Tuesday, June 29, 2004

BLOG WARS
Over the past few days, I've been entertaining myself by watching asshole bloggers go at it. Much like reading Very Bad Blogs, this is one of my guiltiest pleasures. It's positively addicting; I have to keep popping back to read new comments and see if the battle has escalated.

Because I'm such a tease -- and also because while I enjoy looking at the gutter, I don't want to get dirty -- I'm not posting any links. If you ask, maybe I'll share. But... this is great! It's what Toddy and I aspire to!

Okay. Enough typing. Michael and I are returning to the scene of the crime in a few minutes, so I'd better check in on the blogs in question one last time for today. Heh heh...

ANOTHER GREAT IDEA I WISH I HAD FIRST
Bill Clinton is blogging! Yay!

Excerpts:
"I stayed at one of my best friend's house. You might know him, Kevin Spacey... We were playing poker. Me, Kevin, his new boyfriend, Sean Penn and Alec Baldwin."

"The dragon lady just called. She'll be home tomorrow. She reminded me she had asked me to look through some legal papers for her senate commission."

"No, the real truth is, Chelsea beat me. My daughter hit me. That was when the affair came out. She said "Jerk" and slapped me in the face."

(Do yourself a favor and read the comments. There really is one born every minute.)

TUESDAY MORNING Q&A
Q: You're really in the office before 7:00 AM?
A: I was in at 6:13 AM, as a matter of fact. Had to get Bradykins on his train.

Q: And how was the book party?
A: It was fun. A lighter crowd than I had hoped for, but still fun. And I sold most of the books I brought.

Q: Get drunk?
A: Me?

Q: Get drunk?
A: Dumb question. The important thing is that I did nothing I regre--- *cough*

Q: Get drunk?
A: Okay, maybe I made a friend's acting career sound a bit more pathetic than it is.

Q: Does he read this blog?
A: Good point. His career is pathetic. But you just don't say things like that. I mean, I did say things like that, but I shouldn't have.

Q: Did you sleep anyway?
A: Of course. I have no conscience.

Q: How many people showed up?
A: My count is in the 60-range. Nothing to be embarrassed about.

Q: Were there any celebrity sightings?
A: Besides bloggers?

Q: Um... I said 'celebrities.'
A: Alas, Horshack was a no-show, although I learned that MzOuiser's mother once dated him, which is a whole new scary chapter in the book of "It's a Small, Small World." On the literary side, I did a book exchange with Quasi-Famous Author Wesley Gibson. But Wesley is always at Posh, so I'm not sure that counts. Oh, and musical phenomenon Karen Mack was there, as well as the fabulous comedienne Blanca Dominguez. They count as celebrities. I my mind, at least.

Q: Bloggers in the house?
A: I'm sure I'll forget someone, but him and him and him and her and her and him and him. If I forgot you (and I know I did), let me know.

Q: Was it painful to wake up this morning?
A: ....................................................

Q: Ahem. I asked you a question.
A: ....................................................

Q: Okay. Thanks for your time.

A: ....................................................

Monday, June 28, 2004

BARELY CONTROLLED PANIC ATTACK IN MOTION
Remember that li'l book party tonight for Trust Fund Boys. See the sidebar for details. All are welcome; and, yes, there will be some bloggers in the house.

If you so desire, you can buy a book tonight (cash or check only, please), bring one you've already purchsed for an Official Rob Byrnes Inscription, or just come and hang out with an eclectic group of people drawn from my professional, personal, blogging, and bar lives. Meet the famous Bradykins (and more than likely a few of my exes)! Meet fabulous lesbians! Meet Horshack! Meet a slew of off-duty bartenders from other establishments! Meet the guy who cuts my hair!

How am I holding up? Thanks for asking. Frankly, I feel as if this party is coming together in a bit too much of a seat-of-the-pants manner, if you know what I mean. I've had weeks to plan, but now that it's eight hours away I'm realizing that there is still a lot to do. Unlike the party at xl in September, 2002 to celebrate the publication of The Night We Met, I feel totally unprepared. Or maybe I did then, too. Who can remember? I can only hope to have the crowd I had at that party -- more than 100 people (party pix here) -- but I can't stress about it. I know a lot more people than I did then. More people know me. Things will be fine, right?

More people know me. More stress. I've always been bad at the face/name thing, and I meet a lot of people in bars, which adds to the problem. People are going to expect me to remember them, and I'm going to look at them blankly and ask them for their names, and they're going to be insulted. Then they'll become Cumming fans, or something. Already I have several e-mail correspondents I can't recall, but who seem to vividly remember me. When I launched The Night We Met in Rochester a few years ago, one guy came wearing a shirt he had printed with the book cover on it. I thought that was great, and said so when I inscribed his book:
To Jeff:
I love your shirt! All my best,
--Rob

His name was Jimmy.

Speaking of The Night We Met, I'm bring some copies of the trade paperback. Just in case. I'm also bringing my complete stock of Trust Fund Boys. Usually, you'd have a bookstore sell the copies, but since it's the day immediately following Pride Weekend, the independent GLBT bookstores I usually work with begged off, pleading exhaustion. So book sales are up to me.

I just remembered I need sharpies. Damn, I'll never get this together.

Okay, I've got to get home this afternoon, get Bradykins out of bed, pack up 50 books, grab a cab, get to Posh, set up... Posh! I never told them when I'd be getting there this afternoon. Did they remember the food? Did they remember to put on extra staff? What if there was some Pride-related disaster last night, and the bar is now closed until the police investigation is concluded?

Okay... okay... relax... everything will be all right...

Help!

Friday, June 25, 2004

SHOULD I...
... write one of those '100 Things' lists?
... have you ask me three questions?
... confess something dark and disturbing?
... discuss my family?
... upload a photo with full-frontal nudity?
... tell you my deepest fears?

Fuck you. You already know far too much about me.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

LINES I WISH I HAD WRITTEN
No gay, no straight, we’ll all meld into one, group of loving people and at that rate, in another couple of years, there’s gonna be no Gay Pride. It’s just gonna be, you know Everybody Pride and what’s the point of that? The Christian Right will have to change their signs to "God Hates Everybody," the parade will suck and, frankly, if our parade isn’t bigger and more fabulous, then the Puerto Ricans win.

Cute and clever. Go, Charlie! I've been laughing at his Extreme Tale of Gay Gayness all day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I SO SHOULD WORK ON MADISON AVENUE
If Mayor Bloomberg manages to silence the Mister Softee trucks, I know another company that could use that jingle.

My creative fee is 20%. Thanks a lot.

BEST. HEADLINE. EVER.
I know this is yesterday's news, but I'm so in love with this headline that I had to post it:

Anti-Gay Senate Candidate Accused Of Demanding Public Sex With Star Trek Performer


You really don't even need to read the article after that.

GREAT MOMENTS IN DIALOGUE
Him: I saw you the other night. You were pretty wasted.

Me: Hearing that from you is like hearing the pot call the Ketel One.

VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN
As I write this, the blogger known as Hot Toddy is still soundly asleep, snuggling with his Anyone But Bush Bear -- which he has named Alan Cumming, for some reason -- in his footie pajamas somewhere in the gay section of Portland, Oregon. Correction: the very very gay section of Portland.

So while Toddy slumbers, let's get into some mischief, okay? On his blog, beneath the photograph of Toddy the Boy Wonder, he has a poll, asking his readers who he should next write about. One of the options is Famous Author Rob Byrnes.

You know what to do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

BLIND ITEMS
Which two bloggers were spotted this afternoon on Third Avenue, apparently returning from an intimate lunch? Hopefully, neither of their boyfriends will find out. (A small gratuity would insure that, gentlemen.)...

Which three bloggers will be having dinner tomorrow night on East 58th Street? The bad behavior might be mitigated by the fact that one is female. Or will it?...

Which blogger is attempting to work my nerves by linking to my blog every time he mentions alcohol abuse, the slow descent into madness, or gratuitous sex and violence. Or Alan Cumming. Nice try, blogger, but it won't work!...

Which bloggers will be attending my book party next Monday night? And what excuse do the rest of you have?...

Monday, June 21, 2004

OFF
I'm off.

No, I'm not going anywhere. I'm just off. Off my timing... off-base... off the mark... you get the idea.

I've been noticing this for a week or so. Jokes are falling flat. I try to be clever, and fail miserably. I stumble over every sentence I write. I leave comments on other blogs, only to realize later that I should have read more carefully before clicking the send button. And I can't think of anything remotely entertaining to write here... as witnessed by this entry.

Sleep and sobriety would probably help. Do any of you know anything about either of those things?

Friday, June 18, 2004

BLOGGER RELATIVES IN THE NEWS.
MAYBE.

Gee, I guess Michael's turkey-killing brother was more upset than he thought.

(See Michael's June 9 post. And Michael? Permalinks, baby, permalinks!)

WHERE WERE YOU...?
Borrowed from Michele, who borrowed it from elsewhere, who etc. etc. etc.

('Cause I have 921 things to do, so instead I think I'll play with a meme.)

1. Where were you when you heard that Ronald Reagan died?
I was spending a quiet Saturday evening at home with the visiting Bradykins when I saw the report on television. I could have known about this news hours earlier, when Brady saw screenshots of Reagan on a silent TV in a diner we frequent, but he didn't mention it at the time. No matter... it's been years since I entered a Dead Pool.

2. Where were you on September 11, 2001?
I had just started a post-season vacation on Fire Island. My then-roommate and I had walked to the store, where we first heard about the 'small plane' that had hit the World Trade Center. By the time we returned to the house, everyone was gathered around the television. Two of our guests were a husband-and-wife team: an American Airlines pilot and flight attendant. Needless to say, they left later that day.

3. Where were you when you heard that Princess Diana died?
In a cab rushing along one of the Central Park transverses, returning from dinner with my visiting father and stepmother.

4. Do you remember where you were when you heard Kurt Cobain had died?
Again, in a car (do you see a common theme of traveling becoming apparent) with a friend, hurtling down the New York State Thruway. My friend was very upset; I could not have cared less.

5. Take one for The Gipper: What’s your favorite flavor of jelly bean?
In a car--- Oh, wait. I guess I was getting carried away. I have no absolute favorite, although anything in the 'sour fruit' family works for me. Oh -- and the person who invented buttered popcorn-flavored jelly beans should be tortured and shot.

6. Where were you when Magic Johnson announced he was retiring from the NBA due to AIDS?
In 1991, I was primarily living in Albany, but when Johnson announced he was HIV-positive I was visiting Rochester. (Travel again? Hm.) My employer -- to whom I was close -- had died a few weeks earlier, and the entire period is sort of a blur.

7. Where were you when Reagan was shot?
My college dorm room in Schenectady, New York. I was very upset. (I was in the same dorm room when John Lennon was shot. Thanks for asking!)

8.Where were you when the Challenger exploded?
In my office in the Legislative Office Building in Albany. Our entire staff went to the neighboring office of a state senator, where they actually had a television.

9. Where were you when the 0J verdict was announced?
No clue.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

WHAT IF THEY CREATED A BLOG AND NOBODY POSTED?
Oh, wait... they have.

(I know... I know... I'm being redundant. But The Kicker is such a wasted opportunity that it begs for mockery. Plus I've been tweaking databases all day long, so I can only hit easy targets at this point.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

DAMN! THEY STOLE THE PLOT FOR MY NEXT NOVEL!
This story is just too weird to be believed. So how did I miss it until now?
(Via Fark)

POSTCARD FROM THE EDGE
You don't believe I spent a weekend entertaining two children at Disney? (Actually, three children, if you count Bradykins.) Proof:

Dramatically increased gray hair ensued. Wholesome... wholesome...

SO THIS SNAKE GOES INTO A BAR AND SAYS TO THE BARTENDER...
Okay, I got nothin' for you this morning except this link. Innovative way to get a little bar space, if you ask me, which you didn't.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I HAVE RETURNED
A few hours ago, I returned from the Happiest Place on Earth. And if I never see Mickey Fucking Mouse again, it will be too soon.

Okay, okay... it wasn't the worst vacation ever. In fact, it was fun. But relaxation and wholesomeness don't interest readers, you know what I mean? You people want edgy sarcasm. You want to read about how crazy I got when, every time Bradykins and I did something, we were accompanied by Father and Mother Bradykins... Brother and Sister-In-Law Bradykins... and 5- and 8-year-old Nephew Bradykinses.

In a minivan.

You want to read stories about sex interrupted by children pounding their tiny little fists on bedroom doors. About wine bottles taken to the parking lot and tossed in the dumpster, lest they be found by the parents. About sneaking cigarettes in the bathroom while standing on the toilet to get nice and close to the vent fan. About storming up to the fat, nasty parents yelling at their fat, cranky children and sunnily advising them, "You're in the Happiest Place on Earth, so put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step, and sing, sing, sing," while you lift their wallets.

But you won't get that here. Nuh-uh.

I was wholesome, and it was good. I rode in a minivan without embarrassment. I corralled the Nephew Bradykinses across the Magic Kingdom. I got caught in a rainstorm at Epcot and didn't complain. I stood for hours in the sweltering sun at Disney-MGM Studios until Buzz Woody McLightsaber or whatever the hell his name is signed autographs for the kids.

I even held off on Friday night drinking until almost 11:00. That's PM, by the way. (I'm very smart and know what you were thinking.)

I even learned a lesson: I have no clue who 84% of the current crop of Disney cartoon characters are. I also don't particularly care. After a while, they all started to look alike.

Anyway, now I'm back, and it's time to ease myself back into my life of debauchery. I think I'll start tonight at Happy Hour.

Oh -- two other things:

1. Remember how I fell last week and joked about bruising a rib? Well, it still hurts like hell 6 days later. I don't think I was joking.

2. The JFK AirTrain totally rocks! Midtown to the terminal in less than an hour for $7, with no confusion. JFK is now the most accessible airport in the New York area.

Oh, and one other thing: thanks for not burning the blog down while I was out of town.

Now I have to go sort through 227 e-mail messages. Later, kids!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

SOMETHING TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE YOU'RE BUSY WHITEWASHING THE RECORD
I really haven't commented on Ronald Reagan's death, because I have very conflicting feelings. Twenty years ago, I was a little Reaganite, and I still think he did some positive things for the world. I may no longer follow the same philosophical path, but I still have the perspective of someone who came of age in the late 1970s, when the world was quite a bit different. And so was I.

But I resent the fact that a lot of people -- including some bloggers who I generally respect (and therefore decline to name here) -- have been spending the few days since Reagan's death trying to whitewash his entire administration.

First of all: give me a break. God did not select Ronald Reagan to be president. He was just a human being, and therefore capable of minor missteps and grave errors.

Secondly, some things are inexcusable. Case in point, the Reagan Administration's shameful record on HIV and AIDS. So please stop trying to excuse them.

With the exception of a minor Comments dust-up over at BoiFromTroy's place the other day, I was going to leave the AIDS issue alone. Engaging in a pissing contest over something that happened more than two decades ago strikes me as a bit futile... and, more to the point, it won't change a damned thing. But I was slumming a short time ago at Andrew Sullivan's blog, where he had posted an excerpt from the transcript of a 1982 press conference, and... Well, let's just go to the tape:
Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?
MR. SPEAKES: What's AIDS?
Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?
MR. SPEAKES: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)
Q: No, I don't.
MR. SPEAKES: You didn't answer my question.
Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President ...
MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.)
Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?
MR. SPEAKES: No, I don't know anything about it, Lester.
Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?
MR. SPEAKES: I don't think so. I don't think there's been any ...
Q: Nobody knows?
MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.
Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping ...
MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he's had no - (laughter) - no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.
Q: The President doesn't have gay plague, is that what you're saying or what?
MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn't say that.
Q: Didn't say that?
MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn't you stay there? (Laughter.)
Q: Because I love you Larry, that's why (Laughter.)
MR. SPEAKES: Oh I see. Just don't put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)
Q: Oh, I retract that.
MR. SPEAKES: I hope so.
Q: It's too late.

Funny, right? That Larry Speakes cracks me up every time.

Hundreds of Americans were dying at the time, and the White House thought it was funny. Tens of thousands would be infected before the Reagan Administration took note. Can you believe that tens of thousands of Americans -- closer to a hundred thousand, in truth -- were dead or dying, and couldn't get the serious attention of their government? Couldn't get the leader of their nation to even make a comment until the epidemic had raged for years? Unbelievable.

That's a monumental failure of leadership, and there's no way to excuse Ronald Reagan. His lack of urgency as the numbers rose -- 600... 10,000... 50,000... more -- demonstrated a disregard of the health and well-being of American citizens.

Yes, the world is a different place than it was twenty years ago. Twenty years ago, a second-term President Carter may have been every bit as ineffectual as Reagan in responding to the AIDS epidemic. Twenty years ago, your television set wasn't dripping with gay characters. Twenty years ago, it was sadly easy for many political leaders to ignore anything associated with homosexuality. If you must justify and defend Reagan's actions (or, I should say, inactions), do it through that historical prism.

But please don't rewrite history. His record on AIDS was very, very bad, and people paid for that indifference with their lives. You can whitewash, but you'll never be able to lay it on thick enough to cover that up.

YEAH, IT'S TIME TO GET AWAY FOR A FEW DAYS
Last night after Evil Michael led me astray, forcing me to drink when I otherwise would have been helping elderly nuns wrap bandages for inclusion in care packages for Senegalese refugees, a certain very cute bartender forced me to down three shots. At gunpoint. Or so I remember it.

And then the very cute bartender ripped off his pretend-face, and he turned out to be Satan. Cackling, he forced me to drink six glasses of wine. I believe that was at knifepoint.

When I complained that shots and wine really don't go well together, he poked me with his fiery pitchfork. Then he forced me to give him my Michael's copy of Trust Fund Boys. After inscribing it, of course:
To Satan--

Tu eres guapo!

--Rob Byrnes

And then I took a bus home and packed for my long weekend away from Manhattan.

Which is sort of my explanation for how I ended up with a gash on my back and what feels like a few bruised ribs, but you probably don't need to read the rest of the story to figure it out for yourself.

I have a date with Jet Blue in a few hours, so enjoy your weekend, kids!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

HEY LOOK! IT'S NOT ABOUT ME, FOR ONCE!
We pause in this self-indulgent love fest to kneel in awe before the pixels of Adam at Addaboy. Especially for this and this.

Boy's always good, but he's really been on a roll this week. Yay for him.

APPARENTLY, EVERYONE HAS RUN OUT OF IDEAS FOR QUIZZES
And yet I took it. Go figure.
orange
You are Orange.
You are outgoing and optomistic. You always try to
find the bright spot in everything. You are
energetic and people are naturally attracted to
you. However, you are not always sure of what
your purpose or goals are.
Most Compatible With: Fresh Mint


Which Tic-Tac Flavor Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
(Via Watersea's Ocean Bloggie)

You know what's worse? While I was taking the quiz, I kept hoping I'd be orange. Yeah, I need a new hobby.

FIVE STARS, AND ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD AGAIN
Oh, and screw you again, Publishers Weekly. (Did I say that out loud?)

From Amazon:

The Sun WILL Come Out Tomorrow!, June 8, 2004
Reviewer: justjak13 from El Paso, TX United States

For those of you expecting a screwball, over-the-top repeat of Rob Byrnes' delicious, THE NIGHT WE MET be forewarned. TRUST FUND BOYS maintains Byrnes' wonderfully irreverent and slightly cynical narrative voice, so captivating in the first novel, but the story, this time around, is more "expose" than "madcap adventure." It has its slap-stick moments, but the setting and tone are a great deal more personal, and not always pretty to look at. The end result, however, remains enormously satisfying.

Brett Revere, our hero and narrator, is a barely thirty, out-of-work actor, eking out a living as an office temp, and dreaming of that big break that will make him a star of the Broadway stage, but the dream is beginning to wear thin, as is his bank account. As our story begins Brett is auditioning for a back room, non-equity, gay spoof of the musical ANNIE, called ANDY, starring an obnoxious queen named Joey Takashimi. After a single rehearsal Brett walks out on the embarrassingly bad production certain of its quick demise. He accompanies a fellow actor from the show for a drink, and ends up at the Penthouse, a bar frequented by the upwardly mobile, i.e.: gay and filthy rich, and those who want to be carbon copies of them. On his first night at the club, Brett meets Jaime Brock, an attractive, if somewhat weather-worn, charmer and ends up loosing his heart faster than Cher can change costumes.

It doesn't take long for our two fellows to discover that they are both wanna-be's not be's, and a plan is hatched to charm their way into this elite circle for the purpose of career enhancement. Unfortunately for Brett, the denizens of this exclusive enclave are not the only ones Jamie is conning, and Brett's puppy-dog crush is making him an easy mark. Will Brett wake up to the insanity of the situation, or will he follow Jaime in this soul snatching buffoonery? Will he ever stop playing Oliver to Jaime's Artful Dodger? Byrnes allows the character of Brett to be uncompromisingly human, with all his greed and selfishness exposed. Brett is a nice guy, deep down, but can he remain one and still gain entrance to the snooty society he sees as his salvation. We don't always like Brett, but we understand him.

TRUST FUND BOYS takes-no-prisoners in its disdain for the petty social snobbery of the Hampton's elite, and the bottom feeders that surround them, but the book's near-total lack of sympathy for this world in no way diminishes the reader's fascination by it, kind of like watching the Menendez trial, you now-did those divine brothers really do that?

While the majority of the people we meet along this exclusive trip are arrogant bores, the author never lets us forget that real, non-discriminating, worth-knowing people are part of every element of society, if you just look for them. Byrnes has lessons to teach us this time around, and he wears those lessons on his narrative sleeve. I, for one, don't mind calling a spade a spade, and appreciate Byrnes' frank candor. I highly recommend this book.

IDIOT
Note to self: use simple words in next book.

Take the Schmies Vocabulary Very Hard Words Test. My score: a pathetic 157. Yours?

(Via A Small Victory, where Michele scored 146. Hahahahahahahaha!)

WE HAVE A WINNER: THE MOST INANE TRIBUTE TO RONALD REAGAN
Jellybeans Sub for M&Ms at White House

On the other hand, Cheney is holding fast and refusing to substitute jellybeans for his Gummi Bears.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

WORLDS COLLIDING
I try to make an effort to keep my professional career distinct from my writing career. They really have nothing to do with each other, and I'm wary that the fluff I write at night will make it hard for some people to take me seriously during the daylight hours. For the same reason, I don't talk about this blog at work, and I don't invite professional colleagues out to the bars to watch me drink myself Pentecostal. It's safer that way.

So imagine my surprise a short time ago when I picked up the phone and, on the line, was an editor with a chain of weekly Manhattan community newspapers I deal with on a professional basis.

"What do you want?" I asked. "A quote? A lead? An ad?"

"No. I want to see if you're willing to be interviewed about your novel for our Gay Pride issue."

[Insert sound of Rob dropping phone to ground here]

Busted.

When The Night We Met was published, shortly after I started this job, I fully expected to inadvertently out myself as a writer. It didn't happen, though, and the possibility vanished from my mind... until now.

I really don't know why I'm surprised. I do everything as 'Rob Byrnes' -- I don't even use 'Robert,' except on legal and financial documents -- so it's not as if I'm being the least bit circumspect. In fact, it's strange that I've never found any evidence that my professional colleagues have even Googled me. Very strange. I mean, I've Googled all of them. Several times.

Don't get me wrong: it's a good thing, and I'm glad the intrepid editor was clever enough to put two and two together. Yes, it's a surprise, but now that I've held this job for 27 months, I don't think the book alone will give me the reputation of being a light-weight. I survived getting highlights without alarming my Board of Directors, so I think I'm pretty secure.

Anyway, the interview is at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. I'll say nice things about all of you. Promise.

Monday, June 07, 2004

AND YOU GET TO LEAVE EARLY ON THURSDAY, TOO
President Bush has found an appropriate way to recognize the passing of former President Reagan: a four-day work week.

UPDATE: Low Culture. So wrong. So funny.

AT LEAST IT DIDN'T TAKE PLACE IN NEW PALTZ
Andrew Sullivan writes:
SACRED INSTITUTION WATCH: J-Lo gets hitched again. It's her third exercise of her civil rights, and she's only 34. Her husband just got a divorce from his previous wife last Monday. The heterosexual lifestyle is destroying marriage, isn't it?

No further comment necessary.

WEEKEND UPDATE
Now that I've put Bradykins on a 6:00 AM train, meaning that I've been in the office since 6:45 (which should have been 6:15, and thank you very much, MTA, for the speedy E Train service this morning), I think I'll take a moment to recap a weekend of excitement as befits a Famous Author.

Friday: Go out. Get drunk. Go home.

Saturday: Did you ever notice that it's almost impossible to avoid Michelle Pfeiffer on weekend afternoon television? I swear the woman has made more movies than Hackman and Walken combined.

Sunday: Deal with some travel plans. Nap. Watch Bradykins play 723 games of Spider Solitaire.

And that was about it. Well... maybe a few other things happened. Let me think.

Oh yeah. Reagan died. I didn't really have anything to do with that, though, so I can't really call it an integral part of my weekend. He did some very good things, and got credit for some very good things that would have happened anyway, and was also guilty of some great sins. Future historians will judge his presidency with some level of dispassion and perspective, and I'll happily let them have the final word. As for my own complicated and often conflicting thoughts, well... Rest In Peace.

What else... what else...

Oh, yes: my crew watched the Tony telecast, immediately following Karen Mack and Michael Holland's Tony-themed Gashole show at Mama Rose's on Second Avenue in the East Village. By the way, I've said this before and I'm going to repeat myself until you start listening to me: if you haven't seen these kids perform, you've been missing one of New York's great live performance experiences. Go.

Speaking of the Tony Awards, I really really really need to see Avenue Q. This isn't news to me, but it's one of those ideas that pop in and out of my head, and I need to keep it in. Plus, all the theater kids in attendance last night seemed to consider it a favorite. (On the flip side, they booed the very mention of Bombay Dreams. I admit that Bombay Dreams isn't exactly Pulitzer Prize material, but I think it's perfectly enjoyable if you look at it for what it is: a colorful, lighter-than-air spectacle. Jere seems to agree with me... so that makes two of us.)

The only other link-worthy weekend event was the dead body they found around the corner from Mama Rose's shortly before we arrived. But, again, I really didn't have anything to do with that. No matter what you hear people say.

THE TRUST FUND BOYS JUGGERNAUT ROLLS INTO WEHO
Captured by the sharp eyes of the BoiFromTroy (not that he could miss it):


Question: what's wrong with this picture?
Answer: Four unsold books. I think the West Coast should get busy.

Friday, June 04, 2004

BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO BE DOING IT
My top referrers in recent weeks:

1. Michael Vernon
2. BoiFromTroy
3. Hot Toddy
4. TMFTML
5. Matt's Bit of Space
6. Chrisafer
7. D-Nasty
8. Zeitzeuge
9. Sixth Borough
10. Addaboy

A bunch of you were just behind Addaboy. You'll have to try harder if you want to win a lovely prize in the future (said lovely prize being inclusion on this list.)

And here are the phrases that have been bringing Googlers to TRL:

1. "Rob Byrnes" (and variations thereof)
2. "Salad-Tossing" (I'll never live this one down)
3. "Luigi Tadini" (shrug)
4. "Sex" (yay!)
5. "New York" (I'd imagine I'm prettty far down the hit list on this one)
6. "Trust Fund Boys"
7. "Tintinitis" (this will follow me forever)
8. "Penis" (yay!)
9. "Nicole Garbarini"
10. "Billy Hufsey" (hmm. People do still care.)

I'd also like to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to the person who found me by Googling Patrick molested a child rochester, new york. I hope you eventually found what you were looking for.

Or not.

UPDATE: Someone just found TRL by searching for "oprah salad." I really wish that it wasn't almost time to leave for Happy Hour, 'cause we could have a lot of fun riffing on celebrity cannibal cuisine. But... maybe next week.

REAL ESTATE ENVY

I know I shouldn't torture myself this way, but I find myself increasingly envious of the living situations of my friends. There are reasons for this (the comparative living situations, that is, not the envy), but I still can't help but feel that way.

You see, when I moved to New York, I was spoiled. My then-boyfriend ST lived in a beautiful duplex on the Upper West Side, steps from Riverside Drive with a view of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. The apartment was quiet, convenient, airy, and well-maintained. I should have known it was too good to last.

After the divorce, my friend LK took me in, and let me stay in the guest room of her new, completely renovated Upper East Side co-op on Lexington Avenue until I got back on my feet. The guest room soon became known as 'The Rob Room,' and our temporary arrangement ended up lasting three years.

Toward the end of my extended stay, and much to the surprise of everyone, I actually did get back on my feet, finally landing a job that paid more than the Manhattan equivalent of Minimum Wage. Yes, I was burdened by debt from years of under-employment, but I had the ability to be modestly self-sufficient. And so I turned to Craigslist and quickly found myself a two-bedroom, which I now share with my still-underemployed roommate.

The views of Riverside Park are now gone, as are the Lexington Avenue doormen. Now the views from all but my bedroom window are of airshafts. I'm still on the Upper East Side, but on the east side of York Avenue, closer to Roosevelt Island than Lexington Avenue. The apartment is cramped, the furniture is found, the exposed brick seems to crumble a bit too much for my comfort, but it's all mine. Well... it's all mine as long as I keep paying the rent.

I know I should be content with my $2050-per-month, 82-square-feet home. It's not as if I'm living on the streets. And the neighborhood is very quiet, although I suspect that's largely because most people think you fall off the edge of the earth if you travel east of First Avenue. In truth, I am content... until I'm exposed to the living situations of my friends.

You already know how ST and LK live. But the rest of 'The Gang' aren't doing too poorly either. For example:

* BS has a large, sunny, airy one-bedroom on the Upper West Side near Central Park, that is easily as large as my dark little two-bedroom.

* CS and MZ just moved into a beautiful, sunny, sprawling 15th-floor apartment in Morningside Heights. From their roof (one flight up) you get views of the George Washington and Triboro Bridges, the Empire State and Chrysler buildings and the rest of the Midtown skyline, and the Hudson River and beyond. I have told them that I'd kill them for that apartment, and they laugh it off. Fools.

* MS and MC took the suburban route, and have owned a quaint home in Bronxville for years. (Heh... I just called a house ten times larger than my apartment 'quaint.') Bronxville is not to be confused with the Bronx; this is a real house in a real upscale suburb. Three bedrooms, two baths, etc., etc. It also has a large deck... and a hot tub. I suppose I could make a blender drink and climb into my kitchen sink, but it wouldn't be the same.

It's nice to want to keep up with the Joneses, but two grand a month for rent is already more than tapping me out. So I'm trying to learn contentment. Your home is what you make it, right?

Still... CS and MZ should probably consider keeping one eye open when I'm around. I'd do a lot to have that view.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

AN ENTRY IN WHICH I BITCH ABOUT OTHER BLOGS AGAIN, 'CAUSE THAT'S EASIER THAN BEING CREATIVE ON THIS SITE
You know what would be really cool? If a major magazine in a major urban area -- say New York magazine in lovely New York City -- decided to create a blog. That way, the blog could reflect the pulsing energy of the city as well as the magazine, and its regular updates on breaking hot news would not only attract hundreds of thousands of daily readers, but also new subscribers to the print version.

Yeah, that would be cool.

[There is no truth to the rumor I'm about to start that I wrote this entry in a pitiful attempt to get attention. None at all. Just because my entry yesterday on Gay Kinja caught the attention of Nick Denton and Jonno, neither of whom would otherwise be expected to know of my existence, is no reason to think that I am now randomly complaining about other web logs to draw attention to myself. And Elizabeth Spiers, when you read this because you've seen a bunch of referrals from TRL, I want you to believe me. Also, I think you should know that the book jacket on my new novel Trust Fund Boys was inspired by an old New York magazine cover. That would be a good subject to write about on The Kicker, don't you think? I did mention to Denton yesterday that my novel is also the first that I know of to mention Gawker -- true fact -- but he didn't take the bait. I guess I'll just have to appeal directly to Choire. Memo to self: complain about Gawker tomorrow...]

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

POT MOCKS KETTLE
You know, if I was advising the Republican National Committee, and therefore theoretically working to prop up the campaigns of people like President Enron Bush and Vice President Halliburton Cheney, I don't think I'd make a huge deal over John Kerry's enormous wealth. Call me crazy, but I don't think Joe and Jane American are going to play Kerryopoly, then slap their foreheads and exclaim, "The RNC is right! John Kerry is wealthy and out-of-touch! Which means that the Republicans are middle-class and in-touch! How come we never realized that before? Let's hop in the Buick and see if Rumsfeld is hanging out at White Castle!"

And Christine Iverson doesn't seem to be very quick on her feet for a spokeswoman, does she?

THE KINJA CONUNDRUM
No, this isn't another entry about TRL's delisting from Gay Kinja. That ranks about 14,854 in the list of things that occupy my time. And, as Mike recently pointed out, a lot of people who have been blogging a lot longer than I've been around aren't included in the digest.

I even sort of understood it when Gay Kinja included only the 'gay' posts at the BoiFromTroy's site. It is a gay web log digest, after all.

But now, I'm mystified. Gay Kinja has seemingly become a digest of... everything posted at Fleshbot. Gay, straight, it doesn't seem to matter. If Fleshbot ran a list of phone numbers, it would appear in the Gay Kinja digest.

I mean, what's gay about Lindsay Lohan's thong lines? (Except that Chrisafer was the source, which I'm sure he'd agree doesn't make it Officially Gay.)

Or Britney's boobs?

Or even this? (Which is all kinds of wrong -- in a funny way, sort of -- but even Rick Santorum hasn't compared it to homosexuality. Yet.)

I know, I know, I know. Kinja and Fleshbot are both children of Denton. I also firmly believe that anyone has the legal right to do whatever they want with their own web sites.

But if Gay Kinja -- or any of the other Kinja digests -- are going to have any use (or purpose) at all, someone over at Gawker Media is going to have to work the bugs out.

(By the way, that's someone else's job. My job is merely to complain.)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

MORE PROOF THAT BLOGGERS ARE THE BEST SORT OF PEOPLE
(And They Should All Be Professional Book Reviewers)


In New York, Jere calls Trust Fund Boys "the perfect diverting summer novel."
In Playback St. Louis, Jeff writes, "this novel is meant to be more entertaining than deep, and as an engaging summer read, it succeeds."
In Portland... yeah, like Hot Toddy reads... Fortunately, BoBo is on the job.
In Durham, Richard Evans Lee gives my book a plug.
So does Matt in Boston.

It's nice to have friends. Now -- cough -- if I could only convince those folks who read the review copies back in the winter to write their reviews, everything would be just about perfect... unless they're not reviewing it because they want to spare my feelings...

AND IF NOMINATED...
A run-down on Kerry's potential running-mates, via McSweeny's.
(Also via Hit or Miss)

BOLD-FACED NAMES
How did it completely escape my attention for like ten weeks that I had been bold-faced in HX magazine? This is not an experience that I'm altogether unfamiliar with, but I'm still egotistical enough to grab a few copies whenever it happens.

Anyway, the event in question was a party for my fellow Kensington author Tom Dolby and his book The Trouble Boy. The item is here. And, yes, it does make it sound as if I work for MTV. Whatever.

By the way, if it isn't on your nightstand already, buy The Trouble Boy. After you've read my books, that is. Of course.