busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, November 23, 2020

    over 6,000 

    today the LA county public health department said that they just confirmed over 6,000 new covid cases.

    a few months back i was uptight because there were several days in a row with over 2,000. then i started listing them

    in july i started giving bigger lists.

    but now we are past 6,000?

    i stay home now.

    which will be hard but with my luck both donald trumps get the rona and survive, but i die.

    the problem is the pretty girl.

    she wants to be out every day, she wants to go on her walks.

    i dont even want to look out the window now.

    i want everything delivered. i want the blinds shut.

    i will miss you, outside world.

    but i have found my number.

  2. Saturday, November 21, 2020

    i feel like ive had many educations 

    i spent several years at the beginning of this century hiring people while being part of one of the few internet startups during the dot com boom that went public and stills around.

    that was college of learning how to see people’s hearts, a handy superpower.

    hired over 400 people there.

    over the years i was lucky enough to have the chance to hire others and they were pretty much all incredible due to that early experience.

    this blog plus LAist was college of learning how to blog decently.

    then the LA Times was like the journalism school i always wanted. but way better.

    then the Academy was like college of social media.

    all of those places were days and days and years and years of on the job training and learning from the best.

    and then watching the scoreboard tell you how youre doing.

    tonight i watched BUtterfield 8 and sorted baseball cards.

    perfect saturday in lockdown.

  3. Thursday, November 19, 2020

    try not to suck 

    a few times a year i speak to college journalists.

    who knows why.

    recently i Zoomed into a high school journalism class.

    i said, look, im just a guy who lives in a van by the river, but i know this — so much of the world, so much of your competition are horrible at what they do.

    they’re not into it. they only do it for the money. they dont study. they dont practice. they dont live and breathe it.

    you will find yourself in jobs you dont care about. do me this favor. if you find yourself doing journalism half assedly, you either quit or write me

    my email address is tony at tony pierce dot com.

    and i will help you find another gig because there are so few journalism jobs out there these days that it’s so not cool for people to be taking up a slot that could be given to someone who really loves it. who reads newspapers, who reads books, who figures out how to get stories read, who figures out how to write and produce in interesting ways.

    so if you are hating waking up in the morning to go to work i will help you get the job you really want.

    this class sent me the best care package today. they gave me a shirt, a keychain and a postcard from their idyllic town. it made me think, wow, what did i say to them? cuz who knows when youre getting through to teens. theyre harder to read than girlfriends.

    but now that i see this tshirt on theo epstein (pictured), one that i have but dont wear much because it never fit me well, i can just boil it down for them next time – try not to suck.

    time goes so quickly.

    i moved to california 36 years ago. it seems like yesterday. literally.

    yes ive done shitloads and all of that, but i seriously remember clearly that first summer in santa monica. i was obsessed with learning everything i could about LA. everything seemed to ring a bell. every major street or town was something i had heard on TV or movies or read somewhere.

    id go to a gas station and think, oh this is near UCLA, i wonder if Kareem ever pumped gas here?

    little would i have guessed that one day i would launch a blog with him.

    a blog that did not suck.

    and the best part about that and other memories that i have about giving 100% — any time someone asks me about them, a smile comes to my face.

    and a million funny stories.

    do what you love and you’ll never stop smiling.

  4. Tuesday, November 17, 2020

    do you know i love you, i do 

    over the past few days ive been the subject of the interview, which is weird for me, but ok

    and when you dont really know whats coming you end up giving the weirdest examples in your answers

    it’s also made me very grateful for the good life ive had

    one guy was all, why arent you a millionaire by now?

    and he would let up.

    i was all, uh… that wasnt my goal?

    one of the things i learned quickly when i moved to LA was there were some people who handled being hugely financially successful like that extremely well

    but then there were the large majority that couldnt

    youd go to college with their kids and even the kids would have really unhealthy relationships with money

    so early on i was all

    follow the love.

    so ive worked at a gas station, ive sold beers at a baseball stadium, and i drove uber

    of course ive had normal jobs also, but

    if i was worth like a few million dollars would i really drive uber? it’s not particularly safe

    as my mom would remind me nearly every night i did it.

    and i did it for like five years.

    also when you do the things you love you just feel better… physically.

    the job i hated the most id be sick all the time, i even had to go to the doctor because it was so worrisome

    and he said, you’re puking blood not because youre sick, that job just sucks.

    turned out he was right.

    i miss that doctor.

    so yes, walking down memory lane with these people has made me grateful not just of the gigs but the people i got to work with.

    most of my stories and fond memories are about what other people did or what other people taught me, usually indirectly.

    i should write a book.

  5. Monday, November 16, 2020
  6. Thursday, November 12, 2020

    by the time i get to arizona 

    this has been an incredible year.

    tomorrow is friday the 13th. the last time we had a friday the 13th was in march.

    march.

    the month the plague began.

    today california verified its 1 millionth covid case.

    back in sweet home chicago the mayor is putting everyone in a 30 day time out.

    people of the future, i dont know what to say about this.

    it’s happening to us, but it’s happening in slow motion.

    i know people who have gotten covid.

    a former LAist editor in chief got it.

    you probably know someone who got it too.

    but because we dont know massive amounts of people who have died of it not enough people are panicking.

    sometimes Actual Fear really helps.

    last night we met a friend for dinner in Thai Town. she no longer lives in LA so you gotta say hi when you can. we ate outside in the freezing cold (50 degrees) in a parking lot, dining on some kick ass thai food under a heat lamp

    and even though she had just gotten tested, it probably wasnt the smartest move. we’re educated people. we know better.

    but humans are social people. and i dont know if it was the food or the company or the otherwise lack of social interaction among friends but afterwards we felt super good. buzzed almost.

    and no we didnt drink a drop of booze.

    good friends gabbing for 90 minutes is nice. seeing each others eyes is nice.

    but so is living through the end of all of this.

    my brother wants to have a socially distanced thanksgiving and i dont think thats a good idea

    can you imagine if i got him sick and he never recovered?

    id never recover.

    so yes, people of the future, thats what life is like right now on Thursday the 12th

    as we eagerly await for the grownups to return to the white house to fix this fucking shit.

  7. Wednesday, November 11, 2020

    the pete sousa movie is incredible 

    i cried.

    and it was inspiring.

    one thing i have always admired with politicians is how they can remember peoples names.

    if im ever in an office again i want to make a little game out of remembering everyones names because even though i try to be friendly with everyone, probably the greatest show of respect is to remember everyones names.

    i just get so scared that i will say mary instead of juanita or something.

    the other thing i loved about the film was Pete said he was on call 24/7 for 8 years.

    it reminded me of this hollywood agent i watched a few interviews with.

    he has a max of 30 clients and he has a simple rule with them, if he calls them and they don’t pick up or call back ASAP, it’s over between them.

    likewise, even if he’s giving an interview, his ground rule is he will always pick up or text back ASAP if they contact him.

    so even in his interviews he is checking his phone constantly.

    because of that, he’s a renowned agent and people are fighting to be repped by him if someone falls off.

    i’d like to be that reliable to someone.

    i would like the people i work with feel like they are as important to me as if obama texted them.

    why not?

    even at my busiest, really, how many phone calls did i get?

    it can be done.

  8. Monday, November 9, 2020

    thank you to the angels 

    a vacation, a respite, a time out, a cool down.

    i needed to control alt delete my shhhh

    Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup

    Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup.

    my ma asked if we wanted to use her timeshare in palm springs and so many years ago i complained when she a) bought a time share and b) bought on in palm springs

    but this was, to quote ferris bueller, so choice

    it was an hour and forty minutes from my driveway

    it was haunted

    there were ducks.

    there were clouds above with angels saying we love you tony

    you too, amber.

    the pools were warm the weather was hot

    and after a few days everything cooled down and there was even some drizzle

    but vacation drizzle like youd get in maui

    just enough to clean off the sidewalks so you could draw new, more intense hopscotch games

    amber and i looked each other in the eyes and expressed love for me

    then we watched the election, then we turned off the election, then we turned it back on

    that went on for several days.

    then i turned on the Queens Gambit which may have been the second best decision of the week

    or was it the sale priced salmon from the Palm Desert Albertson’s that had been driven out by Santa Monica Seafood?

    we went back a few days later for another pound.

    ridiculously good.

    sometimes you get to draw a bath and just soak in it.

    lights off

    phone off.

    just you and your stupid thoughts.

    sometimes theres time and space and you get to let those thoughts have a little bit of a life

    but only as long as a bubble at a zoo blown by a child

    then its popped.

    then more arrive.

    then more.

    finally one giant one emerges.

    where did it come from? how did it get here?

    that is not my beautiful thought.

    it’s better.

    the best thing about taking a bath after swimming is the water doesnt get dirty

    you can just sit there for the entirety of the new ariana grande record

    you can try to get bored but you’ll fail.

    all those idealistic thoughts about the future, the present and the past get rolled up like dough and flattened on the cutting board and shaped like race cars.

    amber woke up and saw me floating in the tub and was startled

    are you alive? she asked.

    way more than yesterday.