, absentee fathers, dinner in front of the television, Neal Bush, Britney Spears, the diminishing role of religion, abortion on demand, and so on and so forth. Their argument boils down to this: traditional definitions of marriage and family are already in such a state of instability that allowing homosexuals to marry will add one more nail to the coffin... the final destabilizing factor that will destroy those institutions forever.

To which I respectably reply: bullshit.

That assertion sounds a lot like this one, to my ears: "We men have alreeady screwed up politics and government. Can you imagine how much worse things will be if we allow women to vote?"

Free clue here: marriage is not a zero-sum game. If I marry Bradykins, it will not harm my brother's marriage, my father's marriage, my mother's marriage, or your marriage. No one is proposing that churches be forced to sanction gay marriage. No one is going to force heterosexuals to take same-sex partners. Your fears are unjustified.

Allowing same-sex partners who love each other and want to make that ultimate commitment to marry will only strengthen the institution of marriage.

Oh, one other thing: my mind is closed on this matter. You can comment, if you choose, but don't expect debate here. You will not change my mind.

UPDATE: My point is proven by a the remarks of a Roman Catholic Archbishop. Ignorant + Celebate = Relationship Expert, of course:

Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said the rally was not about "hatemongering," as some critics have charged.

"We are here because we are concerned about marriage and about family," he told the cheering crowd. "Good strong marriage and family are good for our country, for society."


Let me, the agnostic, remind the religious expert (albeit of a church that's turned a blind eye to sexual molestation for decades, if not centuries) of a major biblical theme: get the plank out of your own eye before you worry about my speck, Father.

Oh -- and when was the last time you had a rally to condemn sexual molesters operating under the auspices of your clergy? Never? I didn't think so.

Let me tell you something, Archbishop O'Malley: gay people who love each other and want to marry are far more morally sound than Catholic priests who take advantage of children in pursuit of immature sexual gratification. And they are far more morally sound than a Catholic church hierarchy that tries to hide a pedophilia problem under tens of millions of dollars of payoffs and settlements.

You're supposed to lead people in morality. You have failed.

Friday, February 06, 2004

THE FAMOUS AUTHOR'S CLOSE FRIEND: THE FAMOUS CHEF
Country boy Michael Vernon has discovered that he has been the victim of identity theft! Apparently, some random chef has stolen his name and is serving up delectable Asian-ish food. I would guess this is all part of a plot to evade the wrath of the law (in the form of advocates for the ptomaine-stricken), and stick Michael with the liability. Time will tell.

Or maybe... Hmm. Michael's boyfriend 'Andrew' is Asian. Maybe this is an inside job...

"I HAVE NEVER HAD SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH ANYONE"
Ow.

I mean, I know that Catholic priests aren't supposed to have sex, but there's something about that quote that seems so sad and pathetic.

Yet another reason why I'm not a Catholic priest. Along with the fact that I'm not Catholic or even religious.

PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS WINE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE LIFE EXPECTANCY*
Corkscrew May Help in Stopping Strokes

(* - But only if you stop reading at the headline.)

TRL: AS ALWAYS, AHEAD OF THE CURVE
In an entry dated October 1, 2003 I warned of upcoming cutesy drinks named after the presidential candidates. (Click here and scroll to "Not Necessarily the Next 'In' Drink).

Now Roll Call* reports about a drink called... the Deantini.

You read it here first, folks. As always.

(* -- Sorry. No link is going to Roll Call, 'cause even the free two-week trial subscription requires you to give up far too much personal information. You'll just have to trust Wonkette.)

Thursday, February 05, 2004

HOW I JUST MISSED ENDING UP IN GAWKER
While the kids at Gawker (well... while the kid at Gawker) were/was busy cutting and pasting New York Social Diary's list of the lunch crowd at Michael's, the NYSD entry immediately above it was the truly important item.

I am all about those low-flying aircraft. Yes indeed...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

PRIMARY UPDATE
or, MORE COLE PORTER
(AND, NO, YOU DIDN'T ASK FOR IT)


Memo to: Dr. Dean

From: Democratic Voters

(ahem. mi mi mi mi mi)

It was just one of those things,
Just one of those crazy flings,
You were one of those men,
Who pulled the heartstrings...
Just one of those things.

We bought into all the hype,
We thought, maybe, the time was ripe;
A trip to DC
On primary wings...
Just one of those things.

If we thought a bit
'Bout the end of it,
Before we started pledging our vote;
We'd have been aware,
That our love affair,
And Dubuque
Both were remote.

So... goodbye, Doc, and I'll bet
You wish you were in the Senate,
It was great fun...
But it was just one...
Of those things.

UPDATED ALTERNATE (AND BETTER) FINAL VERSE, 'CAUSE YOU DID ASK FOR IT:

So... goodbye, Doc, and sweet dreams,
Here's hoping you regret those screams;
It was a great show,
But it was so...
One of those things.

(Coming next week: the next loser. Or something.)

(The big surprise: I know Gershwin, too!)

...AND THEN, SUDDENLY, CAMPAIGN 2004 TOOK A SURPRISING TURN!
Yes, folks, the campaign for the 2004 Republican nomination is suddenly up in the air! It could very well be a brokered convention in New York City this summer. Stay tuned.

Former Actor Challenging Bush in Primary

WMDs.
ECONOMIC POLICY.
WAR.
JOBS.
TERRORISM.
RICIN.
THE HALF-TIME SHOW.

The FCC has announced that it will investigate the entire Super Bowl Half-Time Show. Not just the two seconds of Janet Jackson Breastage Exposure (which would be ridiculous enough), but the entire seven-hour extravaganza.

I don't know about you, but I'll sleep a little bit better tonight...

Monday, February 02, 2004

A HUMBLE REQUEST FOR TECH HELP, PART II
A handful of you might recall that a few months ago I tossed out a request for advice. True, no one responded, but this site is slightly more popular these days, so I thought I'd try it again. Here goes. Don't be shy.

For the past few years, I've had a website -- RobByrnes.com -- hosted by Yahoo. For some reason, though, Yahoo is not accepting my updates to the page, rendering it essentially useless. (Not to mention the fact that I've never been able to send mail through the site... but that's another bitch for another day.)

In short, I need a new host. And I'd like your recommendations.

It is also imperative that I keep the domain name, since it's now mentioned on tens of thousands of book jackets and promotional materials. I know that it's possible to move the domain name to another host, but if you've done this, I'd appreciate your insight.

And then there's this blog. I would like to fold it into the future redesigned RobByrnes.com site (on the new host, of course). Fortunately, Blogger makes that transition fairly easy (or so it seems), but if anyone can share their experiences with me, I'd appreciate it.

Deep down, I know that none of this stuff is the heaviest of lifts, but I'm not very technical, and I'm a bit scared of jumping from the frying pan into the fire, so your knowledge and experiences would be helpful, if only to point me in the right direction.

Let me add that I'll also love you forever, if that will make a difference.

DON'T GET AROUND MUCH



create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

I'd credit the source, but I bookmarked it a few days ago and no longer remember. And in any event, almost everyone else has posted this by now. Ah well...