nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, December 8, 2020

    humans are complicated, im no different 

    like a lot of people i have low self esteem

    i think it dates back to being a Cub fan at an early age and endured decades of them losing

    some people combat it by doing this or that to their bodies or accumulating a lot of wealth

    clearly i didnt think those were the correct paths

    but even today the weirdest things hurt me deeply.

    say i write you an email, maybe two, and you dont write back. even though i might know how busy you are, i take it very personally.


    which is weird because i have put myself out there since college writing for newspapers, web sites, social media platforms, you quickly develop a thick skin. and i dont mind if strangers say my wild take on this or that is crazy or they disagree with it. i expect that.

    it’s when people enter into a conversation with me and then they give me the cold shoulder when i reply is when i get sad.

    it’s like, would they do that to tom petty?

    but im a different tp. my brain says, they do that to you because they can. you have not created a persona that makes that not an option.

    but then i think about super cool people who have done super cool things, like springsteen or obama or even jesus.

    those guys get dissed to this day.

    church on Sunday was talking about John the Baptist and how special he was even when he was in utero.

    his reward: beheading.

    so maybe not having a couple emails returned during a dark and busy time isn’t that bad in comparison.

    if anything it gives me more time to write the next American Girl.

  2. Thursday, December 3, 2020

    today was sad for Cub fans for two reasons 

    first the Cubs announced they would be letting Kyle Schwarber join free agency.

    Schwarber the loveable pudgy catcher who was moved to outfield once Willson Contreras developed into a flashy all star.

    Schwarber the heart of the team that, like a cow, had several stomachs that were also hearts.

    Schwarber who once hit a ball so far that it landed ontop of a scoreboard and instead of trying to take it down, the grounds crew built a little glass case around it so it could live there forever.

    then the Twitter leaked the news that Len Kasper, the mild mannered announcer who often said how much he loved WGN because unlike other outlets didn’t force he and JD to wear shirts and ties.

    but then the Cubs ownership created its own Cubs network… and made the boys wear ties.

    so he quit and allegedly got picked up by the enemy, the White Sox.

    is life terrible?

    sometimes, yes. very much so.

    but sometimes life is beautiful and these two men gave us so much joy

    so much life

    so much hope

    and i am so grateful to them for that.



  3. 2020 will probably be the year i’ve blogged here the least 

    let’s list the reasons this was probably the case

    • i wrote a buttload on Los Angeleno
    • pandemics aren’t fun
    • often when i work from offices i’ll blog when im bored
    • any time i had a good idea i’d either write it for work or tweet it
    • i struggled writing for Los Angeleno many nights, so for damn sure i wouldnt blog and take whatever magic was left for this old friend
    • my favorite things to blog about — sports, movies, and concerts — were practically non existant
    • i wrote politics mostly on facebook where others could easily share in the discussion
    • im not the blogger i once was
  4. Tuesday, December 1, 2020

    took a long walk today and saw a dead person 

    as you know i like to talk to people.

    mostly because i ask easy questions and people generally answer them, and as they do, they tell me things i would have never expected.

    before we saw the dead person we walked past a bus driver taking a break.

    i asked him, “have bus drivers here in LA been catching The Rona?”

    he said, “you’re talking to one of them.”

    he told us that unlike many, he didn’t lose his sense of taste or smell, but “felt like shit” for a few days. he took a test and it came back negative. then he took another test a few days later when he was super achey and he got a positive result.

    he said he was sick for an entire month.

    after a while he got a little better but he was rushed back to work because the benefits were running out. he explained that this was early into the plague so the union didn’t know how much time to demand that sick drivers should have off.

    he said he knows of over 100 LA bus drivers that have gotten COVID.

    then we walked a half block up and saw a couple of police cars and the coroner’s van. a homeless person had died. a photographer from Getty was there and a homeless worker who provides free showers was there too.

    the latter tried to shake my hand as we introduced ourselves.

    over 6,000 people in LA today got COVID. next week that number might jump past 8,000.

    i have to stop walking around.

    it’s tough because the weather is getting nicer and i sure could use the exercise but Hollywood is cray.

  5. Saturday, November 28, 2020

    we’re all just walking each other home 

    amber is watching a wake of someone she knew from AA meetings.

    it’s on speakerphone so im hearing it too.

    it’s really interesting hearing people talk about someone dead who i dont know and i dont know any of their friends.

    people are singing songs, playing music, telling stories and quoting all sorts of people including the quote above by Ram Dass.

    human life is so fleeting, so precious.

    we touch way more people than we realize, so let’s do our best to leave pleasant memories behind in our wake.

    and lets make sure to walk people home safely

    and with kickass stories along the way

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Monday, November 16, 2020