Friday, September 21, 2018
chicago taught me everything.
i heard myself talking to people but i was really just talking to myself.
forget about everything else
you’re younger than you think
take pictures of everything
you’re not alone
this beer tastes like shit
midwest summertime humidity and hospitality is the most magical healing combo ive experienced and trust me ive been around the block
the city and suburbs were warm and green and people, rich and poor look you in the eye and tell you right what they think
people had cubs hats on, way more sox hats than i expected, bears shirts, and smiles.
i spotted more than i expected shirtless men.
and amber seriously fell in love with all of it while all along i kept saying this is all a beautiful illusion, for winter is coming.
when you get older and you return to certain places you say, oh yeah, over there used to be the bank and before that it was dinner theater and before that it was a drug store
this time i was turning the dial on the radio and there was no more The Loop.
one day i’d turn it there and its like love songs or something and i kept it there for longer than i shoulda
like i was waiting for something magical to happen and it would come back.
but it never did.
it never does.)
Monday, September 17, 2018
because yesterday at wrigley field it was AT LEAST 90 degrees, probably hotter, with no wind in the Windy City, no shade in the center field bleachers for the 1:20pm start, so i had to use a formerly blonde girl as my umbrella which was fine until she melted in my hands like a chocolate Easter bunny left in a parked car in July in Mexico City.
but i drank Old Style, poured water on my head, hid out beneath the bleachers, and put a Slushie down my shorts. it was Heaven, even though the Cubs didn’t win.
This was Amber’s first trip to Chicago and I hope she had a good time. When we went to the only stand that serves Old Style, she spotted Nachos on the menu and asked if it came with Pico de Guy-o. i was all, girl these people don’t know what that is. (and they didn’t), instead they said, if you get the nachos in the Cubs helmet it comes with EVERYTHING WE HAVE (for the low price of $20). when we saw the Cubs at Dodger Stadium she had nacho envy any time she spied someone eating out of a helmet so she didnt pass up the chance of eating all that gooey cheese and chili (!) in the Friendly Confines.
we were there with my long time friend Monica who ive known since the first day of high school, her handsome husband Patrick, and later we met up with Andy Sternberg and his friend (whose brother has been beating me in the busblog fantasy leagues for far too long)
here we are beneath the bleachers hiding from the heat as we ate and drank and watched the game on tv alongside two football games and enjoying the Cub fans root against the Packers on such a good Sunday it was hard to believe.
and im telling you ive never sweated so much in my life. i immediately took my shirt off despite my belly that reveals im 7 months pregnant (it’s a boy!) but that did no good. so i took off my pants. then my socks. and finally my fur coat. still the sweat was pouring out of me like i had sprung a leak. speaking of… there was a rumor that gentlemen were no longer allowed to take their shirts off at wrigley any longer, especially in the Bleachers. which was something that i couldn’t wait to get thrown in jail for. because some of my favorite baseball men had bared their boobies in the bleachers in the past.
the best being mr bill veeck, who planted the ivy on the walls of wrigley way back.
who had a wooden leg.
who even though he bought the white sox and turned the old comiskey into such a fun place – despite being riddled with american league bozos and south side fans.
the point bill was always making, was the same thing that Andrew W.K. makes today, which is life is short, take off your shirt, and party party party because soon we will be dead and in Heaven and we will have to be ready for the ultimate party up there, which probably also does not include shirts or both of our legs. so lets get some practice in now.
and of course the other is the grand daddy of them all, Mr. Harry Caray who also didn’t have the most Grecian physique but did. not. give. one. fuck. are we not men? and look, the ladies loved him for it. as did the kids. as did the long haired stoners. as did every man woman and child. for fun is universal and man boobs and bellies denote a certain freedom and joie de vreeve that we all admire and desire. so fuck yeah i took my shirt off immediately and wiped my face with it because it was hotter than than a stripper on a mid day pole and i was sweating harder than a long tailed cat at a rocking chair convention. throw me out copper – but they never did for they were hot as hell too.
which brings us to Old Style.
i am a man of a certain age
who remembers a time when the bleachers were not always packed (or $70 on stub hub), and people weren’t clamoring to build houses and hotels on the monopoly boards of Clark and Addison.
indeed, my mom would give teenage me $10 to go to the game, and $3 got us a bleacher seat, $5 got you an old style, and you could probably get a hot dog for $2 and you were in hog heaven. apparently it’s tough to pay millionaires tens of millions more to play for your team with those sorts of prices, and people really do love their beer, so jack up the rates they did. but they also cut certain deals with giant brewers like Budweiser to make them the semi-exclusive distributor of suds in the stands.
but somehow even these genius businesspeople know that Old Style is as synonymous to the Cubs as ivy and day games. so ownership, God Bless em, told Bud that they really couldn’t rip Lacrosse Wisconsin’s greatest export from Wrigley, in part because men my age are nostalgic about certain things like our first beer. And we will pay top dollar and we will seek out the one stand beneath the stands that no one goes to, in order to relive their childhood.
and that stand still exists under the right field bleachers and a portion of the proceeds goes to a special school on the North West Side of town and i guess that made it ok for Budweiser which made it ok with the Cubs which made it ok with the world. so i buy it and drink it and love it. OK?!
the Brewers lost too which brought the Cubs Magic Number down to 11. the team travels to AZ today to take on the red hot Diamondbacks as part of a 30-game stretch without a day off. and they are def limping into Bethlehem barely able to scratch a run or two together, but fortunately the pitching is so strong.
like my B.O.
Sunday, September 16, 2018
she wants to move here. it’s quiet. i say what about those planes flying overhead.
she says what planes. i say what about all of these big box stores going out of business.
she says have you seen how cheap houses are?
i say what about all the malls dying. she says i have seen zero homeless people.
she says look there are kids playing in the streets. look theres black kids on bikes.
look theres woods everywhere and green grass and clean streets and fresh air.
no grafitti. the cops wave at you. there are two high schools, one just for the freshmen and sophomores so they wont get beat up by the upper classmen.
look at all the land people have. look at the colors. gas is only how much!
lets move. lets move lets move she says.
i say, this is all an illusion, a siren song, a mirage of the lotus eaters.
for winter is coming, sweet valley girl.
and soon the white walkers who bring with them black ice. wind chill.
and all this green grass and leafy trees and happiness
flees to california
where it’s safe.
she says lets move here.
Friday, September 14, 2018
a long time ago i had a beautiful and insightful girlfriend named Ashley.
one of her complaints about me was that she said i was never satisfied.
when she said it i didn’t believe it. ive always thought of myself as laissez-faire, chill, and laid back.
but now that amber and i have lived together for over a year, im beginning to see the wisdom in young ashley’s critique.
amber actually IS chill. she doesn’t complain about squat except if i have the tv on when shes trying to sleep. thats all.
me, i have a long list of things i want her to do, unasked for advice about her job, i’ll even take over the cooking when i see she’s not using 2x the amount of water thats necessary when shes making rice-based dishes.
is there any wonder ive been a bachelor my entire life? who could withstand such a barrage of negative blather from the man who was advertised as someone who allegedly doesnt give AF.
apparently i do. apparently i want everything a certain way. when you look at my house you dont see the results of a detail-orientated fellow, but if you live with me for more than a week, real tony shows up and HE HAS NOTES.
i hereby apologize to all of my girlfriends who had to withstand this. it’s not pretty, it’s not fun. it’s not funny.
im gonna get amber a bell, i want her to ring it every time i whine about something stupid.
maybe i will get her two.
Thursday, September 13, 2018
as i drive around this fair city i enjoy having others read to me
Morrissey’s autobiography was a delight mostly because Moz is an exceptional writer
and it makes me feel like i should stop watching so much TV and start reading
you know, actual books
because when you hear someone lie Morrissey explain things or describe things
and every sentence is so descriptive with analogies and metaphors that come from ancient scrolls
and legendary literature and you’re all, wait was that original or a Shakespearian quote
you feel equal parts excited and ignorant.
i also liked that he just wanted England to love him and it didnt. not like LA or Mexico or Scandinavia.
here people would dress like him and scream his lyrics right back at him and fill up this one and that one
theyd damn near riot, but in his beloved UK they’d barely bat their lashes
i also like that his record labels barely supported him and no one knew what to do with his successes.
it is a pattern that i have seen in my own life: some people and organizations are built for mediocrity
they have zero interest in wild success, all they want to do is keep on keeping on.
they don’t want failure, but in an odd way they feel more comfortable with a hiccup or two
than they are huge accomplishments.
they’re terrified of breaking records, leading the pack, or breaking through to the new thing.
here The Smiths and Morrissey were selling hand over fist – even when the group broke up, yet the labels were far more willing to spend endless amounts of time and effort into the unproven and even failed,
than they were to the quirky vegetarian straight edge asexual exception to the rule.
in the book he even says that Michael Stipe has always wanted to go solo.
Saturday, September 8, 2018
and for me doing things takes a little time. i can knock out certain things quickly but when i care about them time goes so quickly to catch up with my mind
im on schedule. have no fear. but when i do stuff i think about three or four steps ahead which is cool except it makes me stumble on the step im currently on.
ive asked the young kids i used to work with what their thoughts are on Adderall because i saw a movie on Netflix about how every kid in college is on it because it helps them focus and they had mixed reviews.
they said sure if you wanna clean your room in a night or paint details on a huge blank wall. but you can get addicted, it’s not cheap, and it fucks up your sleep. i’ll just stick to bad music, incense and Mexicokes.
been dropping off Birds at 5am. im a weirdo. it pays ok. a little less than Uber and for some reason it uses up more gas than i expected but it sends me into alleys and back ways and bizarre parts of LA that i wouldnt normally go to.
ran into two gay guys last night in hollywood. one of them was pulling up his pants. so much love out there. or hookers. hard to tell sometimes. whatever, love it is.
speaking of Love one thing i love about Hollywood is how you will see a perfectly good Ma & Pa Kettle house made of wood, with a porch and a brick fireplace right next to a 19 story modern hotel right next to a McMansion. everyone in their place. everyone wanting to be somewhere else. bigger, shinier, more secluded. more rocking. bigger pool.
i just wanna always feel like everythings ok. and right now its pretty ok.
speaking of Love, 20 years ago today Hole came out with Celebrity Skin named after the magazine or glam band or JK long live courtney.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
when we shake hands or hug or kiss cheeks we are saying
we are world travelers in time and space and emotions but here we are at the same spot together
because the world is small.
when we refuse to touch, when we deny that moment of humanism, brotherhood, sisterhood
we are saying the world frightens me, you scare me, your hand your intentions, your mind.
when we refuse, you are saying, i want to be in my world and mine is different than yours
yours is one of x, y, and z and mine is nothing at all like yours, and certainly not from a
loving, trusting, honestly communicating place.
when he refuses your hand, he is saying, i cannot even pretend to be civil right now
NO I CANT EVEN
he is saying i am of a different class than you, a better one – even if i am weak.
when we shake hands we are saying we are one, we are we, we have very briefly unionized and merged.
but when we refuse that hand, that very simple gesture that goes back all the way to the begining
we are saying this is not the begining
it is the end.
and we have both failed.
Monday, September 3, 2018
you know the guy who did the music for Jaws, Star Wars, the Olympics, E.T. and all your favorite movies?
Steven Spielberg MCed some of it and I was thinking, i wonder how much he got paid. $10k? $5k?
amber thinks he did it for nothing because he loves John, who is getting up there in years, but if i was rich like John i’d throw my man $10k for showing up.
a few days before that we went to see Smashing Pumpkins at the Forum who played for 3 hours.
i aint got time for no 3 hour show so we left but i was very entertained none the less. someone on Twitter a while back said that rock shows should start at 7pm sharp, the opener should start at 8 and we should be out of there by 10:30pm. im ok with that.
because im so extremely old.
speaking of, ive been using some of my back muscles that i havent used in centuries and ive been lifting these heavy things to put food on my family’s table, and my back was furious with me, so i laid sideways on my bed and did these leg stretches and then rolled over on the other side and stretched. then i took Amber’s neck massager and laid on it.
then like how baseball pitchers dont pitch every day, i took a day off and voila, cured. thanks Lord. but i think imma go back to driving Uber for the side hustle. it may pay better and doesnt hurt me.
the main hustle starts tomorrow, anew. my last day at the old job was Friday and it was very bittersweet. i really enjoyed working with so many of the people there, but it was obvs that i was a square peg. which is A-OK with me. so i got donuts for everyone and wrote some notes to some people. completion.
what will come of the secret project? mansions and pool houses, duh.
Thursday, August 30, 2018
which is a good thing and a scary thing, but mostly good.
i cant wait to tell you about them, but i have always wanted to be such a different person than who i am.
i want to be the type of man who keeps everything secret. i watch Tony Soprano and he wont even tell his crew what he is up to.
when he gets on the phone he talks about “that thing of ours.” without revealing a damn clue.
im good with other people’s secrets, but for me im a huge blabbermouth.
why? am i looking for approval? do i want everyone to love me? i know hardly anyones gonna love me.
maybe because it’s front of mind. and when im on a project that i love i’m consumed by it.
well this next thing is gonna be an all encompassing bon fire of earthly delights, thats all i gotta say
and when it’s time to really get into great detail, trust me, you’ll be notified properly.
just know that what im fixin to do is risky, but if it ends up being what im planning on it being
it could be a literal life saver.
and thats what the xbi is alllllll about.