Friday, March 30, 2007

You know what would be really cool?

"Famous Author Rob Byrnes: The Animated Series."

Or maybe just a comic strip.

Oh, and I'd be a superhero. Of course.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I know you've been dying for a new blog feature, so -- starting today -- I've added a Monday through Friday Trivia game to The Rob Log. To play, just click here or use the handy link I've placed on the left sidebar. Feel free to spread the word, or link to TRIVIALITY from your own blog.

I know that some of you are familiar with the game rules, but here are a few things you should know. Pay attention:

1. There are 10 daily questions, and you earn 100 points per correct answer.

2. HOWEVER, you lose a point for each second you're logged in.

Therefore, if you get 9 correct answers in 84 seconds, your score will be 816. Follow?

3. The top 50 players each day earn points.

4. HOWEVER, only the top 10 daily players earn significant points (and the points are calculated based on the number of daily players).

Therefore, if you are in 10th place and, say, Sid-O-Rama plays later in the day and outscores you, your daily point total could drop from 10 to 4. This is what we call 'The Ledge': that steep tumble you take when you're knocked out of the Top 10. Follow?

5. You can play as little or as often as you like.

6. HOWEVER, the scores accrue throughout the month, so if you're in the competition to win, you should try to play every week day. This is especially important because, when the game starts in earnest in April, I'm thinking of awarding some random and probably valueless prize... and you wouldn't want to be robbed of a random and probably valueless prize, would you? I mean, isn't that why people compete for blog awards?

7. And one more thing: everyone will be getting the same questions. So don't cheat, cheaters. FYI, the Game Administrator -- which would be me -- will be banninating if people start treating TRIVIALITY like they treated The Malcontent's March Gayness competition. In other words, no cheatin' Queerties allowed!

So them's the rules. As for everything else, you'll get the hang of it.

I have turned the game on, so if you want to get some practice in before April, knock yourself out. Also feel free to take advantage of the Shout Out board on the site; that's where all the trash-talkin' will take place.

And above all, have fun, kids!

Monday, March 26, 2007


Live from Washington, DC, Mary Kay of Lambda Rising Bookstore keeps the official 'Reading is Hot' thermometer climbing. And does the heat increase exponentially when she reads a copy of one of her favorites, The Complete Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist?

Do you have a photo for the 'Reading Is Hot' campaign? Send it over. I promise I'll do it justice.

Look! The New York Times discovered gay people in Hell's Kitchen! Who knew?

And on the second page of the article, there's a photo taken inside one of my regular hang-outs: none other than Posh. If you look closely, you'll see...

No, not me.

But if you enlarge the photo, in the upper left corner you can see the spines of my books on Posh's famous Kensington Shelf. Unfortunately, they are out of focus in the photo, so -- once again -- I have just barely missed out on even greater fame and riches.

But at least the people at Posh know that Reading is Hot. That's got to count for something.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Okay, so now on to Part 2, which you probably figured out from the title, because you are all oh so clever.

When I wrote Friday's post on gay independent bookstores, I used Lamdba Rising as an example, because (a) I like the people there, and (b) I just happened to have their site open in another browser window open at the time. However, Mary Kay from Lambda Rising left what I thought was a very gracious and inclusive comment listing the names of some other gay and gay-friendly independent bookstores, so I thought I'd expand on that with addresses and links.

This is not an exhaustive list -- some off the top of my head, some borrowed from Mary Kay's recommendation of BookSense -- so feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment, and I will update it when I have a chance. Also note that some of these stores don't seem to know I exist, let alone that I am Famous. If you happen to stop by, tell them I sent you. And that they should help make me Famous. Uh... more Famous.

Oh, and I apologize that this list is USA-centric. Again, use the comments or e-mail to let me know what else is out there.


Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop
15 Christopher Street (West Village)
(Love them, too! Oscar Wilde provides books for my launch parties.)

Giovanni's Room
345 South 12th Street (Center City)
(215) 923-2960

Lambda Rising Bookstore
1625 Connecticut Avenue NW (Dupont Circle)
(202) 462-6969

Lambda Rising Bookstore
241 West Chase Street
(410) 234-0069

Lambda Rising Bookstore
39 Baltimore Avenue
(302) 227-6969


Out Word Bound
625 North East Street

Left Bank Books
199 North Euclid Avenue


Lambda Rising Bookstore
322 West 21st Street
(757) 626-0969

White Rabbit Books
1401 Central Avenue

White Rabbit Books
309 West Martin Street

Outloud! Books & Gifts
1703 Church Street

Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse
991 Piedmont Avenue



A Different Light Bookstore
489 Castro Street
(415) 431-0891

A Different Light Bookstore
8853 Santa Monica Boulevard
(310) 854-6601

I know there are a lot I've missed, and I'll be happy to update this list in the future. For now, though, try to patronize these independent booksellers. Yes, I will still love you if you buy from Hastings, Amazon, B&N, Borders, or the other big guys, but if we all throw a fraction of our dollars to deserving independents, we all win.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wow. Who would ever think a short entry on independent bookstores on a little blog like this would generate such traffic, comments, and e-mail? On a Saturday. It's like an unpopular blogger's miracle!

But I need to clarify a few things, even though I know the clarification will probably make people stop reading and commenting. Talk about the Narcissist Catch 22!

Uh... it's okay to laugh at that. Because if you can't laugh at me, what can you laugh at?

Anyway, I did this a few minutes ago in the comment section to yesterday's entry, but I want to offer a more public apology to reader Brandon. While I think he misinterpreted my initial post, I totally over-reacted to his comment. For the record, I apologize for taking my bad Friday out on Brandon. That was uncalled for. Somehow, as I typed the words 'idiot' and 'fool' last night, they seemed less harsh than they did when I re-read them this evening. Sorry... the host of this blog doesn't always have good manners , but he usually has decent manners for his guests.

For the record, let me state that I shop at the Barnes & Noble across the street from my office, order from Amazon, order from InsightOut (which, capital-G Gay as it is, is still part of a Big Publishing Empire), and, well, one of my best e-mail friends these days is with Hastings. Plus, I have friends at all of these outlets, and more. So let me be clear that I am not an enemy of chains (and for the sake of expediency, let's lump Amazon in that category.)


When I grew up in the Charlotte section of Rochester (pronounced Shar-LOT, 'cause we do things differently in Rochester) back in the '60s and '70s, there was a popular delicatessan at the corner of Lake Avenue and Stutson Street. It had been around for a long time, and was very popular. Business was good.

And then one day a national chain dumped their equivalent of the Quickie Mart a half block away. The delicatessan was gone within the year. The owners of a 1,000 square feet corner store couldn't keep up with the new national chain's prices, and that was that. There was some customer loyalty, but it wasn't enough to keep it going. And the Charlotte (remember: Shar-LOT) neighborhood was ultimately worse for its demise. Not that the consumers didn't save a little money... we just lost some humanity, and the personal touch that is sometimes absent when the Quickie Mart replaces the neighborhood deli.

And that's what I fear when independent bookstores start going under. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with chains or Amazon, but those little bookshops -- gay, mystery, so tofu-ish I'd probably never set foot in them -- well, they are a unique part of our community that will be hard to get back after they're gone.

Okay, now THAT is a lot of typing for a guy with a drink in front of him on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Coming tomorrow: we discuss Mary Kay's comments from yesterday regarding other gay independent booksellers.

Friday, March 23, 2007

* I know I've started to publicize my upcoming trip to New Orleans, but I think this headline -- "New Orleans Arming Self" -- is a gross over-reaction.

* Oh. My. God. You lost me at 'cerebral.'

* I think in April I'm going to start a daily Famous Author Rob Byrnes Trivia Competition. Maybe I can get someone to donate a token prize for the winner of each month's competition. Interested?

* Ah, what the hell:

I was toying with the idea of taking an Atlantic Cruise next winter, but now I'm not so sure.
What is the typical Atlantis guest like?
There is no typical guest on an Atlantis vacation, which is what makes the experience so much fun. Our guests range from their 20s to retirement age and beyond.
Retirement age and beyond?!!!

I suppose it's fitting that my friend who organizing this is named Shaun.

Early this morning -- before even finishing my first cup of coffee, and those of you who know me will appreciate that significance -- I was reading this Towleroad item on the financial problems facing the United Kingdom's last gay bookstore, Gay's the Word.

This is, of course, a very familiar story. And it's not just limited to gay bookstores, although the simultaneous dumbing down of culture and mainstreaming of gay-oriented literature in major chains make the economic feasibility of gay bookstores especially precarious. The fact is that in these days of the Goliaths -- Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and so on -- the independent bookseller is an endangered species.

Now, as an author, I'm going to get my royalty money whether Amazon sells a book or Lambda Rising sells a book. In fact, I might even sell more books through the major outlets, as titles by gay writers are increasingly shelved with mainstream works. But that's not the point.

The point is that gay bookstores have long offered much more than words on paper to their LGBT communities. They have served as community centers, meeting halls, and portals for those first coming to terms with their sexuality. They are important.

I guess that's why I couldn't let the item on Towleroad pass without comment. Granted, most major gay-oriented blogs are worse than Towleroad -- Andy Towle at least occasionally recognizes that books exist -- but after reading his post and several reader comments, it seems clear that much of the regret is nothing more than lip service.

My take: much as I do appreciate the chain booksellers (and, yes, shop in them from time to time; I just want that to be clear so a don't get stoned by a herd of rogue B&N managers), if -- as a community -- we won't support independent gay bookstores because they can't afford to give us the same deep discounts, we deserve to lose them. We also deserve to be WalMarted in every facet of our consumer lives. Our clothing options should be Gap and Banana Republic, and every meal should come from McDonald's. Use your CitiJPMorganChaseWellsFargo debit card to reserve your room at the Ramada, and don't forget to stop at SuperCuts before your trip.

As the Chinese know, I'm a capitalist. But every good capitalist knows that the bottom line isn't the only important number. There is added value in some things that goes beyond simple numbers... and that is every bit as important as that 10% discount and free bookmark you're getting as a reward for furthering the decline of community culture.

Remember: Reading is Hot! And Reading Books from Independent Gay Bookstores is Sizzling!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You know what sucks? Living in impoverished, oppressive China.

You know what sucks even more? Living in impoverished, oppressive China and having your government ban your Internet access.

You know what sucks the mostest? Living in impoverished, oppressive China when your government has banned your Internet access to TRL: The Rob Log.

Those poor people. How do they keep going?

(Via Samantha Burns)

But intentional misogyny.

"...he's got the intellect of a four-year old
girl and the ego of a male model."

Queerty: the gift that keeps on giving.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

RIP, Calvert DeForest, better known as Larry 'Bud' Melman. Thanks for many nights of entertainment.

Some day, I will tell you kids about the night I had dinner with him. I'd do it now, but I have to check with my ex for specifics. It's been a while, and my memory is hazy.

It's me; go figure.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Yesterday I dropped some bucks to register for the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival. I guess that means I'm really going, so now it's okay for the rest of you to register, too. May 11-13, 2007; New Orleans, LA. Be there.

Bonus: rumor has it that Becky Cochrane will be doing a reading! Maybe two! How cool is that?

Now that that's out of the way, I need some advice. Bradykins's birthday is coming in a few weeks, and I'm drawing a blank on an appropriate present. Since you folks are smart -- well, smart enough to read this blog, at least -- I thought I'd let you offer up suggestions in the comments.

One thing he's asked for but won't be getting: a baby. Specifically, one just like this.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Oh, shit. Here we go again.

(Nod to Joe.My.God. for the link; earlier TRL entries here and here.)

After last week's dust-up, I thought a bit about what the reactions had been to Garrison Keillor's original Salon column. I know this is a broad generalization, but it seemed to me that those of us who write fiction 'got' the Keillor piece more often than those who tend to stick strictly to news and opinion pieces. I'm not trying to imply that anyone is especially dumb or unimaginative (except... well, you know who I'm thinking about), but I wonder if there are basic personality facets that make the people who create their own worlds more accepting -- or at least, less reactive -- to others who create their own worlds, especially when notoriously tricky literary devices like drollery, satire and irony are employed.

I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong about that. But I do know that I'd rather be the type of person who can look at words on a page and enter a story, then one who sees only stark black and white letters with no room for interpretation.

In the meantime, let a thousand blogs be heard as they rise in unison and scream 'your apology is not good enough, Keillor!' I'll be sitting here tending to The Rob Log, where all the readers are strong, all the commenters are good-looking, and all the reciprocal linkers are above average.

UPDATE: I don't know this person, but this is a brilliant analysis of the situation. I will pay it the highest compliment: I wish I had written it, and will probably tell people who don't read my blog that I did.

No, not me, of course. My percentage of the vote was about the same as an openly gay terrorist-harboring satanist with the last name of Sharpton could expect to receive in northeast Oklahoma. In commemoration of that ass-whupping, expect to see the blog temporarily redecorated when I get the chance.

But it's all fun and games, so it doesn't matter. In our hearts, we know I am the best. Also, as Lee pointed out, rumor has it that the competition hired bums to sidstep the one man/one vote rule.

Hey, I didn't say that. If you've got a problem, blame Lee!

So on we they go to Round Two. Do the right thing.

The right thing, by the way, would be to support Jamie at I Must Be Dreaming. I forgot to mention his blog the other day -- oops -- but now it's crucial. Chrisafer, Stu-O-Rama, and the BoyFromTroi are among the others who cheated made their way into the second round. Good luck to all of them.

As for me, I will do what all failed candidates do.

I think $50,000 per speech sounds about right, don't you?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

And Also: Be Kind to Bloggers, You Assholes

It ain't over yet, kids, but I am getting the drubbing of my life (from -- shudder -- Queerty) -- in The Malcontent's March Gayness Tourny. (Tourney? Eh, whatever.)

I mean, it's not too late to show me some love -- and, you know, tell your own blog readers to show me some love, too -- but I am ready to accept my fate. As I am writing this, I am losing by a solid 2-to-1 margin, so it's going to be next to impossible to make up lost ground. I suppose that I could consider it a small victory that I'm taking one-third of the vote, given that Queerty has probably twenty times the readership, but...

Oh hell yes I'm gonna consider that a victory. I am all about the face-saving mode right now, people. Although I have a special treat for you on the day the winners are announced. Stay tuned.

By the way, even if you read this blog and don't always feel the love (because I'm the first one to admit that I can be a hypocritical bitch when I'm on a roll), Matt and Robbie (they would be the Malcontentae) are giving everyone a great opportunity to discover some blogs you may not be familiar with. Not only have I come across some good, fun, and good/fun reads, but, hell, even unpopular, unassuming, getting-his-ass-kicked-by-Queety! me has tripled his Saturday readership, and maybe some people will stick around, so it's a win-win thing.

Also, some Friends of FARB (loosely defined as being in my blogroll) are in play, too: Sven-O-Rama, ApproachingMiddleAgeGuiFromTroy, Gay Orbit, A Stitch in Haste (although I don't think Kip wants to play), Mark at Zeitzeuge... Plus you have the unique opportunity to vote in the Gay Patriot (sic) vs. Andrew Sullivan contest, and although I tend to be contrarian and vote for the little guy in these sort of things, Sully has never looked more blond and twinkish than when I had to vote in that match-up.

Okay, on to a related topic. When I got back from the gym earlier today -- did I mention I'm going to the gym again, now that it's in my building? Well, I am, and soon I am going to be as Hot as Reading -- I was looking at some of the other March Gayness blogs, and I came across an unfortunate comment. No need to name the blog in question; it wasn't the blogger's fault, and although I read his site from time to time, I've never done the whole linky-love thing with him. Let's just say that the blog is written by someone who was affiliated with Queerty when it was readable and not blitheringly immature.

Anyway, someone felt compelled to leave a comment denigrating what I (perhaps harshly) read as the other 63 blogs in March Gayness. Me being me, I left my own brief comment, basically informing the commenter that these things are done in fun, and blogging is not a zero sum game. I wasn't quite so annoyed as to totally go off on him, because I held back on telling him that he could suck up to the blogger all he wanted, but they still wouldn't be getting naked together.

But I was thinking that.

Here's the thing: this is all too reminiscent of what Sam-O-Rama (and other bloggers) went through a few months ago, and in years past. In Sid's case, he got a well-deserved nomination as Best Gay Blog from one of the more prestigious of the 8,768 web sites giving out annual awards. In return, he got haterated by commenters loyal to their favorite blogger.

Which is weird. I mean, you can tell someone they were robbed -- you can even think you were robbed yourself -- but to get so wrapped up in blogs and bloggers is just wrong. Posting 32 comments on your favorite blogger's latest entry is wrong. Thinking that there is but One True Blogger and everyone else among 28 million other bloggers is a pale imitator is wrong.

Much as my respect for the current iteration of Queerty approaches zero, there is room for that site and The Rob Log. Why anyone thinks that the only way they can support their favorite blog is by trashing everyone else just mystifies me. Of course, I do consistently lecture blog commenters (via this site, of course, and you are all perfect!) to get outside, get some fresh air, and do something besides read blogs, so -- knowing that you do that -- I'm probably preaching to the choir.

There's no answer. With the exception of my lapse earlier today, I am not going to go to other blogs and lecture the readers. I am polite (hadn't you heard?)

In fact, I am going to point to my blogroll as a bunch of people who deserve -- and often already have -- more readers than I do. Read the blogs of those boys and girls. They are good.

Oh, and remember to vote for FARB! If I win, there might be nekkidness.

Eh... hypocrisy wins again.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Okay, minions, I didn't ask for this, but I'll be damned if I'm going down without a fight.

Over at The Malcontent, the March Gayness tournament is up and running. For some reason, I was selected to be in the first round of 64 gay blogs elbowing and back-biting competing against each other to move through the brackets.

And for some reason -- The Malcontent's Matt says it's coincidence, but... yeah, right -- in the first round, I am head to head with Queerty.

And I'm losing.

Now, I know that the Queerty gang is used to competition where "everyone's a winner," but I'm not. In my bracket, there can only be one winner.

So go vote for me or I'll be beyond sad; I'll be humiliated.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

So last night the weather was beautiful, which inspired me to spontaneously schedule a Happy Hour instead of going straight home. Good intentions...road to Hell... etc.

Anyway, I’m sitting on the front Porch of The Ritz, on West 46th Street's Restaurant Row, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a young guy walk by wearing an earpiece. I thought nothing of it, really, until a second young guy -- also wearing an earpiece -- walked past a few seconds later. That caught my attention, and I looked up just in time to see Bill Clinton stroll down the sidewalk, passing no more than five feet from me. I can’t be sure, but there was another surge of gawking from the passersby a few minutes later, so maybe Hillary joined him at the restaurant next door.

Bill. Hillary. Famous Author Rob Byrnes. The stars shined bright last night on West 46th Street, my friends.

UPDATE: I'd tell you to call me Deep Throat, but I know you'd just use that as an excuse to make rude comments, so I won't.

Thank God! For a moment, I was afraid they were going to be on my side.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


March 14, 2006.

It's only fair, right? I mean, if Julian Fantechi can be 37 years old in the Daily News, but 31 on his personal site, I should be allowed to use creative arithmetic, too.

And, um, carry a light saber in an NSFW kind of way.

I have to go lie down now. Even though I'm only 35, I suddenly feel very tired.

UPDATE: Awwwww!!! All of Julian's nekkid, full-frontally-erect pics have disappeared from his web site. I guess that means no light sabers for you. You'll have to use your imaginations.

Hmm. I could be wrong, but it seems as if The Inability to Get The Joke Virus is spreading. Unless I have seriously misread Garrison Keillor's Salon piece, I'm finding humor -- bland, sleep-inducing Garrison Keilloresque humor, but humor nonetheless -- where Towleroad is finding hypocrisy and hate speech.

(And the link in the Towleroad entry pointing to other alleged earlier evil deeds on Keillor's part really just goes to show that there are a lot of bloggers out there wearing underwear six or seven sizes too small.)

With all the things for the LGBT community to be outraged about -- Peter Pace, Ann Coulter, Queerty -- why anyone would waste a molecule of anger over something so innocuous (and almost certainly ironic) is beyond my comprehension.

And, yes, I know anger isn't measured in molecules. It's grams, right?

UPDATE: WTF? Has everyone gone totally fucking insane? Or am I totally off the mark? (Hint: no, it's not me.)

UPDATE #2: Oh. My. God. Right about now, I feel like doing some fag-bashing myself.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My dear friends, I regret to inform you that Parody is officially dead.

The hemorrhaging began last week, when O.J. Simpson suggested that he might be Anna Nicole's baby-daddy.

We thought Parody was rallying, but earlier today it took a turn for the worse when The Gay American announced that he was going to sue his ex-wife for child support.

Still, we had hope.

But then... *sob* ... then this came along, and there was nothing left to Parody.

Now all we can do is wait for the blinding flash of light, and pray fervently that death will wrap us in its gentle embrace.

This is the first time I've written about The Gay American without being facetious, but... can you believe his nerve? His gall? His utter contempt for decency?
Former Gov. James E. McGreevey has revised his divorce lawsuit against his estranged wife and is now seeking sole custody of the couple's 5-year-old daughter -- and child support.
Now, I suppose there is an outside chance that his ex-wife is somehow an unfit mother, and perhaps he expects her book to out-sell his softcore sleaze-fest of an autobiography.

But I doubt it. The Gay American is loathsome, and needs to go away right now. And I will not be contributing any money to any LGBT organizations who so much as acknowledge him in the future.

One last reminder to The Gay American. Remember what made you the man you are today:

Now get the fuck out of here.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Conservationist uses wine bottles
to build energy-saving house

I finally know who's been going through my recycling...

(Via Drudge)

Via Towleroad:
Marriage comes adrift as quickly as it came about.

Richard Thornton and Andries Jacobs’s marriage is the very definition of a whirlwind romance.

Barely a month after a chance encounter in a West Rand shopping mall, they exchanged rings and vows of fidelity on January 5, one of the first same-sex couples to be married in South Africa under the then newly enacted Civil Unions Act.

Ironically, they could become the first divorced under the legislation.

Just two months later, the marriage has crumbled and 52- year-old Thornton has filed for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and desertion.

Jacobs, 20, packed his bags in the dead of night just weeks into the marriage as arguments over coming home late and overpossessiveness escalated.

Still, Thornton this week attempted an emotional reconciliation with his partner as the rain sobbed over them in the street outside the younger man’s new home.

He says he has nothing but his love for the man he desperately wants back.

“I know that Andries is mine; but he’s very young ... very young.”

He had thought perhaps the 20-year-old couldn’t take “the pressure” and needed to be alone, but later discovered he had moved in with another man — just a few blocks from their home.

Despite this, says Thornton, “the blood’s not that bad”.

“We are married. We are still legally married, until — if — the divorce comes through.”

He is uncertain whether he wants to go through with it.

Earlier this week he met his estranged partner at a game reserve where, he says, they renewed their vows and Jacobs again promised to come home.

The garden flat they shared briefly is decorated with theatre posters, language manuals and other bric-a-brac which are reminders of Thornton’s once-flourishing career as a producer and director. His polished accent and flamboyant gestures also tell of years spent on stage.

He and Jacobs had known tongues would wag in their home town. The 50something some-time theatre director and producer and the 20-year-old who was then working as a security guard at a local mall cut an unusual sight on the streets of the mining town, dotted with grocery stores, farming equipment proprietors and steeples of the NG Kerk.

Krugersdorp is still “conservative”, Thornton explains, his tone suggesting this is a euphemism for deep-seated prejudice against homosexuals.

Yet it was for God, and for the community, that he says he proposed to Jacobs. “I wanted everything to be right in the eyes of God, I didn’t do it because it was the in thing to do.”

Thornton says Jacobs found it difficult being in a gay marriage in the town.

His friends had warned him against the union, saying Jacobs was too young for him.

Jacobs’ family, Thornton says, were in denial that their son was gay. One of the only things he wanted to do after they married, and still wants to do, is to visit his in-laws and be accepted.

He tells of how they would whisper endearments to one another in private, but when they were in public, Jacobs seemed ashamed.

In the week before leaving their home, Jacobs told him: “Ek is lief vir jou, maar ek is nie gewoond daaraan nie (I love you, but I’m not accustomed to this).”

“It hurts, it really hurts,” Thornton says.

Thornton says he and his estranged partner agreed when they married that they would share the expenses of the home, but as it ended up, “he let me do all the hard work”.

Earning marginally more than Jacobs, it was he who bought “the little essentials” they needed to survive.

“He would say, Ag liefie, mag ons dit koop!’ (He would beg me to buy things). It was all on my neck.”
If these two kids couldn't make it, what chance do the rest of us have?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Okay, I was almost willing to give the Gay Blog Topic O' the Month -- Corporal Matthew Sanchez, USMC -- a mostly free ride. Sure, I got some private jokes in, but I sort of felt sorry for him. I mean, a lot of gay blogs (and my new bugaboo, sheeplike gay blog followers who certainly will clog up the Internet long before the video explosion kills it, by virtue of their volume and sheer repetitiousness of their comments alone) were taking his story and giving it far more weight than it deserved.

In My Humble Opinion. As usual.

But now Mateo, or whatever name he uses in day-to-day financial *cough* transactions, is crumbling under the pressure, and This Must Be Commented Upon. Not because I don't understand the pressure -- I do -- but because his resolve to distance himself from his past has taken a truly ugly turn. He's about one Acme (TM) match short of a Wyle E. Coyote-style explosion.

From his blog. (Read the comments.)

And from The Military Times.

'Sissies'? 'Lady'? Yeah, he is a man. No, a MAN! He is a buff, mean, tough Marine. Grrrrr!

And... oh please. What a wuss. Or... what was that word his buddy Ann Coulter used to describe a wuss? Damn! It seems to have escaped me for the moment.

I am not knee-jerk against the war in Iraq -- or, at least, I wasn't, way back in the pre-'Mission Accomplished' days -- but I do not want this former gay porn supporting actor anywhere near a situation where someone's life is dependent on him. He is clearly too much of an Ann Coulter Word to deal with it. In the streets of Basra, girlishly screaming "You sissies!" in defense of your fellow Marines is just not going to cut it.

[Aside: I wonder if he lisps. If so, would he scream something more like "You thithies!"? Eh. Sorry for the aside.]

Oh, and Alan Colmes apparently kicked his ass in an interview. How ashamed must he be? That's like getting pwned by Mr. Rogers.

[Aside #2: I am 48 years old and just typed 'pwned.' I am ashamed. Too much Fark, I think. And sorry for the second aside.]

Long short: Matt, turn offf the computer and say goodbye to the TV cameras. With every letter you type, you make yourself look like a huge dick... and not in the '11 inches' kind of way. It's too bad... I had hoped you were just a guy who was finding yourself, and would weather this storm with a bit of dignity. Instead, you keep burning your dignity and making an ass of yourself.

By the way, should you read this -- and it seems these days you are all Technorati, all the time, so you probably will -- I want it to be known that, as I write this, there is a plaque on the bookcase next to me. The inscription notes that I was my local political organization's 'Conservative of the Year' in 1984-85. While my political philosophy has shifted a bit over the past twenty years, the plaque is on the bookcase and I don't deny it, nor do I deny that it was an important time in my life. Yes, I changed a bit, but deny my past? Hell no. I'm proud of the pieces that made me a whole.

Now stop being such a big Ann Counter-defined 'faggot' -- and especially stop lashing out with the sort of idiotic homophobic comments that got you into this mess -- and start acting like the man you claim to be.

The End.

(Or IS IT?!)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

This Matt Sanchez thing is starting to worry me. Hopefully, you don't have any Famous Gay Porn Star Bart Turgid videos in your collection.

Uh... not that I would know anything about that.

Uh... obviously.

But if Famous Gay Porn Star Bart Turgid goes down, we all go down. Famous Gay Porn Star Bart Turgid isn't the only former Famous Gay Porn Star who has cleaned up his act and embarked on a literary career. And, no, I'm not just talking about Sanchez, Rich Merritt, or Reichen.

No, I'm referring to a few other people. I would never be so crass as to name names, but I'm happy to post pictures.

Food porn? Whatever. I guess it takes all kinds.

Respectable. Until you notice the porn 'stache.

Wow. Famous Gay Porn Star Bart Turgid has never been so happy to be out of that life.

Fritos are dehumanizing.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Okay, everybody, I want you to ignore some of my recent rants. Just put them right out of your heads! Now! Do it!

If we all stop reading, maybe we can stop the madness.

(story link via Towleroad; photo link via 'what I want to be when I grow up')


1. When I saw this headline, the first thing I thought of was this. It is so, so wrong to think of Dick Cheney's penis in any context, and I am sorry for sharing.

2. Until he remembered that I am now a resident of New Jersey, Harlis wanted me to run for Mayor of the City of New York. In an compromise, I guess I'll have to become the next governor of the state of New Jersey. Anyone interested in being my homeland security advisor?

3. Note to Howard K. Stern: watch your back.

4. Famous Author Scooter Libby found guilty on four counts. Insert 'caged bear' joke here.

5. I am 98% certain that I'll be in New Orleans in May for Saints & Sinners. See you there?

Or, Crispin Glover is Still Much Stranger Than You Can Over Hope to Be
I'm sorry, but I'm not believing the 'Hellion.' That is not a real name, like, say, 'Famous Author Rob Byrnes' is real.

Oh, and creepy much?


Earlier in Crispin "Hellion" Glover's life: Best. Breakdown. Ever. (Even if it is probably fake.)

Monday, March 05, 2007

So I was speeding right along -- 48 states in 3:42 -- when I hit a mental block. Of course, when the two missing states came to me almost two minutes later, they both happen to be within 200 miles of Manhattan.

Still, I came in at 5:22. How fast can you name all 50 states?

(Via Useless! Worthless! Insipid!)

I'm not especially a fan of Rudy Giuliani, but the national news stories over the past few days about his strained relationship with his son have gone waaaaay over the line. As a veteran of Byrnes v. Byrnes, I know it can get ugly, but the inevitable fall-out need not and should not be plastered all over the front page of your daily newspaper.

I agree with Rudy: give them their privacy. This kind of reporting is totally irrelevant to Giuliani's abilities as a leader, a father, or a human being.

It's time for the media to act responsibly.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Or: You're One in a Million Thousand*

It will be an interesting experiment to see if any of the major gay blogs -- no need for links; you know who they are -- pick up on the Lambda Literary Award nominations.

Before I'm accused of too much self-interest as a finalist, let me note that I've been blogging for years about the tepid way in which gay media and gay organizations cover books. ['Tepid' is actually a kind word to use, but I would never be so confrontational as to call it outright neglect.

Oh. Did I just do that?]

I am sure that when Jake Gyllenhaal or Justin Timberlake write a novel, those blogs will take note. But, in the meantime, it's pretty much just us ink-stained commoners who are trying to give the handful of gay people out there (who actually read something deeper than HX) the books that entertain them, or enlighten them, or challenge them. So we are expendable.

By the way, I'm comfortable venting about this on this blog, because you guys are a pretty literate crew... which is probably why maybe 150 people stop by on a good day. The Big Gay Blogs, though -- the ones who could actually encourage their readers to crack a spine that doesn't belong to Ann Coulter -- well... their readerships tend to reflect the adage that water seeks its own level.

Bitter much? Yeah, a little. I don't speak ill of other gay writers on this public blog (e-mail? Don't ask) explicitly because all of us are in the same boat. We kill ourselves for a year or two to write something tailored to appeal not to Joe and Joan Applepie, but specifically to a small gay audience. And, in turn, we get totally ignored by the old gay media and the new gay media: the blogs.

And trust me: the work it takes to write a mainstream novel is exactly the same as the work that goes into writing LGBT books. We do this for the love, people!

If it was just my books being ignored, I'd still be bitter, but at least I'd feel small and petty in the process and know that it was my problem. But it's not just me. It's Greg Herren and Timothy James Beck (and variations thereof) and Radclyffe and Andy Zeffer and Lawrence Schimel and Fiona Zedde and Richard Labonte and Rob Williams and Ted Gideonse and, well, thousands more. Even the relative superstars -- Christopher Bram, Joe Keenan, William Mann -- get, at best, a few column (or blog) inches.

This may not be smart, but I am now going to share a sad fact of the writing life with you.

There are roughly 300 million people in the United States of America. Assuming a very conservative made-up statistic that 3% of them are gay, that means that there are minimally nine million LGBT people in this country alone. The average, decent-selling gay novel might sell 9,000 copies... so you so the math. (For the record, I don't think I've cracked that 9,000 level yet on any of my books, so, again, I'm not talking about myself. Although hope springs eternal...)

That means that roughly one out of every million thousand* gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, etc. people haved pulled out their wallets and slapped down $20 for the average gay book. And that's not even factoring in the heterosexuals who read our books.

I know this is a chicken vs. egg rant. The gay media and gay blogs discuss Britney Spears and Ted Haggard and American Idol and, yes, Jake and Justin to death because they perceive that that's what their readers want. Consequently... water seeks its own level.

Even more disappointing, I know of several popular bloggers who are newly- (paper-) published writers -- they have even had work out in anthologies published over the past year -- who barely mention that fact. Are they afraid of losing blog readers if they encourage them to buy and read a book? I don't know; only they can answer that. But it's a sad reflection on the perceptions from both sides.

What if a major gay blog broke the mold? What if a blogger started to actively encourage their readers to read books, as well as blogs? What if someone finally got it that reading a book is every bit as 'hot' as reading US Weekly?

Do I dare to dream?

I look forward to the next week, to see if my suspicions are proven correct. Will Windows Media mention that the list of Lammy finalists has been released? Will a major gay blog mention that fact? Will someone encourage their readers to support LGBT writers? I strongly doubt it, but time will prove me right or wrong.

Rant over. If you're still reading, thank you for indulging me.

Oh, and go find a book to read.

* -- As for me, maybe I should pick up a basic math textbook. Granted, 'one in a million' has a nice ring to it, but the math says that my mushy Sunday evening brain overstated my case a bit. Thanks to Gregalicious for pointing that out in the comments, and saving me from even greater embarrassment. He is truly one in a million... uh...

UPDATE: I am thrilled to report that some blogs have proven me wrong. And I have never been so happy to be proven wrong.

So, from the Dept. of Credit Where Credit is Due, kudos to: Towleroad, BoiFromTroy, Obliquity,and (coming soon) Scott-O-Rama.

Also, Jim from posted an excellent comment about some of the antipathy he receives from writers and publishers. Many of his points are well-taken, and food for thought. I hope to toss in my two cents in the next few days.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I was going to play this coy, but I have a busy day ahead of me, so let's put it all on the table.

This isn't on the Lambda Literary Foundation web site yet, but -- thanks to a middle-of-the-night e-mail from Becks and Teej, I think it's safe to announce the following Lammy finalists, starting with the Most Important Category:
Nominees for GAY ROMANCE

Someone Like You by Timothy James Beck (Kensington)
When the Stars Come Out by Rob Byrnes (Kensington)
Two Boys in Love by Lawrence Schimel (Seventh Window)
Surf 'N Turf by Scott & Scott (Romentics)
Going Down in La-La Land by Andy Zeffer (Harrington Park Press)
I've got to tell you that this thrills me on two levels. Obviously, it's exciting to be a finalist. Yay me! But the fact that three of my closest writer-friends -- Andy Zeffer, and Timothy James Beck's Becky Cochrane and Timothy J. Lambert -- are also in this category makes this pretty much a win-win situation. Either one of us wins, and I'm happy; or we all lose, and we can be happily bitter!

Uh... that was a joke. The other nominees in the category are more than deserving. Lawrence Schimel is a prolific master of the craft, and it's an honor to have my name in the same list as his. And Scott & Scott invented gay romance, in -- I think -- the same year Al Gore invented the Internet, so it's all very exciting.

Let me add that Timothy is also nominated in the Best Gay Erotica category for his work (along with the always delightful Richard LaBonte) editing Best Gay Erotica 2007. Another double-nominee is my buddy Greg Herren, a finalist for Best Anthology (Love, Bourbon Street, edited with Paul J. Willis, which I have just started reading) and Best Gay Mystery (Mardi Gras Mambo).

Regrettably, the judges fucked up the Gay Memoir/Biography category. No nomination for The Gay American? No Reichen? That's the sort of snub that makes me want to take to the streets chanting, "No justice, no peace!" But I will try to restrain myself.

And now, the rest of the nominees, for your reading pleasure:
Nominees for ANTHOLOGY
Confessions of the Other Mother, edited by Harlyn Aizley (Beacon)
From Boys to Men, edited by Ted Gideonse & Rob Williams (Carroll & Graf)
Love, Bourbon Street, edited by Greg Herren & Paul J. Willis (Alyson)
Charmed Lives, edited by Toby Johnson & Steve Berman (Lethe Press)
No Margins: Writing Canadian Fiction in Lesbian, edited by Catherine Lake & Nairne Holtz (Insomniac)

Nominees for ARTS & CULTURE
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)
Cinemachismo by Sergio de la Mora (University of Texas Press)
Sex Objects by Jennifer Doyle (University of Minnesota Press)
GAY L.A. by Lillian Faderman & Stuart Timmons (Basic Books)
Blood Beats: Vol 1 by Ernest Hardy (Redbone Press)

Nominees for BISEXUAL

Eros by Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio (Harrington Park Press)
Affirmative Psychotherapy with Bisexual Women & Bisexual Men by Ronald C. Fox (Harrington Park Press)
Three Sides to Every Story by Clarence Nero (Harlem Moon/Doubleday)
Bi Guys, edited by Ron Jackson Suresha (Harrington Park Press)
Bi Men, edited by Ron Jackson Suresha & Pete Chvany (Harrington Park Press)
The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe, Michael Szymanski & Nicole Kristal (Alyson)

The Manny Files by Christian Burch (Simon & Schuster)
Full Spectrum, edited by David Levithan & Billy Merrell (Random House Children's Books)
Between Mom & Jo by Julie Anne Peters (Little Brown)
Tale of Two Summers by Brian Sloan (Simon & Schuster)
Erik & Isabelle's Junior Year at Foresthill High by Kim Wallace (Foglight Press)

Nominees for DRAMA/THEATER
Questa by Victor Bumbalo (Broadway Publishing Inc.)
Confessions of a Mormon Boy by Stephen Fales (Alyson)
1001 Beds by Tim Miller (University of Wisconsin)

Nominees for HUMOR
Queen of the Oddballs by Hilary Carlip (HarperCollins)
My Lucky Star by Joe Keenan (Little Brown)
Roy & Al by Ralf Konig (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Hello, Cruel World by Kate Bornstein (Seven Stories)
GAY L.A. by Lillian Faderman & Stuart Timmons (Basic Books)
Different Daughters by Marcia Gallo (Carroll & Graf)
Behind the Mask of the Mattachine by James T. Sears (Harrington Park Press)
Unspeakable Love by Brian Whitaker (University of California)

Nominees for LGBT STUDIES
Every Inch A Man: Phallic Possession, etc. by Carellin Brooks (UBC Press)
Gay Power: An American Revolution by David Eisenbach (Carroll & Graf)
Their Own Receive Them Not by Horace Griffin (Pilgrim Press)
Crip Theory by Robert McRuer (NYU Press)
Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame by Kathryn Stockton (Duke University Press)

Carnival by Elizabeth Bear (Bantam Spectra)
Mordred, Bastard Son by Douglas Clegg (Alyson)
A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W. Day (Iris Print)
Izzy and Eve by Neal Drinnan (Green Candy Press)
Spin Control by Chris Moriarty (Bantam Spectra)

Sex & the Sacred by Daniel Helminiak (Harrington Park Press)
The After-Death Room by Michael McColly (Soft Skull Press)
Spirited edited by Lisa Moore & G. Winston James (Redbone Press)
The Singing of Swans by Mary Saracino (Pearlsong Press )
Mobius Trip by Giti Thadani (Spinifex Press)

Nominees for TRANSGENDER
Transgender Rights edited Paisley Currah, Richard M. Juang, and Shannon Price Minter (University of Minnesota Press)
Drag King Dreams by Leslie Feinberg (Carroll & Graf)
Supervillainz by Alicia E. Goranson (Suspect Thoughts)
The Transgender Studies Reader edited by Susan Stryker & Chris Whittle (Routledge)
The Testosterone Files by Max Wolf Valerio (Seal Press)

Punk Like Me by JD Glass (Bold Strokes)
Slipstream by Leslie Larson (Crown)
Outrageous by Sheila Ortiz Taylor (Spinsters Ink)
Rose of No Man's Land by Michelle Tea (Macadam Cage)
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (Riverhead Books)

Fresh Tracks by Georgia Beers (Bold Strokes)
Wild Abandon by Ronica Black (Bold Strokes)
Finders Keepers by Karin Kallmaker (Bella Books)
Chance by Grace Lennox (Bold Strokes)
Turn Back Time by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)

Sleep of Reason by Rose Beecham, Rose (Bold Strokes)
Night Vision by Ellen Hart (St. Martins)
The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
Idaho Code by Joan Opyr (Bywater Books)
The Weekend Visitor by Jessica Thomas (Bella Books)

Domain of Perfect Affection by Robin Becker (University of Pittsburgh)
Days of Good Looks by Cheryl Clarke (Carroll & Graf)
The Truant Lover by Juliet Patterson (Nightboat Books)
Lemon Hound by Sina Queyras (Coach House Books)
Touch to Affliction by Nathalie Stephens (Coach House Books)

Intimate Politics by Bettina Aptheker (Seal Press)
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)
Queen of the Oddballs by Hilary Carlip (HarperCollins)
Hit by a Farm by Catherine Friend (Carroll & Graf)
Incognito Street by Barbara Sjoholm (Seal Press)

Walk Like a Man by Laurinda D. Brown (Q-Boro Books)
Glamour Girls edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Harrington Park Press)
18th & Castro by Karin Kallmaker (Bella Books)
Master Han's Daughter by Midori (Circlet Press)
Best Lesbian Erotica 2007 edited by Tristan Taromino & Emma Donoghue (Cleis Press)

The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery (Riverhead)
Black Marks by Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte (Akashic)
Erzulie's Skirt by Ana-Maurine Lara (Redbone Press)
Slipstream by Leslie Larson (Crown)
Origami Striptease by Peggy Munson (Suspect Thoughts)

Nominees for GAY FICTION
Every Visible Thing by Lisa Carey (HarperCollins)
Izzy and Eve by Neal Drinnan (Green Candy Press)
Alternatives to Sex by Stephen McCauley (Simon & Schuster)
Now Is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer (Houghton Mifflin)
Suspension by Robert Westfield (HarperCollins)

Nominees for GAY MYSTERY
Mardi Gras Mambo by Greg Herren (Kensington)
The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon (I-Universe)
The Back Passage by James Lear (Cleis Press)
Provincetown Follies, Bangkok Blues by Randall Peffer (Bleak House Books)
The Lucky Elephant Restaurant by Garry Ryan (NeWest Press)

Nominees for GAY POETRY
Gutted by Justin Chin (Manic D Press)
The Album That Changed My Life by Jeffrey Conway (Cold Calm Press)
A History of My Tattoo by Jim Elledge (Stonewall)
Other Fugitives & Other Strangers by Rigoberto Gonzalez (Tupelo Press)
When the Eye Forms by Dwaine Rieves (Tupelo)

Untold Stories by Alan Bennett (FSG)
The Bill From My Father by Bernard Cooper (Simon & Schuster)
Tweaked by Patrick Moore (Kensington)
History of Swimming by Kim Powers (Carroll & Graf)
My Father's Keeper by Jonathan Silin (Beacon)

Nominees for GAY EROTICA
Best Gay Erotica 2007 edited by Richard Labonte & Timothy J. Lambert (Cleis Press)
A History of Barbed Wire by Jeff Mann (Suspect Thoughts)
Hot On His Trail by Zavo (Alyson)

A Scarecrow's Bible by Martin Hyatt (Suspect Thoughts)
Send Me by Patrick Ryan (Dial Press)
The Zookeeper by Alex MacLennan (Alyson)
Suspension by Robert Westfield (HarperCollins)
5 Minutes & 42 Seconds by Timothy Williams (HarperCollins)