nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    how was my first day at work? 

    it was like a dream that never stopped.

    i got there on time. headed to the orientation. an hour later the publisher of the company showed up to say hi and give us a little background about the paper. he talked about how things are changing in the business and how the new direction is online.

    “is anyone here going to be working online?”

    i raised my hand.

    “what are you going to be doing?”

    Blog Editor.

    he hesitated and said, “what’s your name?”

    i told him and he smiled. “i read about you.”

    nice. he smiled and said, “i have a blog. but it’s not easy. that takes a lot of discipline. maybe i need an editor. ha ha. so you ran LAist so well with a big staff and you didn’t pay anyone? welcome!”

    later we took a great tour of the place. who knew the place got blown up in 1910? not me. then we had lunch in the cafeteria and the dude made pasta for me while telling me jokes.

    then around 3pm i was led to my office. and right away i was dragged into a meeting and this guy whose an expert with newspapers and online content asked me all these questions and wrote down my answers and i asked him questions and he was all, wow these are great. and i was all, im being punk’d right?

    wrong. then there was a holiday party for the online dept and there was the publisher, mr hiller again. but i was hungry. there as all this food. two bars. free wine and beer. my boss introduced me to everyone. i met her handsome husband who is a cameraman for the NYT who goes to dangerous places like Darfur. we joked.

    then i saw mr hiller applauding loudly for all the employees who were singing karaoke in the party room. i was all, THIS is the stuffy LA Times? this is old media? im dreaming right?

    he waved me over. we talked for a good 15 minutes. he asked me again about his blog. i told him, your problem is you have a great life. “good life, bad blog.” we took a picture (above) and 15 minutes later he circulated around and said, “good life bad blog. hahahaha.”

    then i met this guy with sandals and no socks and i said dude, youre my hero. and he said, dude, i cant believe a celebrity is saying that to me. i was all what? he said, i wanted to join your fantasy football league this year but you didnt have one? i was all get out. he said yes, ive been reading you for years. then his buddies showed up and they all were Clipper Girl, Anna Kournikova, karisa! turned out it was the development team. wonderfully dressed geniuses.

    busblog readers!

    so after i finished my third beer they gave me a tour of their huge offices and they said, tony anything you want to do here you’ve got the Tech Team behind you.

    then my boss said, i dont wanna see you here before 10am.

    and thats when i knew i was being punk’d.

    we’ll see in an hour if my ID card really works cuz i cant imagine a better first day than that.

  2. Monday, December 17, 2007

    i had the greatest first day at work today. 

    but first an old poem.

    “the best virgin marys”

    The Italians painted the best
    virgin marys
    next to the Dutch
    and she looks like the dark haired
    olive tint
    not the complete Mary but her complement
    her knitting friend who Mary
    whispers to
    “Joseph last night was so cute”
    Mary tells her as the donkey drinks from the river
    “he leaned over to kiss me
    but he stopped himself
    I told him we’ve been married ten
    our son is the messiah
    you have nothing to fear silly man.”
    I teller she looks like Mary’s best friend and she
    smiles trying to sleep with her hands in praying formation
    under her head
    gold inexpensive earrings still on
    eyes closed teeth shimmering
    as christmas lights sparkle in my bedroom.
    are you marys friend i ask
    did you come down here to keep an eye on
    me and warm not just my heart but
    it feels like this whole house is alive
    my fruit punch soda tastes bubblier
    my burrito tastes guacamolier
    my old face seems happier
    did you come down here to do all
    that for me
    shes sleep
    I whisper is mary your best friend and you seller
    and she sells you avon but you dont
    wear it cuz you just dont
    but you love each other
    and now you love me
    yes yes she says now hush she smiles opening one eye

  3. today i start my fancy new job 

    i dont know why this job makes me more nervous than any of the others. i feel like i know more about this one going into it than all the others, but in some ways maybe i dont.

    i just spent all night going through facebook looking at everyone who listed The Los Angeles Times as their employer. theres a lot of people in there including my boss and the young woman im replacing, and the woman who i will be sharing an office with.

    maybe im nervous because i know what i wanna do there. and i think i know how to do it. and i think they want me to do it. and all eyez are on 2pac. and im so ready to rock.

    but before i lay my head to sleep i wanna give a shout out to my man matt welch. he set a great precedent to what a Daily Nexus alumn could do at the Times, and it was his move to Reason which inspired me to ask him who to write to get the gig that i got. if he had stayed pat i probably would have too. and sure enough all of his advice and all of his predictions were true. all the cool people who he said were cool were cool, and all the haters who he said would come out of the woodwork did so.

    when i was a kid there was this game i was fascinated with. more of a toy really than a game. called barrel of monkeys. ive been thinking of that thing a lot lately. seems that there are monkeys who wanna try to stop you from climbing out of the barrel, and there are 1 or 2 who will try to help you get out of there.

    LAist was the greatest barrel ive been in since college. it was everything a man could dream of and to be honest i really thought id be there for years and years and years. it was perfecto for me. the only thing that could have lured me away was to work for MTV, Playboy, the Cubs, or the LA Times. in this capacity. either writing their main blog or running all their blogs.

    its so bizarre for this to actually happen. so bizarre. remember when the cubs were good? the year of bartman? this is more bizarre than that because after 90 years you sorta thought that SOME DAY the cubs would get it together. but there are so many people who dont get the chance to do the one thing that they know they can destroy at.

    my buddy charlie was over with basart and jeanine the other night and we were all getting drunk and charlie started firing off all these hard questions all in a row. it was awesome. this morning he called to apologize, but there was no need for that. thats what friends are for, and in a way thats a way of being a good monkey. and if theres one person who has been blessed with the greatest smartest best friends, it’s yours stupidly. i needed to get drunk this weekend. i needed to cuddle with jeanine. i needed to eat drink and see tsar. i didnt know i needed it, just like i didnt know i needed welchie to become eic of reason, but i did.

    and just like when i got my last job, i promise you i wont fuck this up for the next monkeys to follow. in fact i will do all i can to help others out of their little worlds and into the sunshine.

    if i wake up early enough im gonna walk to the subway, ride it while listening to britney on my iphone and thank the Lord while reading my local paper. not believing any of it. and again my thanks extends to the readers of the busblog cuz this is where it all began and if anyone knows that its me so thanks for always being here.


    this is where im going for new years in a few weeks.

    looks like im not so smart after all.

  4. Sunday, December 16, 2007
  5. Friday, December 14, 2007

    today is my last official day running LAist 

    very mixed feelings. mostly sad. yes im excited to go change the world, but LAist was like being able to have the keys to that 66 mustang convertible with one instruction: floor it, fucker.

    and then half way through the race learning about nitrous.

    yes soon i will be part of a team that has the keys to the space shuttle, but you never forget your first girl. LAist was the first time i was able to do something i loved professionally and i was given all the freedom to try whatever i wanted: doing donuts on ice, jumping over semis, participating in the Cannonball Run. it still blows my mind that 4 months into the gig i asked if i could drive around the country and blog and my bosses said, go for it.

    although i am pretty sure that my new boss is going to be just as open minded and trusting in me as my previous bosses, heres one thing that the Gothamist head honchos implemented recently that i love – they opened up our stats for all to see.

    this is the main page of our Site Meter, which is like showing someone your bank statement. its scary for a lot of sites to do this because many sites lie to their advertisers and competitors about their hits. part of Web 2.0 is transparency and it will be interesting to see who tries to take shots at LAist in the future when they have their inevitable dips in hits. interesting because many who might use this transparency against them wont have their stats published publicly and/or wont have other Web 2.0 features like open or unmoderated comments.

    but be careful with stats as they dont tell the whole story. for example, if you look at LAist’s monthly numbers over the last 6 months, it might look like we are on a downswing due to our monster September. truth of the matter was we would have probably hit 1 million in September but on the last day of the month we found ourselves with 2 stories on Digg’s top 20 early in the morning and they stayed there all day giving us like 350k hits in one damn day. yes we earned all of those pageviews, but it was such an improbable accomplishment that it was impossible to repeat during the months following. so in actuality, a better way to look at that trend is to say, yeah LAist has consistently averaged about 1 million pageviews for the last 6 months (even though august was below 900k and september was way above.)

    inside blogging, i know, but for the three of you out there who enjoy it, root around in our stats and have fun.

    the graph above is our stats for the last 30 days. take a good look at how our team was able to crank it up a smidge whenever we wanted, be it a few days before the end of the month, or during the last days of my regime. if LAist was a car, it was a car that responded so willingly to anything the team wanted. so awesome. so perfect. i will miss the team and that gorgeous vehicle.

  6. Thursday, December 13, 2007

    its been freezing here in LA lately 

    not midwest or back east freezing, but trust me, it’s not the type of weather where ANYONE would wanna run around in their victoria’s secrets

    which is why i gotta give it up to the thousands of UCLA Bruins who strip down every quarter and run around their campus

    guess who has the photos fer yr ass?

    two parts, in fact.

    and yes it basically tripled the hits we normally get on a thursday. which is great because i didnt wanna leave LAist with a bad month on my exit, especially during a month that has some very good excuses to be slow.

    major props to adam, henry, zach, and andy

  7. Wednesday, December 12, 2007
  8. Tuesday, December 11, 2007
  9. yes i saw barack last night 

    and took lots of pics, and had great seats cuz im press

    but still nothing impresses me more than the Ron Paul movement

    cuz its not about celebrity, it’s not about race or sex, it’s about

    immediate withdrawal from Iraq, the end of the war on drugs
    the end of income tax, and the end of trying to be the World Police

    yes i saw women cry at what Barack had to say, and yes i saw little kids shut up for a half hour

    and yes i saw some really cute co-eds of all races.

    but Ron Paul stands for pretty much everything that most smart people have been complaining about for a long time.

    and his grassroots movement is something that I havent seen – ever.

    here’s a clip from an upcoming PBS special on him.

    this is what makes me emotional.

  10. Monday, December 10, 2007

    im about to hear barack obama speak 

    a black man who’s winning in some of the polls as he runs for president of the united states.

    in california just like in the rest of the world, anything can happen, so have your suit ready.

    if you are really being you, and not selling out, and not pretending, and not saying the things that you think people want to hear, you might be pleasantly surprised with what people say in return.

    i go to enough rock shows to know that the kids dont wanna hear what the last guy said. they dont wanna see what they saw last week.

    they wanna see you.

    so have your dress shoes ready and have your black socks in em and waiting.

    i dance with enough pretty girls and hear their tales and time after time i hear the same mistakes that men and boys of all ages make.

    women wanna dance with a man. they dont want boys.

    men wanna be inspired by men. so have the courage to be who you are, fellas. warts and all.

    and have your tie ready to rock.

    people read the comments that i get on LAist and the ones i used to get on here and they ask me how does it feel to get called an asshole or a dick or this or that and they ask how i developed my thick skin.

    and i say its better not to have any skin at all, because if they prick you then you will bleed.

    dont have any skin and it will go right through you.

    be like the dudes in bodyworlds. let strangers stare at you and be grossed out or inspired or whatever. but have your top hat ready cuz the time might come when you have to hit the stage to tell your tale.

    and youre gonna wanna represent.