nothing in here is true

  1. Thursday, August 1, 2019

    how ozzy bounced back 

    when ozzy osbourne got kicked out of black sabbath at the end of the 70s,

    little did he know but it would be the best thing to happen to him

    and it would revolutionize heavy metal.

    but at the time, it felt awful.

    he was drunker than ever. he had hit rock bottom. and he thought it was doomsday for him.

    his first bit of luck was auditioning Quiet Riot’s Randy Rhoads in LA the day before ozzy was to fly back to the UK

    as the guitarist was warming up, an extremely drunk ozzy, who had played for years with guitar god Tony Iommi, was blown away and hired him within minutes. “He played this fucking solo and I’m like, am I that fucking stoned or am I hallucinating or what the fuck is this?!”

    Rhoads, who didn’t even want to go to the audition because he never thought he’d get the gig, admitted that he didn’t really rock out… all he had done was a few scales and warmup solos.

    but still Ozzy was sad. for a decade he and Sabbath pioneered what would be called metal. not too shabby. but he felt shabby. he went on a three month coke binge.

    when he assembled the rest of the band, the first tune they recorded was “Goodbye to Romance,” a melancholy song about missing his old friends. as great as it was, the record label wasn’t thrilled about releasing a gloomy, borderline ballad to kick off The Prince of Darkness’ solo career.

    no worries, Rhoads had an amazing riff that would become “Crazy Train,” one of the greatest rock songs of all time, one that gets played in sports arenas everywhere for various reasons.

    and more importantly, a song that would have never have come from Black Sabbath.

    it was fresh, it was wild, and the solo is breathtaking.

    exactly how every new beginning should be.

  2. Tuesday, July 2, 2019

    i wanted to quote billy joel, but it’s complicated 

    the one question i feel i really blew in my interview was such a simple one

    what Brand do you think is doing a great job on social media?

    i hesitated because in the grand scheme of things i dont think there are hardly any brands who are doing anything great on social.

    not because they’re dumb and im some genius, but because Brands do a few things that prevent them from being good: they hire people who are way too young, and then they don’t let who they hire have the freedom to succeed and fail. Brands create these unnecessary committees that water the good ideas down and all that ends up seeing the light of day are the most basic, safe, tame and forgettable content items that quickly get scrolled by.

    to be great means to stick your head above the pack, and so many are terrified of getting their head chopped off if the wrong person says “what the hell’s that?”

    and it’s a double edge sword because Social is the one place where Brands can actually speak for themselves, to their audience, any time they want, for a relatively inexpensive price. but it’s also the place where they can inadvertently make embarrassing news if they have one false move.

    so are there Brands who have courageously seized the day and rocked the house on social? yes. but so few. i mentioned Wendys and then i stopped because it was seriously hard to think of any others until after the call, naturally.

    also, like Billy Joel, when i am creating things, i try not to be influenced by the people who i like because i dont want to accidentally copy them.

    with that said, i find my internet inspiration from people you would never imagine. i mentioned Nardwaur earlier today. he taught me to over-research when heading into an interview. he also taught me to let them talk and talk and talk. he never really challenges his guests. and he often has them leaving with smiles (and gifts) afterward.

    when presenting things on Instagram, I love Sarah of the Delicious Life.

    i know there are lots of instagram influencers with pretty pages but i think she does it so well. and i bet she could do it for clothes or cars or even cannabis. she has that eye.

    i wish i knew more about hockey because i think Hockey Twitter is phenomenal. the LA Kings have an incredible team, but i gotta say, the Philadelphia Flyers introduced a new mascot last year, Gritty, who was dead on arrival. it got so much negative press and online hate. he was weird looking he was ugly … what was he? but they stuck with it and let Gritty be weird. they let him be. who lets people be?

    and now Gritty is beloved and downright iconic. Overnight! he might be the most interesting mascot in sports, which is saying something because the Chicago Bulls guy is tough to beat.

    i asked my friends to tell me who they thought do a good job on social, and they gave me so many cool examples that im like arggggggh why didnt i think of that.

    but it did remind me of the one good thing i said about running Communities: the people have all the answers, and if you have nurtured them correctly and made them feel safe to be honest, they will give you everything.

    Their best answers:

    Merriam Webster dictionary




    Taco Bell

    Pop Tarts

    And this is why you should always Poll The Audience if you get stuck when you are playing Millionaire

  3. i had a job interview yesterday for work at a cannabis company 

    it went so well.

    the guy was laughing, he was right there with me.

    when it was over he said he would call the person who this person reports to and set up a time for her to talk with me.

    i was so happy. i had researched this company Nardwaur-style. i read everything i could, i watched videos, looked at the HTML of their site in case they asked me about SEO.

    and then a few hours later he said she would talk to me today. today! perfecto!

    so we talked today. she is very smart, well spoken, she had all the answers to my questions. but it was hard to hear if she actually liked me. and she had to run to a meeting so we had to end it quickly.

    the other day i watched this video that made me cry.

    it was reactions that Cub fans had when the Cubs finally won the world series.

    old men and young women, all of them crying.

    i cried too.

    when you wait 108 years to grab the golden ring it is lovely but a bit bittersweet because of all the people who lived and died and never got to have that feeling of their team being The Best.

    after watching that video the other day it dawned on me that i have already “accomplished” my wildest dreams, seeing the Cubs in the World Series in person topped it. and going to their victory parade is something i never imagined. but there i was.

    i have had incredible jobs where we as a team had huge successes, bigger ones than i could have predicted. i have had the best girlfriends, the best friends, i live in an amazing town. i have had a good life.

    for months ive been sweating over what the next job will be. will i just work for myself? will i work for someone else? what will people think i am when they look at my resume and talk to me on the phone for a half hour?

    do they believe that the success i have had will help them achieve their dreams?

    who knows. then theres the wild card that we read in the Bible that the Lord hardens people’s hearts from time to time. mama mia.

    so i guess the thing is you have to Trust. if you’re going to believe in God, which i do, then you just have to enjoy the ride even if it takes you down roads you weren’t planning to take, and even if you’re stuck on the side of the road longer than you want.

    maybe you’re not stuck.

    maybe you’re there because there’s something for you to see.

    or maybe this is the time to read those books or podcast with those people or do that thing or get that rest or omg work out or omg go to the library.

    maybe you dont know everything and control is an illusion and

    maybe you said what is true for you in that interview

    and that is all you can do.

    the Cubs won the world series.

    all of this now is gravy.

    relax and enjoy the parade.

  4. Thursday, June 27, 2019

    had an interesting job interview 

    in some companies the recruiter will be the first line of defense. he or she will place the ad, then you apply, and if you fit the general need, they arrange for a phone interview.

    sometimes it’s a video interview. but these are modern times and you won’t have to get dressed up and schlep down to their offices to answer the basic questions which are usually “how much does this pay?” (me) and “piss in this cup” (them).

    i prefer the phone over the video because in video you never look well, sometimes you’re tiny in their screen, i overdo it with my hand gestures. and often i feel the need to raise my voice because i fear they can’t hear me.

    yesterday the guy asked, “so if you make it to the next stage, i will be calling your former bosses. what will they say they didn’t like about you?”

    my first answer was, “sorry, Barry, but i have worked in HR, i doubt they’ll say anything bad. We live in a litigious society and most managers have been trained to either redirect those inquiries to HR or merely answer the two basic questions of ‘did they work there during this time period and are they eligible for re-hire?’ Otherwise they risk the chance of being sued because unflattering chatter that directly leads to someone not getting a job is the first steps to a slander case.”

    fearing that might be a defensive / snotty answer – even though it’s 100% accurate, I said, “but I will play your game. Let’s pretend you could read the minds of my former bosses, what bad things would they say about me?”

    Barry said, “yes, yes. what would they say?”

    And I said, “well they’d probably say that I have big ideas, and lots of them, and that can be annoying after a while if you don’t want to hear big ideas from me. But Barry, big ideas are why there is social media today, and before that the web, and before that personal computers in our homes which led to devices in our pockets that hold all of the world’s information. Without big ideas we would be nothing.”

    Then he said, “ok, do you have any questions for me?”

    And I did. And that’s when I feel he became annoyed with me. Because he did not have the answers for half of them.

    I will be selling oranges on freeway exits very soon.

  5. Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    sorry, we’re open 

    i know whats going on.

    i do.

    but im not gonna crack.

    im gonna open.

    back in the olden days when you messed with Job to see if he would denounce the good Lord, you gave him warts, you killed his animals, you ruined his good reputation, you slowed down his internet

    you made him doubt himself and his friends and his place in the world.

    all to see what he was made of in his creamy nougat center.

    but at my center is the eternal joy of the 2016 world series.

    in my soul is the love of people and love of the healing powers of creativity. i am a hippie i am a punk i am the little kid at summer camp reading the bible. i am a bleacher bum and a college reporter. i am studying poetry in a school with no grades. i am the black boy who looks mexican italian cuban puerto rican. i am everything and nothing and just another face in the crowd.

    sure i can get depressed and scared and hurt and shocked and freaked out a bit but at my age, at this age, with all the tales of peaks and valleys, i know that the sun will come out tomorrow, the devil,

    bet your bottom dollar i’ll find a cool new way to make a dollar, but best of all i know that we should be rendering unto caesar whats caeasar

    bc our treasure is in the kingdom of wrigley north.

    the devil, you can play games with my heart you can take away this and that and the other but we are the children of the special one. we are made in his image. he too has emotions. he too freaks out at evil. and we too can turn the simplest things into the most exquisite.

    if you had the faith of a mustard seed you might be able to break me. but im a twix twin bar, the devil. i was made for this shit.

    so this one doesnt wanna hire me and that other doesnt wanna work with me but only cuz they dont know me. only cuz they havent been able to see the beautiful music that we made under storke tower and la cumbre plaza and atwater and frisco and westwood and e street and first street. and i know hearts have been hardened and i know we have just begun the beguine and i know that i just dont know

    but i just wanna say i see you, just like i saw you in cleveland in game seven doing whatever you could to break the hearts of cub fans

    but our hearts are piñatas, the devil.

    filled with the sweetest love.

    thats who i am.


  6. Sunday, June 9, 2019

    my mom gets nervous when i dont update this blog 

    and its true, for years i would write 2-3 times a day, youd think that now that im lazing about the house i’d be writing twice as much but what do you say when you are constantly job hunting or working out on your soul and your six pack abs?

    the cubs are doing well, thats all that matters, really.

    this week they signed the closer that they need, an all star who for some reason wasn’t getting signed by anyone this spring. was he asking too much? was he nuts? was he too old at 31? was his agent a dope? if this guy was so good why had no one snatched him up?

    all fascinating questions. the cubs still paid him $43 million for three years. which is in the neighborhood that im looking to earn in my next gig, btw.

    last night i went to bed in not the best shape. i was nervous about the future, something the bible advises against. consider the lilies of the field, it says, they dont have agents, they belong to no unions, they dont have a sinking fastball and still they live great lives because God loves them, so think how much more he loves us, who have amazing changeups and circle curves.

    but i couldnt sleep so i turned my phone on and clicked over to linkedin… maybe there was a job i hadnt noticed that i should apply for. and there it was. right next to the job i am still waiting to hear from. yes at the very bottom they are asking for some space age futuristic things, but the bulk of the job is right up my alley.

    then i couldnt fall asleep for all the right reasons. i had visions of sugar plums dancing through my head. all the ideas came rushing though. color returned to my cheeks. my heart started beating and mama mia was my brain going into overdrive.

    one idea tapdanced in front of another. boom boom boom. and all brilliant ones. then, lurking in the background, arose the greatest of all ideas ever. it’s ambitious, it’s glorious, it would be a game changer, a sweeping force if ever there was one, and this company could pull it off better’n any of them. theyd have to believe in me though.

    but the crazy thing is, it wouldn’t cost much to pull off. i mean they could invest *money* into it, but it’s not necessary. the lilies don’t buy facebook ads and people drive out to the superbloom in droves. this would be a super dooper bloom of love.

    4am, 5am. finally i ate a croissant and drank a glass of juice. another idea. an old one from the past, but with a new hat. oh and another idea. what about this. MY COVER LETTER IS GOING TO BE A NOVELLA!

    so then i thought, should i go in great detail one some of these ideas so they can take a glimpse of my genius, or should i just list the code names of the concepts as teases?

    First in Line
    The Perfect Room
    Disturbing the Piece
    Somebody Walks in LA
    Press Conference, Jr.

    OK enough procrastination. On to the application.

  7. Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    i had a big interview today. 

    it was with a company that i really love, and i wouldnt have to move, and i could do what im good at and i would get health insurance

    the person interviewing me said, “wow thats a good question” after each of my questions, and i hope that’s a positive thing. who knows.

    i had studied up on some things that were in the job description. and that was fun. like cramming for a final. but those things never came up. it was only a 30 minute interview. thats all it was supposed to be. i don’t think i made any unforced errors.

    afterwards i wanted to walk around and get rid of all the nervous energy but it was raining.

    later i watched the cubs bash a bunch of home runs.

    then i drove for tacos at a taco truck. it has a competing truck around the corner from it that specializes in “plant-based” tacos. echo park, bless your heart.

    before ordering my tacos i walked into the drug store to get a healthy blueberry juice. Blue Power or Blue Machine, whatever… and as i was waiting in line two women walked in. and as soon as they got in, the dog that was trailing behind them stopped, looked at all of us in line, and took a leak, right there on the carpet.

    the lady holding the leash was so embarrassed. “he never does this,” she said.

    both cashiers sorta smiled because whattya gonna do?

    when it was my turn i said, “i bet thats not the craziest thing thats happened at this walgreens.”

    they both said, nope.

  8. Monday, April 29, 2019
  9. Monday, April 22, 2019
  10. Friday, April 19, 2019

    what a week it’s been 

    on monday i was going to post this thing on facebook asking my friends to help me with leads on getting a new gig.

    which is slightly embarrassing because as men we are trained to be super heroes and incredible and handsome and muscular and millionaires and strong — so strong that we never need to ask help. if anything we should be the ones that others call for help.

    it reminded me of that elvis costello line from king of americas battered old bird

    Well here`s a boy if ever there was
    Who`s going to do big things
    That`s what they all say
    and that`s how the trouble begins

    but then notre dame caught fire and i was like, nah i’ll post it on tuesday.

    wrote it, posted it and people started calling me and writing me and instant messaging and DMs and even emails

    it was nice. even got some strong leads.

    two separate people had lunch with me and i have one more scheduled.

    also this sweet person at a university wants me to talk to her class.

    also four people sent me a job posting that Talking Heads frontman David Byrne is looking for a social person.

    meanwhile i sent off some Big Ideas to two people who i would love to work with because fuck it, if i’m going to work for someone why not actually do the dream job that’s in my head instead of trying to fit into someone else’s dream?

    i know it’s hard to believe, but i don’t feel comfortable with this attention.

    people think that because i have a big personality in the real world that it’s because im starving for attention or i like to be in the spotlight or i want to have all eyez on me. it’s not the case. i just don’t like to flinch from a challenge.

    ive been in my apartment for 8 months straight now. most of that was working on a secret project out of the office and only a few times at the beginning did i go interview people face to face.

    sure im social, but im equal parts anti social. not because i dont love people (i totally do) but i also love pajamas.

    the world works in mysterious ways because had this happened to me a few years ago i would be driving uber day and night. back then the driver made 80% of the fare and often, if you know how to work it, there were all these bonuses and you could capitalize on surge prices and… it was good. today its not good. today there are reports of drivers at Coachella, which is a good place to be driving each year, who are making $6 on a trip that the passenger paid $45 for.

    the huge problem with that is: it’s already hard to get tipped doing a ride. especially a 15 minute ride. but do you think someone is going to tip you after they paid $45 to go 5 miles?

    so that’s out. also driving is dangerous. also gas is over $4 a gallon now. also ive done 5,000 trips, im good. i just want to focus on the next thing. problem is it’s gotta happen soon. and some people dont call back. and some dont answer when you send them the perfect resume.

    so you’ve gotta keep good thoughts in your head and convince yourself that God is working it in such a way that even though you Think that this job is perfect that He knows looks can be deceiving and He’s waiting for the right door to open.

    and so far things have worked out. the last time i was out of work i was sitting here for half a year. i was also losing my mind. and then the Academy job was forwarded to me. that turned out to be the longest job i’d ever had. i worked with some very cool people. a tweet went viral. i learned sooooo much about social media. but most importantly i regained my confidence, which had been lost because even though i succeeded at certain aspects of working at kpcc, it wasn’t stuff that was super easy to see on paper.

    the best things i think i did at kpcc was hire some incredible reporters, a few who are still there. i also moderated some great panel discussions, including one with Fishbone and one about healthy soul food.

    one of the brunches i had this week was with a very smart guy who afterwards wrote me and said “I do think you’re a bit modest for your level of experience, and that others will take the opportunity to put themselves ahead of you for the goodies.”

    i still dont know what to do with that advice. especially after a different person implored me to be a high paid consultant.

    sure it would be nice to have a house one day. but i have to brag to get there?

    i suppose we all have to break through our comfort zones to make it to the next level but isn’t my resume good enough? can’t these people see who i am and what i can bring?

    are people seriously choosing lesser people — to even interview with? it’s shocking how few interviews ive even received. and trust me, i am applying for jobs that im qualified for. is it ageism? is that even a thing? i dont think so. am i insane?

    should i just drive uber and ruin my car for peanuts? should i don that charlie chaplin costume? im so confused.

    next week we have to drive up to see amber’s dad who is sick and wants to draw up a will.

    it puts things in perspective, thats for sure.