nothing in here is true

  1. Thursday, July 23, 2020

    i once had a teacher who said 

    if youre having writers block, dont write.

    but he was a short story writer.

    i get paid to type.

    i can’t just not write.

    plus the things i like to write about are timely.

    this day has come and gone and nothing.

    maybe four paragraphs.

    and theyre all terrible.

    i think im exhausted.

    i think im thinking too much.

    i think i have too many distractions.

    i think i am a distraction.

    R. Crumb when he was doing the Old Testament, bought a house on the top of a hill in France. but it was far away from his actual house in France.

    his wife would show up on Friday night with food and supplies like ink (he draws with old fashioned ink pens you have to dip) and then gave him love until Sunday and then she would drive back down the mountain.

    then he’d work.

    took him 6 years to finish the book.

    but what a book!

    but i aint got 6 years.

    in a perfect world i would have two stories finished before tomorrow.

    but i aint no where close.

    i think thats the problem. im trying to eat this elephant whole. and i have convinced myself i gotta eat two elephants.

    i just wanna go to palm springs.

    might just go to palm springs anyhow.

    i am Lots wife. i just wanna look back at the past even if it kills me. hotels, margaritas, sunshine, naps.

    it is killing me though.

    ive gotta push through.

  2. i cant write. im in a hole. 

    my brain is everywhere. everythings a distraction. i just need to do this one thing which is now two. which is bordering on three. and i cant.

    all i think about is la quinta. its the one thing i really miss off of all of this.

    this morning i woke up with a sore throat and i was like, whoops, there it is. dying. Rona. adios!

    i wanna go to la quinta because they have too many pools and a roof deck where a night like tonight you could see every star and every star can see you and some of them say have you no decency? pants!

    by now we woulda been there twice probs.

    i traded up my air for a pro. i can see now without squinting. this is a real computer.

    neil young has a song called “piece of crap.” after a while you learn that some things can be crap but the thing that you use every day, especially for work, should be the real deal.

    air was fine but it’s for kids.

    if i was at la quinta id take a long walk around the grounds, dive into a pool, then maybe another.

    clear my head.

    soak in a hot tub.

    flash the stars on an outdoor chaise next to the out door fire place

    pink floyd easing out of the iphone

    amber inside snoring

    and in the morning id wake with the sun and do this damn thing.

    but tonight its just


  3. Wednesday, July 22, 2020

    i never look at the numbers any more 

    during LAist times i looked at the numbers 6-7 times a DAY. id wake up and look, go to sleep and look. maybe id look 20-30 times a day.

    those were tough times, there was no twitter or facebook to boost your signal.

    we had to rely on google search, google news, reddit, digg even stumbleupon could do it for you sometimes.

    getting traffic has always been part of my job either directly or indirectly except here.

    which i love. which makes me want to get traffic for it. which is why i was thrilled to see this metric that i never knew existed.

    in facebook they match you up with similar sites. i never had this at the Academy. often i would compare us to MTV or Rolling Stone because i couldn’t find any true peers other than the Grammys (who we destroyed).

    but the thing about the Oscars accounts was people were thirsty for movie insights because while musicians and tv stars had no problem getting on social, movie stars rarely did. so if you did it right, which wasn’t impossible, you could be a great avenue to fill that need.

    this is different.

    how do you compete with two monsters like Modern LAist and the LA Times?

    well just like Wee Willie Keeler once said, “hit em where they aint.”

    will we have a week like this again at Los Angeleno? Wasn’t this a fluke?

    Surely the LA Times with all those engagement editors and unlimited resources will wipe the floor with you next week.


    but now we know we can.

    learning that you can is the most important step.

    the 4 minute mile, the man on the moon, the commercially viable electric car, kissing the prettiest girl at the dance.

    our minds are both the greatest things ever and the worst.

    most of the time it is not playing beautiful music.

    most of the time it’s saying, fool, what are you thinking about doing, now?

    to me, all of this is like a pinball machine.

    you can look at your score during your turn

    but you should probably keep your eye on the ball.


  4. Tuesday, July 21, 2020

    what if im doing things wrong 

    i wrote the thing. it got published. someone who i did not expect to like it liked it.

    but i dont like it.

    i tried new things. i did all the stuff youre supposed to do. i took my time. i checked it twice.

    still nothing. like the replacements i feel unsatisfied.

    the last time i felt like this was in 1999. i was in frisco with the truest we had a great apartment i had like three jobs, friends everywhere, but there was a hole in my soul.

    the bible reading that week was the part in the new testament about the rich prince. dude goes to Jesus and says i have done everything, what now? and Jesus said sell everything, give it to the poor and follow me.

    rich prince said, whoops wrong number.

    that story was told three times in three differnt books.

    so i sold what i could and left. first isla vista, then mexico then LA.

    in LA i signed up for a minimum wage job helping people. and within a year i had been promoted and was making more money than i ever had made.

    but was i happy? sorta. am i happy now? sorta.

    but this is about writing. am i happy with that?


    i want something to zing. i want something to fly off the shelves. yeah i hit a huge homer with that video but what have you done for me lately?

    plus that wasnt even writing.

    way back when i was thirty something i dated nineteen year old ashley. people occasionally asked what we talked about. mmmm everything? ashley was super smart.

    one day she said, you are never satisfied tony.

    maybe thats my curse.

  5. Monday, July 20, 2020

    dear people of a certain age 

    A year ago today I was super frustrated trying to get a job in Social Media. I had a pretty good track record. Just about every place I was allowed to be free saw a giant uptick in all of the metrics any boss cared about.

    But for some reason I couldn’t get a job interview to save my life.

    Was it because I was 2x the age of the others who were applying for the job?

    Were these hiring managers fearful that I would demand a giant salary? Were they nervous that I would quickly demand my boss’s job?

    One guy said, “Tony, hiring the Social Media Person is the one chance men have a great excuse to get a smoking hot recent college grad into the office. You lost them at Tony.”

    Could that be true? Who knows. But it was depressing.

    When did being experienced, thinking outside the box, using creativity, being courageous, and learning how to adjust in an ever-changing career raise so many red flags?

    And when will companies and organizations realize that giving the most junior staffers the biggest microphones is borderline crazy? And worse: sending out messages through social via a committee of senior managers with zero experience in social media almost always comes across as soulless and stale?Thus useless.

    Fortunately Sophia Kercher a fellow graduate of the Robyn Bell school of Fuck Yeah invited me to a Los Angeleno party at a former strip club where I was introduced to the incredible staff and publisher, and things so far have been a smashing success.

    Not only do I get to write what I want but I handle our Twitter and Facebook.

    Last week I posted something on Facebook that reached 8 million people,  tripled our followers, and boosted our newsletter subscribers.

    While at the Academy I increased followers by 4,000% but I only had 2 or 3 FB posts that did over 5 million. One was about Titanic, and one was the Genie Yr Free. I think the whole time I was there just two Oscar night items ever got 5 million reach and that was when Leo finally won and the final video of Moonlight winning.

    But we had the advantage of having 1-2 million followers at the Oscars.

    8 million reach from an audience of a couple thousand, during a pandemic when allegedly no one is in front of their computers like they typically are, is a damn miracle.

    Age means nothing in social media.

    I’ve seen high schoolers do incredible things and hopefully I’ve shown that 50somethings can still run circles around recent college grads with all of their theories.

    We should all be so lucky to be blessed with bosses who will allow us the freedom to succeed in bigger ways than we could ever imagine.

    I’m very grateful to Lauren, the publisher of Los Angeleno, for letting me do my thing when others wouldn’t even pick up the phone.

  6. Sunday, July 19, 2020

    i just wrote something that i wanted to have done by friday night 

    and even though it’s now sunday night it’s ok.

    sometimes it’s good to let it percolate inside you a little


    cook up


    ever since i was a little boy i enjoyed writing and sometimes i pinch myself knowing that somehow i am able to sussist because of the words i learned and how i was taught to superglue them together.

    in my research i was procrastinating and looked up jo jo rabbit scarlett johannson and i saw this red carpet look of hers and

    it made me think of mark zuckerberg of facebook who is like the fourth richest man in the world and how he always dresses like he is trying to convince people he’s a real boy.

    if i was a gazillionaire i would have a glam squad that would find awesome looks like this one and buy an identical outfit but in my size for me to wear the very next day.

    it would be a visual echo in the most disturbing way.

    and also i would give a billion to the poor every time i earned a billion.

    last night amber and i sat in the living room on our little love seat that reclines and watched Michael Mann’s Public Enemies and it was like we were a little suburban couple.

    we never sit out there.

    shes either reading or writing or studying something — now it’s Spanish — and im in the bedroom or washing my hair.

    rarely is it just the two of us with the cats circling trying to figure out how they can annoy amber best.

    i nearly fell asleep.

    then she started crying because she might be related to Pretty Boy Floyd and Johnny Depp shot him in the back. spoiler alert but it happens in minute 7.

    tonight i can now finish organizing my baseball cards of 2017 topps update series.

    this is what you’re missing at casa busblog, scarlett.

  7. Saturday, July 18, 2020

    and now for a true story 

    My mom got into college at 16 years old. She was a math whiz and an excellent student. Unlike me.

    Back then Black people were limited to the colleges they could attend. Even though Honest Abe had freed us in the 1860s and even though the Declaration of Independence in 1776 said something about all men being equal, in the 1960s my mom was only allowed into a Black college.She chose Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. John Lewis did too.

    Fisk was very strict with the young ladies. They had to sign in and sign out whenever they left the dorms. One afternoon her friends said there was something that was going to happen downtown at the drug store and since a few of the girls were going as a group, she would be allowed to leave campus.

    It turned out it was one of the first civil rights demonstrations ever. It was a concept so new my mom didn’t even know what it was. They had all assembled to protest the segregation of the lunch counter at the drug store.

    When my mom figured out what was happening she turned right around and got on the bus and got back to school
    ASAP. She was a proper southern gentlewoman (still is). She did not want to break the law.

    Later when she moved to Washington DC she’d march along with the multitudes with MLK and was even at the I Have A Dream rally. She said they were behind the stage and could only hear it.

    When John Lewis died yesterday she texted me to ask if I had heard. Then she said, “he was at Fisk when I was there.”

    I said, “really? Was he at that first protest you ended up at?”

    She said, “he led it along with Diane Nash.”

    And here I thought I had gone to college with cool people.

    RIP Congressman.

  8. what is even anything 

    it’s 3am. in bed. full of energy. there’s a baby possum sneaking around over by the grill.

    people of the future: these were bizarre times. no street cleaning. Apple stores all closed. Malls closed. Beaches open. Ppl demanding to get their hair done.

    Amber wants me to help dye her hair and I’m sorta against it. I feel like a line will be crossed.

    Also she doesn’t need it. We’re in bikinis and tshirts most of the time. Who are we trying to impress?

    Obviously the possum approves.

    Speaking of Apple they’ve been very cool. Their new Air is fine but after years on a 17inch trying to look at a 13 inch is like staring down a porthole.

    After posting that video last week all these people starting following me on Facebook because some of them think I know those guys for some reason.

    One guy DMed me and said, check it the state starts growing weed and sells it. that way when you buy it you’re like helping support teachers.

    I’ve had to unfriend a few already. One guy was super anti-journalism. When did this start? Must there be a tv show that truly talks about journalism every day? Spectrum has this one about the LA Times but it can feel very infomercial-ly.

    Get in there. And talk about radio and tv and digital. Put things in context.

    I don’t mean to exaggerate, future people. Not Every Apple store is closed. In San Diego a few are open. I was gonna drive down there to do the switch but first I entered into a chat with Apple Support.

    It was a dream.

    Dude up sold me and figured out how it could get delivered in a day.

    Still not sleepy.

  9. Sunday, July 12, 2020

    do you know how lucky we are? 

    me, you them, all of us are fortunate to be here


    sharing this tiny sliver of time together

    on this miraculous rock

    where the air, water, temperature, oxygen levels are all at the right point

    yes theres famine and pollution and crazy economic disparity

    but we are here together.

    and so many of us want to help.

    and we are helping.

    and as my preacher said today via YouTube

    maybe it seems like everythings upside down right now

    because maybe things are finally turning right side up

    i am lucky that you are here

    via the crazy internet tubes

    which are filled with both plus signs

    and negatives.

    zeroes and ones.

    you and mes.

    me and yous.

    lets try to do one more good thing this week

    than we did last week

    for someone.

  10. Friday, July 10, 2020

    im waiting, i dont like to wait. especially for what im waiting on. 

    was it easier when i was young and dumb?

    i feel like it’s harder when youre older because you have expectations based on miracles or

    the Best case scenarios

    i wanna go to the beach after im done waiting but amber doesnt.

    what if i went alone?

    i haven’t done anything truly alone like that in years.

    id rather go with her. she loves malibu.

    in her dream world she’d open a coffee shop there and employ young people on the spectrum.

    in my dream world id open up a pizza joint there.

    when i was a kid we had a pizza joint in our neighborhood called

    The Pizza Joint.

    they made round pizzas and cut the slices in squares.

    pizza these days only gives me a stomach ache because i was so spoiled by those pizzas in my youth.

    ok done, the toast popped up.