Thursday, March 27, 2008

I do happen to be a Clinton supporter, but if you can't laugh...

(via Towleroad)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Well, it's night for me right now. You probably won't see these until Monday morning. Or Tuesday. Or never, the way this blog is going.

Still, from random e-mail that I just read tonight, I present: A Little More Eliot Spitzer Pile-On!

Okay, now I think I'm over it. Maybe. But has it really been less than two weeks?

Yeesh. Times flies.


* I hate this manuscript. If this manuscript turned into a human, it would be Hitler. And then if the real Hitler walked into the home office, and I only had a single bullet, I would shoot Manuscript Hitler. I hate it that much.

* 'Manuscript Hitler'? That made no sense. Much like pages 247 through 262. I am a fraud. An embarrassment to writers everywhere. Readers, too, for that matter.

* Heh. 'Manuscript Hitler.' Now that I think about it, it's not so bad. Maybe I could incorporate a reference to Manuscript Hitler into the manuscript.

* Am I insane?

* 10:30 AM is probably too early to drink. Probably.

* I don't think I'm using that word correctly. Better Google it.

* An hour? I lost an hour on Google? How did that happen?

* An hour? I lost an hour on Web Sudoku? How did that happen? That's it; I'm deleting all my bookmarks.

* Better delete the history, too.

* Delete... delete... Oh yeah... I forgot about that blog. Wonder what he's up to.

* Okay, no more blog reading. Back to work. These things don't write themselves.

* Although wouldn't it be great if they did write themselves? If you just had a thought, and the computer did the rest? If you didn't have to sit at the keyboard with a half-pack of Marlboro Lights, a glass of Gatorade, and a pounding headache and actually work?

* How is it that my word count actually going backwards? Can that be possible?

* This is definitely the last book I'm going to write. Never again.

* My characters are so stupid. Maybe I should change the ending and kill them all off in a freak accident. Sure, a handful of readers would be pissed off, but this book is all about things not going according to plan, so it would be fitting.

* Okay, page 287 is looking better. I wonder if I can convince my publisher to make this a three-book series. In which case, I'd better delete the ironic meteor strike in the last chapter.

* I have to keep my eyes on the monitor. Otherwise, all I see is an apartment that hasn't been cleaned in a month.

* Maybe I should get a cleaning person. No, I'd be too embarrassed to let anyone through the front door.

* I shouldn't have deleted the ironic meteor strike.

* Three more weeks... three more weeks... three more weeks... If I can just hold on and not put a bullet in Manuscript Hitler...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Quiet! New York City is sleeping today.

Seriously, am I the only person who's working this morning?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This is hilarious:
While the strike has been joined by an estimated 250,000 novelists—225,000 of whom have reportedly stopped in the middle of their first novel—it has done no damage to any measurable sector of the economy, including bookstore chains, newspapers, magazines, all major media, overseas markets, independent film studios, major film studios, actors, editors, animators, carpenters, those in finance or banking, the day-to-day lives of average Americans, or anything else anyone can think of as of press time.
From The Onion: Novelists Strike Fails To Affect Nation Whatsoever

Since I have a slightly unusual last name -- not exactly one-of-a-kind, but not exactly common, outside Ireland -- I have spent almost five three and a half decades on the receiving end of mispronunciations and misspellings. I think you all know this (if not, please don't tell me), but 'Byrnes' is pronounced 'Burns.' Not BY-er-ness... not Bur-NESS... not any other strange combination of sounds that I occasionally hear. Maybe I'm rude, but if you can't pronounce my last name, I don't want you talking to me.

I'm also pretty particular in how you spell my name. Acceptable: Byrnes. Unacceptable: Burns, Brynes, Burnes. I have actually read book reviews in which the writer has called me 'Burns,' which means the reviewer was too lazy to look at the top of the page where the name is spelled correctly.

Also, don't call me 'Bob.' But that's a rant for another day.

I tell you this not because I have been victimized recently. No, I tell you this because it's my opening to mock Queerty and Gothamist. Obviously. And for once I was actually a nice guy and gave each web site 24 hours to correct their own errors. They did not, so allow me to correct the errors for them.

The story: Polish President Lech Kaczynski uses gay activist Brendan Fay's marriage as anti-gay political fodder.

The coverage via Gothamist: "The two men in the video, Brian Fay, a documentary producer..."

The coverage via the Q-Word: "Speaking to his nation, Kaczynski used Brendan Fey and his husband, Tom... While Fey’s certainly offended..."

True, the writers at these self-proclaimed news sites are not exactly known for their intellectual or journalistic abilities, but is it so fucking hard to get a name correct when you're looking at it?

Never mind. I answered my own question.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Headline: "Fred Dicker's speech at UR canceled"

Behind the Headline: Because he's been priapistic since the Eliot Spitzer prostitution story broke last week.

Related Question: Is 'priapistic' even a word? Because it should be.

From an e-mail I sent to a friend working at Bear Stearns, as we speculated about the current state of the economy:
Remember, I know nothing about this. I don’t balance my checkbook, my credit rating is embarrassing, and I got a D in Macroeconomics 101 in college.

In short, I am qualified to be CEO of Bear Stearns.
I also offered to patronize his street corner when he's selling pencils or apples. Was that mean?

Come to think of it, another friend works at Lehman. I think I'm going to get a lot of mileage out of the same joke...

The other day, the Lambda Literary Foundation announced its finalists for 2007 awards. I know you will be disappointed to hear this, but I was overlooked for a Lifetime Achievement Award. What can I tell you; life sucks.

Uh... on a more serious note, one book should have been a finalist, but wasn't. I can sort of understand how that went down: it was nominated in the Men's Romance and Men's Fiction categories, but it wasn't a romance and the general fiction category was crowded with quality nominees. Still, this book was the best-written novel I read in 2007, and it deserves recognition.

So do yourself a favor and read When You Don't See Me by Timothy James Beck (the psudonym used by the writing team of Becky Cochrane, Timothy J. Lambert, Tim Forry, and Jim Carter.) It is an awesome, powerful novel.

The Good News is that a couple of the friends of FARB did make the cut. So congratulations to Andrew W. M. Beierle, finalist in the Men's Fiction category for his novel First Person Plural; and Greg Herren, whose Murder in the Rue Chartres is a finalist for Men's Mystery.

Go get'em, guys! And congratulations to all the other finalists!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Doesn't it now seem as if the entire Eliot Spitzer debacle happened months ago, instead of this week?

The brain has a remarkable ability to heal.


In a related observation, I think it's simply adorable how some of my former neighbors in the Rochester area (and throughout the rest of the state, I'm sure) have picked up on incoming-Governor David Paterson's visual impairment. See the comments. "Mr. Magoo"... "Ray Charles"... they are a laugh riot. I bet it's just killing them that they can't call him "nigger," which you know is what these boors with modems and fourth-grade home-schooled educations are really thinking.

Fortunately, most people in this state -- in all corners of this state -- are better equipped to deal with someone who isn't a paunchy 58-year-old white male Bush voter than these mouth-breathers, so there is hope.


Finally, and quite coincidentally, this is from today's Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: "Jell-O family descendant is denied family money"

It seems as if I blogged about Jell-O months ago, instead of last week...

This story would be tragic -- tragic enough to make me curl up in the fetal position for a few decades -- if not for this classic quote:

"(T)he odds of us trying to buy the site are between zero and negative numbers."
You would think that Conde Nast could afford to set aside one room at 4 Times Square, rent some monkeys and typewriters, and develop their own Queerty-like content.

But just in case there is any meat to these rumors, an aside to Conde Nast: you can buy my blog cheap.

I'll even throw in a few monkeys.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No, really. Brilliant.

“Excuse me,” I said, “I hate to interrupt, but I believe that ‘Beefstake’ is spelled wrong. It should be s-t-e-a-k.”

The guy on the ladder favored me with a look of searing apathy. “What, are we missing a letter?”

No links in this entry. Mostly because I've seen so many this morning that I can't keep up with them.

All morning, every New Yorker with a blog has been breathlessly reporting that "sources tell me" that Eliot Spitzer will announce his resignation at 11:30 AM today (meaning, about now.) Well, uh... duh. No 'source' had to tell me that. It's been on the wires for hours.

Get over yourself. Pretty much close to 100% of you (and by 'you,' I also mean 'me') are only claiming you have 'sources' out of self-importance. You're not Woodward. You're not Bernstein. You don't have 'sources.' You've got the same damn Internet access to 1010 WINS that the rest of us have.

Or so my sources tell me...

If I were Charles Rangel, I think I'd be very, very worried...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One more thought on the Spitzer fiasco, and then I'm probably done.

While I think it's impossible for him to continue as governor and have any hope of effectiveness, there is life after elected office. Especially in Albany.

Take this quote from the Albany Times-Union, for example:

Ryan Karben, a former Democratic assemblyman from Rockland County, said the governor could get past the scandal. Karben, a lobbyist on Spitzer's finance committee, said: "This is a very smart, extrordinarily capable man with tremendous resilience. If he's determined this is a battle he wants to fight, I think he's got a lot of fight in him."

Karben should know that you always get second chances in Albany.

And third chances.


Or, "Guvs Gone Wild!"

But seriously, folks...

When all is said and done, I could not care less about consensual sexual contact, with or without a price tag attached. As far as I'm concerned, that's between you, your partner(s), and your conscience.

However, I am concerned about financial shenanigans. The fact that the governor allegedly had a shell corporation he used to move money through -- which is what tipped off the IRS, who then tipped off the FBI, because they thought maybe the money was being used for bribes instead of hookers -- isn't a good thing. A smart guy like Eliot Spitzer should have known that the paper trail he was (allegedly) creating stood a good chance of coming back to bite him in the ass one day. Someone who spent 8 years as New York State's Attorney General -- "the Sheriff of Wall Street" -- should have figured that out by now.

But, more than anything else, I am concerned about the effectiveness of our governmental leaders.

After a rocky first year in which Spitzer seemed determined to destroy every possible legislative relationship -- which, by the way, demonstrated incredible naivety; most legislators weren't scared of him or his act, just annoyed -- I had hoped that 2008 would the year in which he used leadership and education, instead of spittle-flecked attempts at intimidation, to move his agenda forward.

When I saw him speak at a breakfast a few weeks ago, he seemed prepared to make his case and work with -- not against -- lawmakers in Albany to institute some solid reforms and accomplishments. Maybe 2008 would truly be his 'Day One.' Or maybe not. We'll never know now.

The fact is that this scandal has now decimated his ability to lead and govern effectively. I can see no way for him to recover.

Not that anyone asked me or anyone cares, but I would not call on him to resign. That's a decision he (or perhaps the federal government) will make. But if Eliot Spitzer remains in the Governor's Mansion, I can assure you that his agenda will be nothing more than a waste of paper, and the moral authority he has tried so unskillfully to use will be worth even less.

That's too bad. A lot of people in Albany could use a good ass-kicking, but Spitzer first overdid it, then fatally compromised himself and his authority.

There's a moral to this story, but that moral has been the basis of tragedy for centuries. Too bad some people still don't get it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mormons Gone Wild!

Friday, March 07, 2008

So in a few weeks, I will be returning to the family's forty acres in Western New York. Two reasons: parental health concerns, and an event that I can't detail here because I don't know who might be reading this blog. (With literally tens of daily readers, how can I be expected to keep up?)

The Top Secret Event will require me to travel to the metropolis of LeRoy, New York, on Saturday night. Now the problem with LeRoy is that it's, well... not really near anything:

Nope. Not near anything at all. It would probably take an hour to get back to the Byrnes Mansion (in the Rochester suburbs just north of Victor; which you can find on the map if you really care enough) and Buffalo is not only as far away, it's in the opposite direction of my planned escape route due east on Sunday.

Which is why I found myself Googling for motels near LeRoy. Of which there are approximately none, so I'll have to improvise when we get closer to the date.

Still, my research paid off in a very important way. Because LeRoy is not without its attractions.

In fact, I'm already planning to extend my trip for a few more days so that I can fully enjoy The Jell-O Museum without feeling rushed. Don't worry; you'll get a postcard.

File this entry under "Don't You Wish You Were Me?"

Well... they are as soon as you get to the 15th picture in this slideshow.

Oh, and by the way?

Don't want.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hmm. It seems I have a MySpace page. I don't remember doing that, let alone when I did it... let alone why. I guess this means I probably shouldn't play on the Internet while under the influence.

(That, and those messy-silly or messy-belligerent or just plain messy replies to work e-mail at 11:30 PM. Yeah, I've definitely got to cut down on that. Maybe I'll start next week.

But anyway, my new (I suppose) MySpace page is out there, and the entire world can now see I have no friends. So if you have a MySpace account, please ask me to be your friend. Then we can do fun things like leaving each other St. Patrick's Day animated gifs of leprechauns dropping their pants, and rummaging through the other's list of friends to see if there's anyone we can poach.

While you're at it, I'm also looking kind of lame on Facebook. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Matt Drudge ensures no person with a worldly mind will be able to sleep tonight:

I'll give it three days. Then if the mental imagery is still there, I'm either killing myself or going Mormon.

This is funny.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

You'd think I'd be used to it by now. But it still hurts.

Stupid Eliot Spitzer.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Or, "We'd like to Thank You, Henry Hoover."

Or, "This Sucks."

Or, "Post-Coital Clean-Up Made Easy."

Okay, I'm done now. Back to work.

(via Fark)