busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    thank you Rise, wherever you are 

    when i was in high school i took an Iowan college up on an offer to visit their school.

    a bus drove around suburban Illinois picking up kids like us who had signed up to spend the night in Cornell College. on the bus i saw two beautiful young ladies, Rise (pictured, left) and her best friend Tracy (not pictured). i enjoyed the college but i knew i was probably going to come to LA for my studies.

    so before we got on the bus for the long ride back to Illinois i made sure that i sat near the two pretty girls, and i succeeded. not only that but we all hit it off. Tracy and Rise didn’t go to Cornell either, they chose, instead a school in Wisconsin. Since these were the days before the internet (!), we wrote letters back and forth and occasionally i called Tracy because i had, what the kids called, the hot for her, which i no disrespect to Rise who had the bluest eyes ive ever seen.

    one day Rise told me she was going to spend a semester in Switzerland and i should visit her. i laughed it off because i was 20. who goes to Europe when they’re 20 simply because they were invited? i was selling TVs in west LA and i was doing pretty well at it. one thing led to another and i found myself not going to UCSB right away. i had 4 months to think about the bad job i had done at Santa Monica College.

    so i wrote Rise and said, see you at the Swiss Army Knife Store! and i went to Europe for the first time and it changed my life. one thing i learned was travel is relatively inexpensive. another thing was that people around the world understand American politics better than most Americans. “Foreigners” are able to see past the racism that is intertwined within US politics and question it. miraculously. it made me feel guilty that i wasn’t as educated in politics as much as i should be.

    from that trip i started subscribing to newspapers because all the smart people i met read at least one paper and often three. subsequently, each time i have visited europe i found that my first trip wasn’t unusual: europeans not only know US politics inside and out, but they also know their own, brilliantly. they also know several languages, how to drink, and how dangerous guns are in society.

    looking back at this, now 30 years later, i feel so blessed that i went on that bus to a college i knew i was never going to attend, and had the courage to chat up the two hottest babes on that bus, and was in the position to be able to visit Rise (and her super cool friend Ae) in Switzerland, a trip that led me to visit several other countries on that journey… because it deeply shaped me as an adult. and i am so grateful. sooooo grateful.

  2. Thursday, November 2, 2017

    shout out to my friends, Dodger fans 

    of all people i know how bad it hurts to lose and important series.

    when I first moved to LA in 1984 the Cubs lost to the San Diego Padres in the playoffs.

    several tragic things happened in that series.

    Leon “Bull” Durham let an easy ground ball go between his legs.

    And my once favorite Dodger, Steve Garvey, crushed a homer that would basically dash the dreams of teenage Tony.

    ive never been able to look at San Diego with joy since and once i returned there in 1985 i was jeered with chants of

    Eighty-Four, Eighty-Four.

    to which i vowed to never return to that godforsaken land ever again.

    i have since amended that promise.

    i will only return if it is to make the final push that sends it floating into the sea.

    so when i say things like “the only thing San Diego is useful for is to pee before heading to Mexico”, it is rooted in that 84 Championship Series.

    today for Cub fans, however is a memorable one.

    sort of a holy day.

    for a year ago today the Cubs won the World Series in dramatic fashion.

    many of the angels and saints in Heaven delayed the game with rain so all of the souls of past Cub fans could gather round and see history get made.

    i sat on a couch with my mother and we watched and i drank beer and later poured some out for the brothers who weren’t there.

    children by the millions around Chicagoland can now visit places like San Diego and not be scarred for life.

    but know that somewhere theres a teenager or two in LA

    who will never have warm feelings towards Houston ever again.

    and to them, i totally get it.

  3. Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    when you are trying to win you’ll try anything 

    so today i didnt ask to leave work early to rush home to watch the game

    i didnt even leave work until late.

    then i ubered. then i lyfted.

    people didnt wanna go very far but fuckit.

    rich lady and her friend.

    two sorority girls going across campus.

    rich guy going four blocks.

    it was a little bit of a joke actually that i just kept going in circles.

    almost like the universe was all come on tony watch the game

    your team is fighting for their lives in the playoffs!

    but i just listened on the radio.

    made $50 and headed home.

    im gonna die poor and misunderstood.

    something will happen to this blog and i betya even archive.org wont be able to cache it properly

    and i know i shouldnt worry about these kinds of things, i should just worry whether the Lord will forgive me for causing pain in peoples lives.

    i dont mean it when it happens. am i not supposed to care about things? isnt it worse when no one cares. i care.

    so much.

    so of course when i got home i turned on the game on my phone and sat in my car as the cubs struggled to get out of the 8th

    no thanks to the umps who had a discussion and decided that no matter how much they enjoyed working with the cubs manager joe maddon

    they were gonna fuck him in front of the home crowd.

    and he yelled at this one and that one and the other and then behind his back one of the umps threw him out of the game

    joe cares. thats how he became great. thats why they gave him mgr of the year last year.

    and thats how he got all those gray hairs.

    and after the game he was polite and said he respects the umps and have enjoyed dealing with them this year

    but they were wrong.

    and after the game one of the umps agreed

    i was wrong, he said.

    cubs won any how.

    inspite of them.

    inspite of everything.

  4. Monday, October 16, 2017

    apparently a walk off home run was hit by the dodgers last night 

    i wouldnt know because the television was turned off seconds before the critical moment.

    a pretty girl in my home was the one who did the honors.

    moments before the moment she asked

    why did the batter, then the pitcher, then the catcher all call time out?

    i said because everyone’s very nervous because a hit ends the game and an out gives the Cubs another chance to take this series to Wrigley tied up.

    she was very hyper for some reason as i stood in my bedroom staring at the tv

    rooting each and every pitch

    as my cats snoozed on the nearby bed.

    then suddenly she lunged towards the electronics and the tv turned off.

    she didn’t hit the power button on the remote

    she literally unplugged the complicated set-up.

    i raced to the living room to fire up the tv there because Lord knows how long it would take me to resuscitate the bedroom situation

    but the living room tv betrayed me as it needed to warm up and and and ahhhhhhh so i ran back to the bedroom and began the arduous task of rewiring the setup

    and as i did i heard the familiar strains of Randy Newman’s “I Love LA”

    the 30+ year old song that the Dodgers play at the end of a victory.

    the television did not show me anything but a sickening blue screen of death

    but it did let me know everything i needed to know

    because of that music.

    i knew the Cubs had lost.

    they would not be playing that delightful tune if mighty Casey had struck out.

    i stopped what i was doing.

    i put on my pants and a shirt.

    i found my phone.

    i kissed the girl on the cheek, and said, i need to take a walk.

    she said, i didnt mean to–  i said, i know you didn’t.

    i know.

    and i drove.

    and i drove.

    to the 99 cent store

    and bought $27 worth of fuck if i know what.

  5. Saturday, October 7, 2017
  6. Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    the key to success is to keep trying weird ass shit 

    the World Champion Chicago Cubs did something a little different yesterday

    actually, World Series Champion manager Joe Maddon tried something different.

    the mighty Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds was up. he’s a super good hitter.

    so Maddon took his third baseman, the reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant

    and placed him between the left and center fielders.

    this allowed his corner outfielders to get closer to the foul lines

    and it tempted Votto to sacrifice his power and instead poke the ball to the wide open spaces of left.

    Maddon is well renown for trying new approaches to the centuries old baseball

    AND BEST OF ALL, HE IS ALLOWED TO EXPERIMENT

    sure there are critics from time to time who spout stupid ass shit but he’s got a ring and they don’t, so suck it, traditionalists.

    what Maddon did last night and does frequently by doing things like batting the pitcher 8th and having a dance party after every win, is what many successful people do:

    whatever they damn well please as long as they continue to win.

    yesterday Votto creamed a hanging curveball over first base for a double

    BUT STILL WHAT JOE TRIED WAS AWESOME

    SO SHUT UP.

    (Cubs won 15-5, btw)

  7. Monday, July 31, 2017

    because the Cubs are angels on earth, they gave Bartman a ring 

    im not good at forgiving people

    im very good at holding a grudge.

    my thing is if you got on my shit list you probably got there for more than one reason.

    and because im half Scorpio im not gonna give you a 100th chance to hurt me again.

    and because im mostly Libra there arent very many places where you can hurt me. so if you hurt me im actually a little surprised that you found that place.

    and if you got on the shit list you found that place and despite several warnings you kept at it. either you betrayed my trust or you abandoned me or you massively pissed me off.

    Steve Bartman ruined the Cubs’ chance to get into the World Series.

    and when he did he was pelted with beers and dogs and garbage and run out of the city of Chicago.

    he is still in hiding.

    he doesnt give interviews or write a blog or even send out homing pigeons. he sits in his basement with his new name and new family and tries not to get murdered by a Cub fan with anger issues.

    up until November Steve Bartman was on my Shit List Short List. like that little girl in Game of Thrones his name was close to my heart and if i ever crossed paths with him I would not let him forget the one thing that i knew he hadnt forgotten and im sure i woulda felt sad about it because my heart is filled with love, not hate.

    but hate sure has a few bedrooms in the building.

    but today the Cubs gave Bartman a ring. They put his name on it. And somehow the message reached to him and he messaged back.

    he said he was not worthy of the ring but he appreciated it and it represented the way people should treat each other.

    somehow Bartman had a great ticket for a playoff game. i believe he was a Cub fan. i believe he got caught up in the moment and made a mistake.

    i believe it was the worst mistake he’d ever made.

    i have made a few mistakes. one of them i asked forgiveness for and i was granted forgiveness.

    but because i STILL feel so bad about it, i don’t even believe that i was really forgiven.

    in fact i think it will keep me from entering Heaven.

    i used my superpowers for selfish reasons. and then i hurt someone very very sweet.

    that action has changed me.

    i am not as full of love as i once was.

    i am more guarded because in some ways i dont even trust myself any more because i dont ever want to hurt anyone like that again.

    id love to blame the xbi but this was all me.

    i fucked up.

    i am so sorry.

    i will forever be sorry.

    im sure Bartman will also be forever sorry.

    but now he has a ring, from the Cubs, that says, it’s ok bro. move on. get on with your life.

    and for the Cubs to do that is just another reason i love them so much.

  8. Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    The 3rd string catcher who hit that Grand Salami in the playoffs is gone 

    Miguel Montero, the cool under pressure, but one who was known to keep it real when a reporter’s mic was in his face, has “cut ties” with the World Champion Chicago Cubs today in the wake of him OMG criticizing struggling pitcher Jake Arrieta after one dude for the Nationals stole 4 bases off the battery yesterday in the Nation’s Capitol.

    “That’s the reason they were running left and right today because they (Arrieta) were slow to the plate. Simple as that,” the 33 year-old backstop told reporters. “It’s a shame it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anyone out.

    “It really sucked because the stolen bases go on me but when you really look at it the pitcher doesn’t give me any time so yeah, ‘Miggy can’t throw anyone out’ but my pitchers don’t hold anyone on.”

    Montero hasn’t thrown out any baserunners in 31 attempts this season. He is owed $14 million for this season, which the Cubs will probably eat as they attempt to move him within 10 days.

    The hero of Game 1 of last year’s NLCS was super classy when he took to Twitter today to say adios to the city, the fans, and the Cubs

  9. Saturday, May 27, 2017

    went to the cubs game last night with todd 

    i dont know what it is with that guy but every time im with him i want to get back into journalism

    the ideas just come flowing out.

    he hates all of them, naturally, but whatever, here they come.

    he bought incredible seats.

    we were near the most incredibly annoying dude in the park: loud, stupid, obvious

    i got to the game early because i didnt drive much after work. hadnt eaten well all week and i didnt really want to abuse my body with the typical two dogs nachos and a giant coke. so as i was walking around i saw this lady with a Poke Bowl. i was all, where did you get that?

    and i pointed right at her bowl which had an enormous mound of edamame twinking in the sunshine.

    she said its called Base Bowls, all the way by the left field pole.

    cruised over and saw they also had a chicken teriyaki bowl with tons of broccoli.  my love.

    $12 seemed a tad less rapey than the other prices at the park

    but they also got me for $7 for a Coke.

    later i bought three $14 beers.

    afterwards we took the shuttle to the train station. i took the purple line to the red line

    which only took about four hours.

    and i inhaled the most foul stenches of all

    and was invited to a duel by a mild mannered homeless dude

    who quickly became ill tempered.

    im starting to see why ridesharing has become so popular.

  10. Saturday, May 13, 2017

    80 years ago today Bill Veeck convinced the Cubs to plant ivy 

    my heroes arent the ones with lots of money or good looks or fancy cars.

    they’re idea people. but more, they were convincing enough to get the ideas out there.

    one of my heroes is Bill Veeck. Not Bill Sr, but Jr.

    Senior was a sportswriter in Chicago almost exactly 100 years ago. In his daily column he would often speculate what he would do if he was running the Cubs. Eventually William Wrigley Jr gave him a shot as Vice President to try out some of those ideas in real life and the Cubs won the NL pennant. So Wrigley made Veeck president of the club where he remained for about 15 years until he died.

    Long time readers will remember that I used to write daily blog posts here where I would start off by saying Dear LA Times, you suck…. and I would then give away secrets of how they could improve if only they hired me. Eventually they let me run their blogs and our traffic increased by 2,300% until some genius convinced them that they could do it without me. LOL.

    After Veeck Sr. died, his son sold peanuts in the stands at Wrigley Field. 80 years ago today Bill Veeck Jr. got the ear of the Wrigleys and told them about an idea that wouldn’t cost much money but would add a touch of class and uniqueness to the ballpark. The idea was ivy covering the bricks. Which today still grows at the Friendly Confines.

    Veeck Jr., would go on to own the crosstown White Sox and there he would let his imagination go wild while innovating baseball — and other sports. He introduced the exploding scoreboard that would shoot off fireworks whenever someone from the home team hit a homer, he put the players names on the back of their jerseys to appease people who didn’t want to buy scorecards, he put a showerhead in left field so people could cool off on hot Chicago afternoons. He even set up a barbershop in the bleachers in Center Field so a man could get a haircut while watching the game.

    One of his most overlooked ideas was letting the fans decide if a pitcher should get pulled from the game or if they should put in a pinch hitter.

    But maybe the best idea he ever had was hiring the lovably wild Harry Caray as the White Sox’ broadcaster and letting him do whatever the hell he wanted to do, which soon included singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game during the 7th inning stretch.

    When Veeck got old he sold the White Sox, he was often seen back across town in the bleachers of Wrigley cheering on the Cubs at the field he grew up in, in the park that he touched in such a beautiful way. He would be seen with his shirt off, in shorts revealing his wooden leg, sipping on an Old Style, just feet away from the ivy that wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for him.