Wednesday, October 31, 2007

But first things first: congratulations to The Other White Meat, winner of October Triviality!
And special congratulations to me, the apparent third-place finisher! In honor of us, we can haz parade!

Okay, stop the partying and get back to work.

But remember to tune in tomorrow and every weekday through the end of the month for November Triviality! Go head-to-head with some of the smartest people on the Internet (and also with Ricker), and show us what you've got. November's game will be new and improved -- meaning, I have eliminated the loathed Tuesday Literature competition for reasons that are obvious to everyone who has played in the past -- so don't be shy.

Click here to play (the link is also on the sidebar); click here for a few tips. And good luck!

From New York magazine:

... although I am not surprised that a magazine named after New York, New York doesn't have a Department of Redundancy Department.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't do it.

Because -- if you do -- you'll end up like me, searching blog after blog in a fruitless effort to remember where (and about what) you left a comment the night before.

And remember to return to The Rob Log for tomorrow's lesson: "E-Mailing While Intoxicated: Don't Do It."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Spurred by recent news stories -- and with an intense desire to know how closely I'm related to the Obama-Cheney family -- I signed onto last night and started to create my family tree. Before I hit a wall, the program actually helped me fill in some long-lost details (grandparental dates of birth and death, for example), but then... nothing.

Lending credence to the charge that I'm not as fully evolved as the rest of you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A free drink goes to the first person who can make sense of these sentences:
Now, we don’t want to say this site’s totally phony, but you know something’s up when you can make a wills start at $69. If you’re making a will for under a hundred dollars, well, you should probably just write it on toilet paper.
ESL: it's a beautiful thing.

In all fairness to the Q-Word (and cleaning up their lack of command of the English language, which makes me think that, oh, photoblogging might be a better fit for them), they are more than matched by the blog that spawned it, Jossip:
Judge Lance Ito went on to be confused for another bearded Asian man outside of a gay club in L.A. Marica Clark is a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. And Robert Shapiro is now hawking cheapo legal services:
A few corrections:

1. Lance Ito wasn't confused for another bearded Asian man. Another bearded Asian man was confused for Lance Ito. There is a huge difference, morons.

2. 'Marica Clark' spells her name 'Marcia.' Morons.

3. Don't end a sentence with a colon. It makes you look like morons.

The frightening thing is that this is what passes for clever commentary these days on the Internet. Our culture is truly doomed.

Oh, and to put an end to concern over Robert Shapiro's hucksterism, remember: Melvin Belli guest-starred in Star Trek. And somehow the legal system didn't collapse.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We mourned a few months ago when word came that InsightOut Books would be shut down.

We mourn no longer.

Greg broke this story last week (I missed it; my bad), but I just got e-mail confirmation from the Editor. InsightOut will soon be back in business and welcoming new members.

I will keep you posted on the details as they're finalized (uh... as well as when I find out, which won't necessarily coincide with the finalization.) But this is just the greatest news in what has been a frustrating couple of weeks in the Writing Life.

While we're on the subject of gay Kensington authors and their books, my friend Andrew Beierle is hitting the road to promote his novel First Person Plural, which you know all about because you read this blog like a hawk.

If you're in or near any of the following locations, drop by and get your signed copy of this unique and extraordinary book. And tell him I sent you. Uh... which doesn't mean you'll get a discount or anything.

Saturday, Oct. 20
4 PM

Webster's Bookstore Cafe
128 South Allen St.
State College, PA 16801

Wednesday, Oct. 24
7:30 PM

A Different Light Bookstore
489 Castro St.
San Francisco, CA 94114

Tuesday, October 30
7:30 PM

A Different Light Bookstore
8853 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Friday, Nov. 2
8 PM

Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse
991 Piedmont Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30309

Wednesday, Nov. 7
6 PM

Robin’s Bookstore
108 S. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Saturday, Nov. 10
4 PM

Common Language Bookstore
317 Braun Court
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Friday, Nov. 16
7 PM

Urban Think!
625 E. Central Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32801

Hmm. Philadelphia on Wednesday, November 7. I'll have to check my schedule.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm with Greg Herren. Because if we don't hang together... ah, you know the rest of it.

Punishing authors for the sales practices (common practices, by the way) of their publishers is despicable. I'm not going so far as to demand my books be returned, but if this is the way Kensington authors are going to be treated by a certain independent bookstore, then fuck them. I just wish the manager had had the balls to tell me the truth a few weeks ago, instead of being a wuss and claiming his schedule was booked.

Go buy Andrew Beierle's novel First Person Plural... go buy Timothy James Beck's When You Don't See Me... go pre-order When the Stars Come Out.

There are a number of author-friendly booksellers out there. If a gay bookstore won't support gay authors, then don't support them.

UPDATE: I stand by my words, of course: if gay booksellers want gay authors to support them, they have to reciprocate. That being said, I understand that my publisher is working to resolve this situation, so I will take a step back to see how things shake out. I am skeptical this can be easily remedied -- they put their idiotic anti-Kensington author policy in writing, ferchrisssakes -- but I am willing to let diplomacy run its course.

To be continued.

UPDATE #2: I have been advised that I wasn't lied to when originally told that November was booked, and I will accept that as the truth. I regret the error, although it was a reasonable assumption on my part.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Or, What Passes for Humor These Days, 12-Year Old Boy Division.

(In fairness to the Q-word people, they didn't actually draw the penis. No, these 12-year old boys drew the penis. But the Q-word people sat in the back of the 6th grade classroom and giggled about it, so it's all the same to me.)

In other news, the kids at Gawker are patting themselves on the back for successfully jumping that shark...

...but I have owed you this for quite a while. Sorry about that.

Click away, minions!

Monday, October 08, 2007

I am so freakin' brilliant I should have my own reality TV show.

From Daniel Phillip:
I was trembling as I dialed the phone. I called the credit card company first, as that is a card I haven’t used in over a year. It has a zero balance. Luckily it still does. Apparently someone tried to use it for a plane ticket. On Air Canada. Weird.
Meanwhile, on Jere-Rigged:
I am writing this from seat 24K on Air Canada Flight 862, high above the Atlantic Ocean somewhere between Toronto and London.
Now all I need is a wise-cracking secretary and a young, naive protege and I'm ready for business.

This is sort of old news, but I know you will be thrilled to learn that the contract finally arrived from Kensington (via my agent) for my fourth book, so it will really be happening.

In all honesty, I was starting to wonder about that. I know that factors beyond the control of any single individual impacted on the timeline, but my initial proposal went out more than five months ago. For a writer with a track record -- okay, not exactly a Times best-seller, but still -- that's a long time.

In fairness to everyone involved, my fourth novel will be a bit of a break from the comic gay romances I've been writing for most of the past decade. Oh, the new book will still be 'comic' and 'gay,' but I want to shake it up a bit. "Untitled Novel #4" (as it is known contractually; "The Big One" as it is known to me) will be about a low-level and luckless criminal gang that happens to be made up of gay men and lesbians (we're just like everyone else!!) who stumble upon an opportunity to signicantly change their fortunes through blackmail. Needless to say, things don't go as planned.

The delivery date for the manuscript is next April 15, and -- although there isn't a publication date yet -- I would assume that it will be released in 2009. So be patient.

In the meantime, I type away. I also made some headway this past week on my Big Project -- a novel set in the 1920s -- which is good, because I've had a hard time wrapping my head around it for most of the past 15 months I've been talking about it. The '20s book isn't the priority right now, of course, but if I can move that forward while I work on Unpublished Novel #4, I should be able to avoid another long gap between books.

And while I'm on the subject of books... remember that the trade paperback edition of When the Stars Come Out will be released in just a few short weeks. I would strongly recommend pre-ordering, so that you don't get shut out. Actually, I would strongly recommend pre-ordering 10 copies, so that you finish your shopping for the holidays well in advance of the rush.

But that's just me. You know how organized I am.

Minutes ago I was glancing at last Friday's edition of The New York Times (because, as you know, I am always on top of breaking news) and read that Ned Sherrin has died.

Old as I am -- 35, at last count -- I am still too young to remember Sherrin from his glory days, including the production of the classic BBC satirical series That Was The Week That Was. But Sherrin was ultimately responsible for giving the world the musical review Side by Side by Sondheim, an act that should earn him musical theater canonization.

The vinyl I once played compulsively is long gone, but, in my head, I can still hear the music clearly. And thanks for that, Mr. Sherrin.


If I can no longer rely on Gawker, I'll have to go back to reading for all my gay news.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I don't pretend to be a wizard in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, most of my trips to that room are because that's where we keep that big white box that makes my wine cold.

However, if I were, say, a Member of Congress and asked to, say, contribute to a compilation of recipes, I'd probably try to avoid embarrassing myself. Maybe I'd decline, or maybe I'd ask a friend to give me a recipe, but I wouldn't write about the joys of nuking Hot Pockets at 2 A.M. when you've got a .32 Blood Alcohol Content. Uh... unless I was blogging, of course.

If you've been poking around the InterTubes today, you probably think this is my way of setting up a piggy-backing blog entry on Wonkette's discovery of Senator Larry Craig's 'Super Tuber' recipe. While that is very funny, I read further and was much more intrigued by (former) Congresswoman Sue Kelly's contribution to Republican cuisine: Microwave Chicken.
4 thinly sliced boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup favorite vinegar-based salad dressing

Place the ingredients into microwaveable dish in one layer only. Cover with wax paper. Microwave on high for 7 minutes. Poke chicken with fork, then press with back of fork to test doneness. If juices run clear, then chicken is done. Dust with paprika. Serve with pasta, rice, orzo, couscous, or potatoes.

Now-private citizen Sue Kelly, on behalf of the college students, stoners, and kitchen-incompetents of the world, I salute you!

The Sweeney Todd trailer is out. And I'm full of joy!

You know where I'll be on December 21, 2007. In the meantime, here's a classic blast from the past:

I know I complain a lot that gay books aren't reviewed very often in the gay media. But after reading this review of Edmund White's Hotel De Dream, maybe I should be okay with that.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Timothy Joseph Vaughn!

My 30th reunion is this year. Just sayin'...

(Via Fark)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bruce Springsteen? Or Big Brother's Evil Dick? You decide.

(Yeah, I know. But that's all I've got in me right now.)