busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Sunday, April 5, 2020

    i believe people are more good than bad too 

    I see a lot of people watching old baseball games on YouTube, and that’s fine. But this morning I watched Barack Obama’s last press conference as POTUS to see if I could notice any differences and similarities to the pressers we have been watching recently.

    I had forgotten that the last question that he took was from a reporter who had been covering him for a very long time. The context is HRC had won by 3 million votes, but, thanks to the Electoral College someone else got to be president.

    Imagine your favorite sports team soundly thumping its opponent, but losing due to some ancient rule that today makes no sense, and now the coach has to answer questions from the press in the “loser’s” locker room.

    This part struck me as something you’d have expected a speech writer to have crafted over some time, but it just eased out of him.

    “I believe in this country. I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad. I believe tragic things happen. I believe there’s evil in the world, but I think that at the end of the day, if we work hard, and if we are true to those things in us that feel true and feel right that the world gets a little better each time. That’s what this presidency has tried to be about.”

     

  2. the last two nights have been good 

    its weird that they’re not all good, but these are weird times

    ambers obsessed with Italy and china and now Sweden because Sweden has decided not to go 100% and are still frolicking near the fjords and walking around without masks or gloves

    breaks my heart because what wonderful people.

    problem is, Denmark is doing it the way we are and they have the same percentage of deaths as Sweden so the Swedes are all, fuckit, we barely get sun, we’re going outside.

    RIP

    another person who had been doing it wrong a lot is beloved Dr. Drew

    when i first moved to LA i was shocked when i discovered Love Lines late at night on KROQ

    it was a sex advice show that mostly teens called in and talked about their sexual exploits and asked either health or psychological questions to the doc and a KROQ DJ, first it was Poorman then it was Ricky Rachman and then Adam Corrola

    i was 17, straight outta the culdesac of the suburbs of IL. the mere fact that these kids my age even were having sex was wild to me, never mind that they were talking about threesomes and disease and all this stuff so causally that to me was super foreign

    Drew was the voice of calm, fatherly, scientific advice.

    i guess over the years his reputation has taken a beating and for the last few months he’s been saying that this would basically be the flu and while NYC wasn’t riding the subways, he proudly said he was.

    note to the future: during this era, for some reason health safety was a partisan issue. for some reason Republicans felt that obeying the scientists was admitting some sort of weird defeat to the Dems who were quick to see how dangerous this is, and had several plans with how to deal with it.

    Meanwhile the Republicans downplayed it and dismissed it, in part, because that’s how Trump was addressing it. On Friday for example, Trump read the statement that the CDC was recommending that people wear masks when they go outside, and then followed that by saying “but i wont wear a mask.”

    Amber says he’s trying to be a Cool Dad, sitting backwards on a chair, reluctant to stop shaking hands with people.

    Amber is losing her mind being trapped in this small apartment with me.

    im not a normal person

  3. Saturday, April 4, 2020

    stolen from the web 

    *A RECAP OF THE LAST THREE WEEKS*

    AMERICA: Oh my god! Coronavirus! What should we do?

    CALIFORNIA: Shut down your state.

    AMERICA: Wait… what? Why?

    CALIFORNIA: Because 40 million people live here and we did it early, and it’s working.

    OHIO: Whoa… whoa… let’s not be hasty now. The president said that this whole coronavirus thing is a democratic hoax.

    CALIFORNIA: He also said that windmills cause cancer. Shut down your state.

    TEXAS: But the president said that we only have 15 cases and soon it’ll be zero.

    CALIFORNIA: The president can’t count to fifteen. Nor even spell it. Shut down your state.

    NEW JERSEY: Us too?

    CALIFORNIA: Yes, you guys too. Just like when Christie shut down the bridge, but it’s your whole state.

    FLORIDA: But what about all these kids here on spring break?? They spend a lot of money here!

    CALIFORNIA: Those kids invented the tide pod challenge. Shut down your state.

    LOUISIANA: But wait let’s have Mardi Gras first. It entertains people.

    CALIFORNIA: It also kills them. Shut it down.

    GEORGIA: Ok well how about we keep the state open for all of our mega churches? Maybe we can all pray really hard until the coronavirus just goes away!

    CALIFORNIA: Which is working like a charm for mass shootings. Jesus told us to tell you to shut down your state.

    OKLAHOMA: What about the tigers?

    CALIFORNIA: What about a dentist. Shut it down.

    WYOMING: Hold up, maybe we should go county by county like the president said.

    CALIFORNIA: Stop acting like there are counties in Wyoming. There are no counties in Wyoming. Wyoming is a county. Shut it down.

    PENNSYLVANIA: But big coal.

    CALIFORNIA: But big death. Shut it.

    WEST VIRGINIA: But we were the last state to get coronavirus!

    CALIFORNIA: And don’t make us explain to you why that was. Shut it down.

    NORTH CAROLINA: But the republican national convention is coming here!

    CALIFORNIA: SHU… ok fine, do what you want.

    (*cut&paste from the internets)

  4. Friday, April 3, 2020

    it was a good week and now it’s done 

    i did some good things, i did some things im very happy about.

    i couldnt connect with some people and that made me sad

    and some things ended that i wasnt expecting.

    but lets talk about procrastination.

    i have a tiny little attention span. call me crazy.

    and when that window is open i can do so well.

    almost every post on this blog, since 2001, was written under 30 minutes

    but for work i spend hours.

    some people spend days or weeks but i get so bored by then

    which is hard because sometimes it does take days to get things done.

    youve gotta talk to one more person or your editor wants you to add one more thing or somethings too long or something doesnt make sense or things change

    all of that annoys me.

    i want to take a snapshot of that moment and go on to the next thing.

    procrastination means i didnt snap quickly enough.

    even if i love what i am looking at, i dont want to savor it. i shouldnt. i should just do it because im gonna get bored.

    a few weeks ago i was at a walmart and i saw something cool and i talked to a woman who was fascinating and i wanted to rush home and write it down but one thing led to another, i think i picked amber up at work and then we went somewhere.

    then she looked me up and down and couldnt keep her hands off me.

    then we danced on the lawn. then we laughed and laughed

    and fell asleep.

    ive been procrastinating this walmart story for weeks.

    dont get me wrong, in the meantime ive been writing my tail off.

    so today it was in the schedule that i would have it done. and i had a phone meeting at 8pm and all day i procrastinated it. then at 7 i started and by 730 it was pretty much done. and for that next half hour i polished it up real nice like. and i was relieved

    like taking a giant dump. i feel ten pounds lighter.

    i felt free.

    i took a shower, kissed the girl, flipped on some porn and waited for her to finish this amazing dinner she was cooking. turned on bill maher.

    i just felt incredible

    and now i want to figure out how i can feel this way every friday.

    work really hard for a week and then on that friday be done.

    be good and done.

    be super complete.

    i feel so… professional… adult… accomplished… smart when i do the thing i say i was gonna do and its on time

    and its better than i pitched it.

    this is truly good.

    the thing i did about the masks from los angeles apparel was good

    the thing i did about this other thing is good.

    i feel good.

    and i feel lucky.

    and i thank God for letting me have the opportunity to have these feelings

    because right now so few feel good.

  5. Monday, March 30, 2020

    today the white house health experts said 

    it’s gonna be between 100k-200k people who will die.

    on one hand that sounds like a lot, on the other, when you factor in how long it took us all to get in our damn house

    it doesnt seem like many considering how many live here.

    also, they say it’ll only take a few months.

    if it’s longer, ive got ideas. let me tell you.

    either way, and i have to say that this is an odd feeling

    i feel like i got it earlier this month but i didnt have the fever.

    for two days it was pure evil.

    nothing worked so i just stopped trying and eventually it just died.

    imagine if my fast food injected blood could help be a help for the cure

    why dont they test everyone when we get the mail every morning

    we’re home for pete sake.

    im working hard but i got time to hand over some blood for the nation

  6. Saturday, March 28, 2020

    this month has been busy for journalists – and me 

    here’s what i wrote and co-wrote for Los Angeleno this month

    it’s been wild

    As Pot Sales Boom, Many Encourage Smoke-Free Consumption

    Coronavirus: L.A. Beaches Close; Free Bus Rides for Some of L.A. County

    Dear L.A. Times: Take Down Your Paywall

    Coronavirus: L.A.’s Crime is Down; Angels Star ‘Going Crazy’ at Home

    Angelenos Answer: ‘Are You Middle Class?’

    Local Food Bank Triples in Business, Gets A Bump from Artist Shepard Fairey

    10 Things That Are Suddenly Free

    Coronavirus: A Pause in Mortgage Payments; Beware Zoombombing

    An Open Letter to Uber and Lyft Drivers Right Now

    Coronavirus: Sheriff Warns Strip Clubs to Shutter, MOCA Layoffs

    Predictions for a Post-Coronavirus 2020

    Coronavirus: Garcetti Puts the Kibosh on Hiking, Questions Rise About Test Access

    Coronavirus: 292 Confirmed Cases in the County, Chinese Restaurants Face Xenophobia

    Coronavirus: Governor Asks for Navy Ship to Dock in L.A., Glendora Man Dies After Visiting Florida

    10 Films Streaming Right Now That Will Transport You

    Coronavirus: L.A. County Courts Close; Apple Pan Delivers

    Coronavirus: Moratorium on Parking Tickets; Sheriff to Release Over 600 Inmates

    Meet the Bernie — and Trump — Supporters Hanging Out in Venice

  7. Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    is the world ending? yes. but on purpose. 

    when i was in college — even when i was in the college of creative studies, a place advertised as being an oasis for free thinking and out of the box ideas — i wasn’t always loved by my teachers.

    i had one guy who taught a bible as literature class. he didnt like me. not one bit. which was sad because i liked him and that bible class was part of the reason that i have read the bible 4-5 times now all the way through.

    in the end of the bible [spoiler alert], the world goes to shit. theres locust the size of horses, riding horses, fucking shit up, plagues, terrible things. for some reason in my minds eye theres molten lava everywhere.

    certainly not an environment where you could get good cell phone reception or high internet speeds.

    so in class we were reading Matthew 5. and in my paper (only papers in this class, no tests, hallelujah) i ask, “why is Matthew saying the meek are going to be rewarded with the Earth. does someone really aspire to get a gift that will be fucked up to shit with locust riding locusts roaming about and other creatures like this one that “rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth the mouth of a lion.”

    if a cockroach rises up from the sink drain my girlfriend freaks out, why would anyone, let alone the meek, want to inherit The Earth, if this is what it’s future includes, i asked.

    well my teacher got pissed. i’ll never forget what he wrote. “i have seen this. this is journalism.” an odd thing to write since he often contributed to the local free weekly. he was clearly trying to insult me but in such a bizarre way. he knew i wrote for the college paper. i was in it almost every day. sometimes twice a day.

    this was a bible as literature class. when discussing traditional literature in a class like that, it would be no crime to talk about the end of the novel in relation to its middle. it was weird that he was so offended that i would talk about Revelation where the good people ascended to heaven and the bad people went to Hell, and Earth, this place God and Jesus and the prophets said to ignore, turned into a hellscape?

    so anyway, yes the world is changing rapidly. right before our attention deficit addled eyes.

    we are binge watching the season finale wondering who will remain standing for the inevitable spin offs.

    perhaps what i wrote in the paper that truly upset him was

    fuck the meek.

    the bible isn’t about a bunch of meeks whining about this, being victimized by that, curling up and dying when shitty shit gets in their way.

    this is a collection of stories about how when everyone laughed at noah he kept building that ginormous ark, when joseph got thrown in the pit and sold into slavery he persevered and became the most powerful man in egypt and ended jewish slavery. these are the stories of the strong.

    maybe God is saying don’t be meek, for if you do, you will wind up owning this shit palace.

    the oft repeated theme of the Good Book is what you see here is fine, but it’s not IT.

    yours is the treasure of Heaven.

    we were a planet that didn’t exercise enough, plan for disasters, or give a shit about the environment

    and look at everyone now: insisting on going outside to hike, stocking up for the oncoming doom, and noticing how much of a stain we put on mother nature.

    this is the way it was supposed to end.

    televised, blogged, live streamed and tic tok’ed.

    but until the locust come,

    chill.

  8. Saturday, March 21, 2020

    ive been working so hard and long this week i couldnt stop today 

    as you know i am a bit of a workaholic. even when i was at the academy, working a FT job wasnt enough for me so i started driving for Uber/Lyft at nights and on the weekends.

    so when this crazy sad scary virus started spreading around the world, i upped my production at Los Angeleno. one thing led to another and yesterday they published three of my pieces

    one on the middle class

    one on weed

    and every day ive been doing a daily coronavirus update

    the first two stories were long, involved, fascinating and what i turned in was 2x longer than what was published, but that’s why i value editors. we could all use one or two or three and im glad i have mine.

    anyways im very proud of those stories and grateful that i get to do this right now — especially since so many people are losing their jobs this month.

    but i was soooo beat Friday at 5pm that i just had to put down my phone and unplug my old mac. i nearly cried of exhaustion and stress and the same anxiety that im sure everyones feeling.

    so when amber said this afternoon that we should go to the store to replenish our fridge, we did.

    but i also thought, let me take some pics of LA.

    in my wrap up story there was this great drone footage of parts of LA that were totally empty

    it was eerie.

    sometimes one street or two will close for a movie or a weird sinkhole

    or some bizarre reason

    and i guess this is a bizarre reason

    but rarely are streets Everywhere empty in this town that loves its cars.

    so i said, lets go all the way to the beach and take pics of how empty it is there.

    well, was i surprised.

    people were everywhere.

    the weather was close to 70. everyone had the day off. almost everything had been shut down unless it was deemed “essential”

    so people decided to grab their skateboards and surfboards

    and children

    and walk around venice and santa monica and malibu beach and

    completely ignore the pleas for everyone to stay safe, stay at home.

    now you might say, well what about you?

    and i would say, im documenting this. im not in my swimtrunks having a picnic on a grassy knoll.

    im not playing hackey sack

    or doing 360 McTwists in the skate park.

    even though it’s Saturday, im doing my job, which for Los Angeleno it is: telling you what the locals are doing.

    and they are not staying at home.

    it was weird.

    it was especially weird to see parents bring their kids out.

    and dont get me wrong. i dont know what the hell i would be doing if i had kids. especially if i lived near the beach. or close enough to drive. or Lord help us, if we were all stuck together in a cramped apartment.

    and im no scientist, but isn’t the ONLY way that this spreads is if we go outside and touch things and get too close to people and do unnecessary things?

    surfing is unnecessary.

    renting an electric bike and cruising down the boardwalk is unnecessary.

    do we need this sort of activity? Hell yes.

    but we also need to stay in the house for a while.

    with that said, props to those who stayed far away from each other.

    ilu,

    tony

  9. Wednesday, March 18, 2020

    the streets were empty so we just drove 

    south this time because we had been everywhere.

    the sun was there thanks to daylight savings

    and there was no traffic because of a virus that gets in your lungs

    and kills you.

    at first they thought only people in their 80s were dying

    but then younger and younger people were getting it

    and dying and dying and dying

    so they shut down everything. everything.

    you cant eat in the restaurants any more but you can drive through or pick up. just go.

    south we went.

    we’re trying to go south to tj but my passport refuses to show up.

    amber got hers last week which is nuts because we renewed ours at the same place at the same time on the same day on the same order.

    we want to go down there to get her insulin and any other drugs she needs for her diabetes

    cant even get clorox wipes up here, the fear is insulin might be scarce one day

    if the mexicans are smart, which they are, theyd jack up the prices a little

    cuz they know we are terrified. theres a costco in tijuana.

    people are flooding there from san diego to get tp and other things that are out of stock in san diego

    im tempted to go there for that stuff too but i dont wanna cross the border with my car. i just want to get there early in the morning, walk across. get the shit. come back.

    wrote a little about my old pal nate, and then he wrote 10 movie suggestions for things to watch while on lock down.

    im busier than ever on lock down.

    today is just wednesday.