busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, September 7, 2020

    rarely do i fight with my mother 

    typically we have pleasant phone calls and everythings cool

    but today she told me something incredibly disturbing.

    she told me that she is going to go to my sisters house to tutor her grandchild.

    i said have they discovered the cure to the contagious disease that kills senior citizens, especially minorities are the most at risk?

    i had literally just posted on LosAngeleno a tweet that said

    250k Angelenos this year have contracted a disease that has no cure. 

    the person who implored me to be safe my whole life was telling me that she was planning on going to a home filled with people, including children,

    one of whom just happens to be ill and has no idea what the malady is.

    when i objected my mother accused me of being on drugs.

    I AM THE MOST HONEST MAN OF ALL TIME. YOU RAISED ME TO BE THAT. IN COLLEGE I WOULD CALL YOU WHILE I WAS ON DRUGS AND TOLD YOU I WAS ON DRUGS I AM NOT ON DRUGS RIGHT NOW. IF ANYONE IS, IT’S THE PERSON SAYING SHE IS GOING TO A HOME WHERE GOD KNOWS WHERE ANYONE HAS BEEN.

    it was a disaster of a phone call.

    and who knows maybe my mom wants to wrap it up. who am i to stand in her way. my whole family is filled with strong black women. nearly all of them college educated going back to my great great grandmother. a rarity for our race.

    she knows what she is doing.

    i would be devastated without my mother.

    the one reason i am as incredible and thoughtful and open minded and sensitive to the needs of women in the workplace is because of what she taught me and what i saw her go through as a single black woman in a corporate hq.

    the last person i would ever want to grow up to be is someone who had done my mother wrong.

    also i had a pair of grandmothers who would literally beat my ass if i was anything less than gentlemanly.

    i am sure its hard to sit in the house and watch trump every day and read the Daily Kos and stare out at the window watching the leaves turn brown. but thats the struggle we all have right now.

    WELL YOU GO OUT ALL THE TIME she said.

    and i do. and i wear gloves. and i sanitize everything. constantly. and im in and out. and i use apple pay from my iphone. i dont touch shit and if i do i set it on fire and set my hands on fire too

    and i rise from the ashes.

    i dont know what these people are doing at my sisters house. i dont know who their friends are, what sort of situation is going over there. for pete sake my niece had 3 jobs last month, tell me how that is not a risky maneuver right there.

    dont you think i want to go out into the world and interview people?

    dont you think i want to go to every neighborhood in LA and pull back the curtain?

    dont you think i want to take a road trip around the country and talk with every single person and take their picture and hug them and kiss their babies and pet their dogs and eat on their porch swings and pee in their snowbanks?

    but this is not the time.

    this is the time to sit in the house.

    just like in the omega man.

    just like in the bible.

    just like in the end times.

    i was so mad i drove and drove through the night in the valley and people were outside bars dining on the sidewalk, way too many of them

    everyone taunting fate.

    every one just exhausted of the fear and the invisibleness of it all

    every one just borderline suicidal because blooming onions and a margarita are just too irresistible on the last night of summer

    and i will not go to any funerals of people who die when i tell them not to die.

     

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Sunday, May 12, 2019

    this year i didnt get my mom flowers for mothers day 

    if i could go back in time, i would start

    Reasonably Priced Flowers by Phone

    because for the last million years ive been getting my mom flowers on mothers day and on her birthday and i cant remember more than one time when she took a picture of them that i was satisfied.

    they either looked sickly or somehow wanting. and there never seemed to be as many as i had thought i had ordered.

    and so often things seemed too expensive for what i was getting.

    in my Flower Fone world, a dozen roses is $30, tulips are $25, gerbers are $20, and the deluxe double mixed would be $40.

    for $100 we’d go nuts in a way that you’d always wanna give us $100. free vase, babysbreath, chocolate, and sparklers if its a night time delivery.

    online we would do totally insane things like Remember what you ordered last time, Not ask you for all your info over and over, and Thank you for repeated business.

    every now and then we might just send you free flowers out of the blue because what the hell else am i gonna do with left over flowers that i couldnt sell before they start wilting? throw them away? never! give em to your customers, jethro!

    this year i got my mom an amazon echo. she says its because i want her to be able to say Hey Alexa, ive fallen and i cant get up! but the truth is, i love it. i used to use the clapper for my bedroom christmas lights, now i say alexa turn off the lights. i used to have to tell siri a million times to play Tsar, now alexa not only plays it but the echo dot speaker is fantastic.

    basically, she works as advertised. the google nor the siri does. so thats what my mom gets.

    she says she doesnt want a new tv for her room but shes getting one for her birthday i dont wanna argue.

    anyways, this isn’t a picture of my mom, but it’s how i see her.

  5. Sunday, May 13, 2018

    shout out to my mom 

    “The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.” – Malcom X, 5/5/62, Los Angeles

    my mom was queen of her school, entered college at 16, and yet her family was so poor they couldn’t afford melanin.

    after earning a masters, having two kids and getting divorced all in a matter of 5 years, she became one of the first computer programmers

    because back then men thought computers were like typewriters, so let one of the girls in the typing pool figure it out.

    oh she figured it out.

    my mom raised me and my sister pretty much alone. no immediate relatives were near by. we were the only black people in a huge suburban community so she was isolated in so many ways. and yet both of her kids went to college, on her back, because she persisted.

    it is a quiet, even-keeled, magically locked-in confidence that i also see in Beyonce, Michelle Obama, and the sun. she is reliable and together and organized and elegant. now more than ever.

    the only time i have ever seen her seriously flustered was a few years ago when we were walking the two short blocks from the Loews hotel in Hollywood to the Oscars red carpet, and it began raining.

    black women do not like getting their hair wet.

    especially in a formal affair.

    my mom was raised in the deep south in the 1950s by a mother who, like many other black women, taught their black babies what the stereotypes were and how to be the opposite. the idea was, if they thought blacks were messy or “raggedy” or ignorant, then we had to be clean and sharp dressed and smarter than they could ever expect.

    and when it came to being a lady, the bar was set even higher. thus looking drenched from the sudden rain burst was an instant nightmare.

    with no umbrella in sight, my mom’s anger reached the heavens and she looked up with pursed lips

    and it stopped.

    until the mother of the busblog had safely entered the event.

    i have many many things to be thankful for in my ridiculously blessed life, but at the top of the list is to have my mom as my mom.

  6. Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    weird day today, maybe it was the mercury retrograde lsd 

    my beard is growing in so it’s itchy.

    yelled at this guy at a red light. he rolled down his window. i rolled down mine.

    i did most of the yelling.

    the whole time he was smiling, like he thought he knew me, or worse

    like he was an undercover angel sent from above to see how im doing

    AND IM CLEARLY NOT PASSING THE TEST

    angels always have the little smiles that kill me.

    deep down i was pissed because my uber app wasn’t working right

    and when i called them for help the woman had no clue what i was talking about or how to fix it.

    you could tell she was somebody’s mom in Manila and she needed to make a few extra bucks and all she had to do was type things into a computer and the script would tell her what to do.

    but this wasnt something that a script could fix. a real person at Uber has to reset something, then i gotta reset something

    so i said, i am so not mad at you, lady, i am mad that uber would put you in this situation.

    i said can you just transfer me to your supervisor and she said he’s busy. i said what about the smartest person in the room. and she said she’s busy too.

    i said can you just let me wait. i will wait all night if i have to because im seeing The Darkness tomorrow and Friday is Good Friday and a brother can’t work on Good Friday it’s like the holiest day and then Saturday is

    and the phone disconnected.

    and i was outside the westwood W, parked under a street light.

    it was so quiet you could hear the crickets saying fuck you to each other.

    so i called my mom.

    the best mom ever.

  7. Thursday, November 23, 2017

    happy thanksgiving to you and yours 

    for the last several dozen decades i have looked at things that i am thankful for as things pertaining to *me*

    things like job, cars, health, the cubs, are any hot babes loving me, all the things

    but this morning i got a text from my mom and it nearly broke my heart.

    she was happy to have a job but she didn’t want to have to go to work, she wanted to be cooking and watching football and doting on her grand kids.

    but during the Great GOP Recession, just like tons of people, her retirement was wiped out and here she is working for The Man for peanuts on a day she would rather be watching the Macy’s Parade.

    so i am not thankful. i am determined. i need to do something serious so my mom can finally retire.

    and sadly it’s not drive more trips for Uber + Lyft.

    or is it?

    no, it’s not.

    OR IS IT?

    i need to write a script and sell it.

    i gotta learn how to write a script.

    and i know exactly the story i wanna tell: the time Joe got busted in Isla Vista

    music by The Wonderfuls, The Ramones, Rogue Cheddar, Pink Floyd, Mons Pubis, PMS, and Janes Addiction.

    it’ll be called Damn Those Shrooms Strong

  8. Monday, May 15, 2017

    yesterday was mothers day 

    i got my dear momma some lotion and a dozen tulips.

    but then i saw a picture of a lot of people at the grocery store huddled around the greeting card aisle.

    maybe theres something wrong with me but ive never seen the appeal of a greeting card.

    at $5 now, they’re the same price as an entire magazine.

    i used to send a subscription of O Magazine to my mom but she said she didn’t like it.

    poor O.

    anyways, my mom took the train with my sister yesterday to downtown Chicago.

    she told me they went to Luxe. she asked me if i ever heard of it.

    i told her that there used to be a restaurant called Grand Luxe at the Beverly Center that i took the truest to, but it closed down a few years ago.

    she said she wasnt sure if it was grand luxe or not, all she knows is some people were wearing short shorts and crop tops, even though it was 60 degrees.

    i refrained from telling her what amber wore the other day when she came over to say hi.

    but i guess the difference is it was 69 degrees here that day.

    no need for a sweater.

    i got a good sleep last night.

    ready for a strong week.

  9. Thursday, November 3, 2016

    me and mom go to Wrigley Field, a film 

    me and mom at wrigley

    my mom hates driving and hates riding in cars too.

    she thinks everyone else on the road are big huge poop monsters and shes possibly right.

    so today around lunch time i was all, ma, lets go TO WRIGLEY FIELD

    she was like, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    i said, how about if we take Irving Park Road all the way down.

    she was like, it’ll still be full of crazy pants fools around Wrigley.

    i said, true but i promised this sweet young lady that i would write her dad’s name on the wall at Wrigley where everyones writing the names of their loved ones who didnt get to see the Cubs.

    still in the glow of last night’s giant victory my mom caved in and there we were driving the slowest route ever from the suburbs to the Friendly Confines.

    wrigley wall

    once we got there it was awe inspiring.

    names everywhere. i guess over 108 years a lot of sweet people came and went. and tragically none of them saw the Cubs win the world series.

    so here’s why Cub fans are like no other. there was boxes of chalk everywhere. for free.

    cub fans wall

    and there were lots of parentes with their kids and the kids were waaaay into chalking up the wall, the street, light poles, the curb, their sisters, cops, drunk fratboys passed out in the gutter.

    i even saw someone put his grampas name on the shoe of mayor rahm emmanuel.

    and because every reachable part of the walls were covered: PEOPLE BROUGHT LADDERS AND LEFT THEM THERE SO THAT OTHERS COULD GET UP HIGH AND PUT MORE NAMES UP THERE.

    cubs ground

    it was such a beautifully colorful outpouring of love, remembrance, and thanksgiving, i nearly started bawling like a baby, because deep down im just a man on the verge of tears when i think about the Cubs and what it means to so many people in this beautiful city

    a city, that by the way, has had the most wonderful weather this week. like warm and rainy at night and sunny in the day. freaky nice.

    harry's grave

    before we went to Wrigley we visited Harry Caray’s grave in Des Plains. i aint never visited a cemetery to see the headstone of a “celebrity” before, and it was kind of amazing.

    little known fact: cemetarys dont give a shit if you visit them. in fact, they welcome it. the doors are open, you can drive around easily. and on Find A Grave .com they even tell you where the famous person’s resting spot is.

    mom and i drove around the big cemetery for a while, gawking at the unusually large headstones and i expected a group of people or security or something… but when i saw bushels of green apples i knew we were there.

    in a previous photo of harry’s grave i saw like 6 apples on his headstone but as you can see, i was not the first person to go there and say bro, they did it. we are champs. and we are thinking of you!

    i brought a bottle of Old Style and decided id set it down next to that pumpkin.

    me at harry carays grave

    but first my mom took this picture.

    the two women that you see in the far left corner saw us coming and gave us some time to read some of the things people had written on apples and signs and bags of Cracker Jacks and when they saw us leaving they headed back to his grave. the women were both wearing Cubs shirts and I tipped my hat to them and we told each other how happy we were and how great Harry was and it was so ridiculously sweet i wanted to hug them.

    as we got in the car we saw that they were back in front of his grave, tending to it. chatting.

    not leaving any time soon.

    and weirdly me and mom didn’t really feel like leaving either.

    it was an extremely peaceful, chill spot.

    i thought, so is this how its gonna be now?

    is life just mellow and beautiful after your biggest dream comes true?

    hope so.

     

  10. Friday, September 23, 2016

    a visit to the local mall 

    skatemy mom and I are at a random mall in the middle of nowhere an hour outside Chicago.

    I see a Thrasher tshirt in the window of a skate shop with a demonic goat 666 image on a satanic star.

    So naturally I go in because how is this seriously in this suburban Illinois mall?

    We start talking to the guy working at the shop.

    Curious if there’s any Todd Francis skateboards there, I ask if he has any.

    Guy says, “Todd Francis? You mean one of the most famous skateboard designers ever?”

    Quickly goes to one of the many racks of decks and instantly finds this one pictured  and says “this guy is a legend. I have his book. You Know him? Wait till I tell my friends!”

    So I show him some pics of Todd in college.

    Minds blown. (By the way the price of the board was Not $8.25 – it was actually $52.)

    So we talk some more, shake hands, talk about skating in Santa Barbara in the 80s, where I was lucky enough to meet and work with Todd and the dudes are seriously impressed.

    Here’s the weird thing about Todd. I was impressed by him the very first time I ever met him, I tell them. He was that good even when he was 19-20 years old.

    Just as disgusting, just as interesting, just as dark.

    But what is hard to see from his art is how funny he is. Sooooo funny in a dry, bitter, sideways way. OK maybe his art is exactly like that too. I was hungry and needed a Portillos dipped beef.

    Weirdly I forget to tell him that we were roommates on Folsom Street in Frisco in 1994 and watched the Bronco Chase together. But maybe that would have been overkill. They got it.

    store

    then we see a sports store. Cubs Sox Bulls Bears Hawks.

    ive been to this store before and remember the guy behind the counter. I remembered him because I always appreciated his wide selection of Cubs stuff.

    I am looking at a playoff tshirt and right away he says 20% off!

    i say, hold your horses, why dont you see, i might just buy it at full hit? he’s got a thick accent but i catch about every other word.

    we get talking and i look around and I notice that even though the NFL season is only in its 2nd week theres very few Bears crap on his racks. Maybe 2-3 racks thats it. More than half the store is Blackhawks and the rest is Cubs. He tells me the Bears have not been selling for the last 5 years.

    Also these facts:

    Anthony Rizzo jerseys sell more than Kris Bryant

    Blackhawks have been steady sales for the last 5 years, winter, fall, summer, spring. But especially around Christmas.

    The last time the Bears were in the Super Bowl everything sold out and even the distributor sold out.

    And if the Cubs win the World Series he is certain everything in his store will sell out no matter what it is.

    Also these very sad facts:

    He works 7 days a week, 10 hours a day

    No one else works with him.

    He has a nephew who works for him 2 weeks a year for his vacation.

    If he doesn’t open his store on time he gets fined by the mall.

    No way can he close his store for a day because he would get a bigger fine.

    Sales at the store over the last 5 years have sunk year after year.

    His only saving grace would be the Cubs winning the World Series, and yet he wears a Sox jacket because he thinks he looks better in black than in “purple” (which I assume he meant blue).

    Even though the Bulls have signed hometown boy Dwayne Wade, the NBA won’t release anything official until right before the season starts. So no one is really buying any Bulls stuff right now because everyone is preoccupied with the Cubs.

    I begged him to hire my mom to work for him two days a week but they both refused to take me seriously.

    Developing…