drove four hours yesterday to give something to amber

i didn’t wanna do it because i still miss her very much and this break from each other has been bittersweet because on one hand it was overdue and has allowed us both to breathe

but on the other hand it’s someone who i shared my life with for years and years and it’s hard to move on if you don’t keep moving on.

also i have so much work im working on.

but she needed me and me only to get these things to her and they couldnt be mailed or Ubered so i said fuckit and hit the road.

i said, dont come out of the house, in fact if you can go in to town or not be there that would be great. but she doesn’t have a car and i dont think Uber is even in her neck of the woods, which gives you a taste for how remote she’s living right now. literally off the grid.

which i must say, is admirable, as it’s something i dont think i could ever do.

i am having a hard time putting myself in social media time outs right now. ironic because i am trying so hard to get better and better at social.

meanwhile im listening to these interviews about eddie van halen and how he was always noodling on guitar. like always. like ALL THE TIME. and here i am cursing myself for not being able to put my phone down for a few hours, let alone a day.

maybe we should embrace the things we are obsessed with?

on the drive to her i was listening to the audiobook of the drummer of the Black Crowes. i will read – or listen to – any book about rock n roll if it’s told well and this guy is compelling because he’s not all that likeable and the band was known for not being likable either.

weirdly i ended up Ubering the keyboard player for one the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and that guy was fantastic and gave me a good tip. he was impressed that i knew about that offshoot band and how it was inspired by both the Grateful Dead and JGB.

what was interesting about this book was this drummer had very little experience, got caught up in this band, and pretty quickly they were a huge band.

it’s also the only band i know of who signed a terrible record deal who then got out of it because of a paperwork snafu, thus getting their publishing and royalties in their hands while their first album was flying off the shelves. usually bands have to deliver a number of albums before the yoke is removed.

when i got to her place i saw her there in the distance.

she had on this dress she loved.

she looked beautiful.

i stopped the car like a bull would stop far from the matador.

far enough that she could see i was there, and take the hint to go back in her new home.

and then i drove a little closer, got out, put the stuff on the ground.

and then i drove off.

because it was emotional and weird i forgot the three gallons of water i had also brought up there for her.

and her mail.

if anyone ever says, is tony good at anything? the answer is, he’s good at a few things but he always seems to end up having to do the things hes not great at.

on the way back i texted her to see if she got everything and she said yes.

i was hoping she’d say holy fuck what you brought me was incredible

but maybe it wasnt incredible to her.

the good lord made us all different.

so different, in many cases.

which is a miracle in itself that we get along as well as we do.

on the way home i got a Beyond Meat burger from Carls Jr because that is the meal i would get when i would visit her back in the day.

i dont ever think i will ever not think of her when i get that burger.

fuckers put pickles on it even though i asked for no pickles extra catchup.

january was a heartbreaker

so many things went wrong in december that i thought they’d be over in january but

it turned out there was some momentum

amber and i broke up a few weeks ago,

weirdly as the capitol was being attacked by insurrectionists.

amber used to say that i didnt know when our anniversary was, but i sure as hell wont ever forget when our break up was.

it was a matter of time. i was losing my mind. micromanaging. fighting.

i think i even grounded her at some point.

(long story)

needless to say i would play this springsteen song in my head all the time

when i look at myself i don’t see
the man i wanted to be

somewhere ‘long the line i fell off track
one step up, two steps back

naturally the Boss wrote that as he was going through his divorce.

amber is a very sweet girl. we had a much longer run than i bet anyone woulda given it.

6 years? 4 years? however you count it the last 9 months being locked in this one bedroom apartment during covid should count for 5 years all by itself.

the first two days of her not being here was sooooo weird.

i hadnt realized how close we were, even with the fighting.

just another human in the same space as you are in 24/7 is so unnatural.

astrologically we are both air signs, we need to be free, we need to zip around, and for sure we need to vibe off of other people.

they say when you try to trap Air, it turns stale.

we were trapped. and i would give her a hard time for wanting to walk around and stretch her beautiful legs

legs that were being effed with due to her diabetes.

she actually needed to walk, but thanks to Trump there was so much misinformation about COVID so i tried to tell her to walk in the morning before i woke up so i wouldnt freak out that she was roaming our dirty neighborhood talking to all the homeless people and maybe catching something deadly.

most of this pandemic i have had the ability to work, even if it wasnt paying much, i was being pushed mentally and creatively.

amber did not have that going for her, sadly. and i couldn’t help her.

so much of our relationship in Before Times involved going to movies or concerts or little drives, even if they didnt lead anywhere. that was one thing that kept us together for so long.

she wasnt a lets-go-to-the-club person or even much of a restaurant person. she was super happy just driving to the valley and back, or to malibu and back.

i wanted to do so much for her.

i coulda sworn i was going to get this great paying job and i was all, im gonna get this for you and that and this and that

i even had plans to buy a new car and give her my Benz even though she kept saying she doesnt need a car.

i remember talking to someone who was like, yeah i see your girl getting off the bus. you wouldn’t think high maintenance girls would take the bus.

i was all, what makes you think shes high maintenance? and he was all, look at her. and i was like, i dont know what you think you see, but you should get to know her. she’s the opposite. all she wants to do is give.

the only thing she wants i cant get her. a diamond ring and kids.

other than that she pretty much just wants fresh produce and the freedom to listen to NPR 6 hours a day.

in a way it’s good that the pandemic was the straw that broke the camel’s back because shes young enough still to find that man and get the family she wants. she was just treading water with me.

living here she was able to get out of debt and achieve something she really wanted – to be a great concierge at a legendary hotel.

those things woulda happened anyway, but being here sped up the process because i can be a bit of a nooge.

she in turn turned a lot of my apartment into the grown up place that i had avoided.

instead of a mattress on milk crates there’s an actual bed, and a new mattress. i have a washer dryer. she got me to purge some of my crap and more is on the way out.

but most of all she got me eating healthier. every meal had vegetables and together we started eating fake meat.

she also got me to cut down on drinking to almost nothing.

not that i had a problem before but because she was straight edge, i didn’t mind following her lead.

i cannot stress enough what a good person she is. im welling up thinking about it.

and like so many women she had so many bad boyfriends.

it almost makes me wanna have 6 boys so i can teach them how to treat women but hi i grounded her so who the hell am i?

who the hell am i was a constant theme.

when we first started dating she wore super high heels

was she testing me?

i dont test well. also ive been around the block, i dont care how tall a woman is. be tall. mick jaggers two longest loves were way taller than he was. amber was only taller when she wore those heels

i must have passed the test because she stopped after a while.

but back then i was all, who am i dating this long legged valley girl

years later i was all who the hell am i constantly fighting with someone?

who the hell am i that i can’t help her get the rest of all she wants?

all she truly needed most of the time was someone to rub her legs at night

because of the insulin. it builds up or the sugar affects her bad… or who knows.

she could be in the worst mood and if i started massaging any part of her legs she would just lay back

close her eyes and a huge smile would form

and she would whisper


because to her this was better than making out

squeezing that demon out of her long strong legs.

who knew she was needing that so bad

life is so unfair.

people go through so much that we dont ever see.

i tried so hard to be good.

but sometimes two people just aren’t meant to last forever.

sometimes they’re meant to be together during the darkest presidency ever

and then move on.

but that doesn’t make it less hard.

i will miss you amber smith blog

amber smith concierge

fluent in whatever she wants to be and friend to all.

thank you for being my friend when i really needed one badly.

and didnt even know it.

in the bible theres a little aside about an old king

let me look it up, yes here it is first kings first chapter second line

Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman, a virgin, be sought for our lord the king, and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him; and let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm.”

and sometimes i’ll look at my odometer and then i’ll look at amber’s and i’ll think, did my servants give me this virgin so i could be warm?

then i remember im not king of shit

and amber is not the type to lay in anyone’s bosom for too long

let alone a blogger

but she does take care of me.

right now im eating some peas and carrots, potatoes, and crumbled beyond beef.

her goal is to feed me 5 different vegetables a day.

the beyond beef should count as one, maybe two.

for some reason she wants me alive for a few more years.

maybe because when my servants say

stand before the king

shes all, only if he takes a picture.

do amber and i have a perfect relationship? yes.

she doesnt mind that im up writing until 5am. she only smirks when i crawl in bed and tell alexa to wake me up at noon.

and often as she rises in the morning i will hear her via ESP think

how is he so sexy at 197 years old? 

but one thing we disagree on is this pandemic.

me, i say stay at home, wear a mask, and limit ways for the deadly bug to get you.

she is young and full of life and loves being out and aboot.

this causes friction. not sexy friction. and not friction that one day will create a diamond.

this is conflict that digs right to the triad of all relationships: trust, honest communication, and the desire for the relationship to continue.

what you dont trust me? she’ll yell.

no, no i dont! i’ll write on a post-it and slap it on Prince’s tail.

unlike most relationships this lack of trust isn’t of a sexual nature, as a libra on the scorpio cusp i dare you to woo her better than i

i just dont trust how close she will talk with strangers, or how close other men want to get to her on the sidewalk. MEN WITH COOTIES.

and i also don’t like how often she goes to Starbucks, one place people take their masks off for that ridiculously overpriced cup of joe.

i offer to buy her expensive machines but she declines. i offer to have a Task Rabbit mail her Christmas packages but she scoffs. “why should we send a stranger into harm at the Post Office??”

every afternoon as i rise i see her smile turned upside down and i know it’s over one thing: her pissed off ness for being locked up like Rapunzel, who is not allowed to have handsome italian men charge her $700 to give her hair — her beautiful hair — the Sexy Smooth she’s grown accustomed to.

and it’s all my fault.

thats what she tells me.


how did i know the GOP would let it electorate suffer this fate?

live and learn, i guess.

or just learn.


amber was telling me how there are two kinds of people

one kind who wants very much for people to love them

the other kind does not give one shit what people think of them.

she said she loves me because i dont care

she said look at your clothes

look how you keep this apartment so junky

you walk outside with no shoes and no shirt and talk to anybody

look at how you decorate. pictures of the most random people and old girlfriends

everyone else instagrams fancy coffee and steak dinners.

you take pictures at mcdonalds.

and everybody loves you.

why dont you care?

i said watch college basketball players on the free throw line.

college arenas are intensely loud and the fans behind the glass backboard have super funny signs

and weird pictures and they’re doing bizarre things

in hopes that the guy at the free throw line will lose his concentration.

the ones who can ignore all the terrible things they’re shouting


and maybe becomes a pro.

to me going pro means going to heaven.

i only want to please Jesus.

and Jesus wants me to rock.

amber is having a worse day than me right now

i have this crazy idea

when things are going bad and the bad thoughts are echoing in your mind,

you have to give yourself a little break.

i think if you have been obsessing all day, then at night you should watch a happy movie

or anything that will bring you happiness.

so all morning and afternoon she has been having a bad day

one thing after another.

so much drama.

so i was all, hey i will listen to all of that, but how about when the sun goes down we put that aside because i am in the middle of craziness right now too.

so she went into the kitchen

sat on the floor, tears in her eyes.

my girl cat ran to her and cuddled with her,

and amber said, fine, after you get back from the mechanic we can watch a movie.

i was all GREAT!

cuz we havent seen many movies lately together.

and she said, we can watch Roots.

amber isnt happy

which means im not happy

and if im not happy i will go online and fight with strangers.

which doesnt make me happy because they never learn.

no one learns.

a long time ago i was writing all these short stories that i thought were great and one of my teachers said, morality plays are hundreds of years old and you cant teach any one any lessons

and on top of it, tony, youre terrible at teaching people things. and i got on my bicycle and i peddled my little bike around and

agreed with him.

and when i did i realized i was in the woods. and in any woods, as any boy knows, theres bound to be a playboy or a penthouse magazine either left behind by the Forrest Fairies or buried by some kid who wanted to read it later.

i found one of those magazines.

and i read it.

and in one of the articles it said something along the lines of “happy wife, happy life.”

amber is not my wife but she sure plays one on tv.

and she is not happy.

shes sad that the world is in kaos and outside is scary and everyones losing their jobs and her friends in hospitals are in danger

and we cannot believe the words coming out of our leaders mouths

and for some reason her bf is too busy to figure out what to say to ease her nerves.

i was working today and i heard her cry a little in the kitchen.

the Playboy Advisor would have said, fix that problem no matter how.

so i ran in there, opened my wallet and started whipping quarters and dimes at her.

WTF ARE YOU DOING she yelled as a penny nearly chipped her tooth.

throwing money at problems usually solves problems dont it?

she laughed so loudly the cats were spooked.

and then she made me lunch.

moral of the story: read more porn

ten things i love about amber

1. she works at a fancy hotel. her job is to make magic happen for the guests who are used to having magic happen for them.

she makes the magic happen. every day.

last month she was nominated by two departments for employee of the month. she’s only in one department so that means a totally separate dept. said, yeah our people are good, but amber was better.

2. she loves Tehachapi. no matter where we go, where we are, she says “you know, this reminds me of Tehachapi.”

sometimes i have to remind her that we are at a Wendys. doesn’t matter. she will stand by her statement.

she wants to build a small resort there. i tell her no one wants to vacation there. she says people used to say that about Alaska, now theres boats going up there all the time. Cruise ships even. actually she doesnt say that part, but i can read minds and thats what she was thinking.

3. she is a master at organizing her bills. she uses flash cards and paper clips. And a computer. she will never get a late fee. #goals

4. i have had the good fortune of being lucky in love. she has never told me once to stop touching her. i think only one or two of my former girlfriends shared that trait. is this TMI? sorry. anyways, i like to touch her to make sure im not dreaming. in dreams weird things happen when you try to touch people or things. usually my hand will go right through or it will turn to sand.

5. she can cry at the drop of a dime. or a penny. or a quarter. she loves change and hates to see gravity abuse it. but seriously we can be driving down the street and we’ll talk about something and immediately her face will scrunch up and turn red and she’ll say Mario told me he would get me insulin the next time his brother goes to Mexico. and tears will appear. unlike me, she doesnt cry in movies though. weird.

6. speaking of movies. one reason i love her is she is super loud in movies. either rustling with candy or fidgeting in her chair. she picks the quietest times to do the loudest wrapper opening and i will say shush. and she will do it really slow WHICH IS WORSE but it makes me laugh inside.

7. she might be part Gemini because she can change her mind superfast. which i like because i love Geminis. so in a way it’s like having a couple girlfriends at once. which is every mans dream sorta.

8. anyways today is her birthday. she wont let me take her out to dinner because she has a road trip planned for later this month. sorta love that too.

9. she has never once pestered me to go out to party with her. she’s on the wagon. enjoys our home. and sees very little need to do much outside these four walls other than eat Thai food or drink Starbucks. being that im a million years old, i appreciate that lack of pressure.

10. i dont think she knows anything about baseball football or basketball. but she will go to any game i get tickets to. and she will have a great time. mostly because in her head she is storing information so she can better aid her hotel guests if they ever ask something nutty like, “hows the sushi at Staples Center?” and she’ll know. angel.

hi 2020

Gonna do some things different this year.

gonna use my iPad more. Gonna use my good camera more. Gonna learn how to edit audio for podcasts better. Gonna learn about the Valley. Gonna talk to the people. Gonna talk to them in a way that isn’t stupid…

Gonna blog every day now that I’ve got this iPad going.

Gonna get closer to Amber. Gonna go to church more. Gonna do things faster.

Today I goofed off and didn’t work like I wanted to for a number of reasons. I was tired I was mad and believe it or not I was a little hungover and just wanted to be lazy.

I know I’m not the only one on 1/1 who didn’t feel 100 percent this morning, but I hardly ever drink, so the shot and a beer i had yesterday, as nice as they were because they were with cool people, fucked up my day.

Gonna keep not drinking.

When i first met Amber and she told me she was sober I didn’t drink on our first dates which was a bit weird for me because i had not made a move on a girl without the benefit of the liquid courage, and so when i did finally kiss her for the first time sober it was a tiny boost to my confidence like, hey, you don’t need that shit.

Now that i hardly drink at all… when i do it fucks me up.

Dont get me wrong i still love a good margarita, or a sip of some good rum, or a glass or two of wine,

And this might sound cheesy, but I’d much rather have a real conversation with someone, where we are both just looking each other in the eyes and keeping it real.

So today i learned how to input my recordings into Garage Band. I learned how to do blog posts on my iPad. I got real with Amber and said we are gonna learn how to really talk to each other on a higher plane, an XBI level, almost. So tomorrow i want to learn how to cut seconds out of a part of an audio bit. And i need to go to East LA to ask some strangers some controversial things.

I am stoked to have made it to 2020. I enjoyed talking with my niece on the phone today.

And i especially liked telling her, now that Illinois has legalized weed, do not, i repeat do not eat edibles, and if you’re gonna smoke any weed, grow it first in your grandmas basement.

a Christmas story

This Christmas I showered Amber with all the gifts you’d expect: diamonds, fur, diabetic candies.

But I knew she could get that from any man.

Also I knew what she secretly wanted. Something she’s been hinting at during little bickerings that couples typically have.

I am perfect in nearly every way. But let’s just say I don’t keep the tidiest house. Never have. Never will. Some say it’s a sign of a creative mind. But I’m not so sure. It might just be that I am a filthy animal.

So yesterday I had work to do, things to write, errands to run, but instead I spent most of the day cleaning our happy home while she was at work.

I picked her up, we had a quick dinner, went to a party, attended midnight mass, and when we got home she was exhausted. She opened the door and the house was clean. The lights twinkled. The cats yawned. And she began to cry.

I hugged her but she didn’t move.

“This is all I’ve ever wanted.” She cried more.

She walked around the pad and cried cuz it was all cleaned up. Little did she know I sold most of it for weed and baseball cards but what I couldn’t unload were put away, vacuumed, bed was made, porn was alphabetized, and the presents were neatly stacked beneath the dusty guitar.

In the morning she woke up in tears again because she thought last night had been a dream.

I think we’ve all had a few of those mornings.