busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. 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.

     

  2. 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…

  3. Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    today is my moms birthday, shes 24 

    momborn to the first black un-official president of canada and a pittsburgh librarian, my mom was raised in southern Georgia during the turbulent 50s and 60s because her parents knew that their power and influence would be better served in the dirty south than in the Steel City.

    my mom excelled in school, was the homecoming queen, valentines dance queen, rivals week queen and ultimately the queen of the school after her mother sewed her a sparkling dress made of silk, roses, and dreams.

    at 16 years old she went to college after skipping a grade. she had never been away from her parents before and First Day was hosting parties and convincing the young gentlemen of Nashville to buy she and her friends booze, high heels and Motown records. One day she found herself on a bus. she didnt know why she was on the bus, all she knew was she wasnt in Georgia or in class, so… Party! turned out the bus was headed to downtown Nashville where she and her friends would participate in the first Civil Rights protest ever. No Justice, No Peace was penned by the young lady next to her. What Do We Want? Lemonade! was yelled by the thirsty young man a few seats back.

    Once at the rally, the state troopers arrived and threatened to kill everyone. My mom ran and made her way back to the dormitory just in time to receive a telephone call from her parents asking how everything was going. Fine! she said and because long distance phone calls cost so much back then she literally got off the hook and decided she would stick to studying and leave the civil protests to the Others.

    she graduated early, got a scholarship to Indiana to get a double Masters in Russian and Math because her heart wanted to be a UN translator but her Virgo mind said, lets have a practical backup plan. After she graduated she moved to Washington DC at the bequest of her college sweetie and whattya know she found herself in the midst of more political marches led by, no joke, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a few years later she was married and produced two children which she raised mostly on her own: one who would become a blogger with a modest following on twitter.

    today my mom refuses to retire. she teaches her grandchildren the beauty of books, the hard work it takes to grow a victory garden, and how to keep the most organized books. THIS WILL NOT BE HACKED she says as she shows her paid bills perfectly filed in her walk-in safe in the basement.

    her home is meticulous and smells of bacon and potpourri. she collects shot glasses and nativity scenes. she has four tvs and three landline phones. the password of her iphone is 666666 because no one would believe it. she has pictures of several of my old girlfriends on doilies atop a variety of end tables. theres african art, modern art, and college diplomas lining the walls leading to the basement.

    she insists i call her after i have had a long flight or emergency assignment from the xbi.

    i cant imagine how boring my life would have been without her guidance over these years because her advice has always been the same: fuck shit up, negro. make me proud.

    happy birthday mom!

  4. Monday, May 9, 2016

    when im not volunteering at the soup kitchen 

    anna kournikovasexting anna or fighting crime for the xbi

    i’m doing my best to be a great son.

    so every mothers day i send my mom flowers and a note and she always takes a picture of the bouquet and regardless of its condition she always says

    soooo beautiful!

    whats weird is it’s very difficult for florists in chicago to actually put together a truly beautiful arrangement and deliver it to my mom so every year i try a different place.

    last year i was satisfied. the place got these great tulips together and got them to the crib and all was good in the hood.

    so this year i ordered with plenty of time and the delivery fee was fine and the price was right but

    in my mind

    they said they had to deliver it on Thursday before Mother’s Day which didn’t bother me. because as long as it’s early thats cool.

    so i called my mom yesterday and i said how are the flowers

    she said, there were no flowers.

    and i nearly crashed the helicopter.

    was all Siri, what the fuck

    and Siri was like, bro the flowers wont be there until Tuesday

    i was all, Tuesday? Why Tuesday? and Siri said because thats when you set the order for n word. and i rewinded my memory but it didn’t go that far back and im telling you, i might be losing my mind. in the history of me being my mothers son ive never snet her a Mothers Day gift late, why would i Schedule something to be late?

    it gets worse.

    my mom was all, i know i told you you didnt have to send anything, but i was on my way to the hairdresser and it was Saturday and you hadnt sent anything and I saw an Amazon truck and sometimes you send me weird things and I had never even seen an Amazon truck before so i turned around and asked the man

    is there something in there for me?

    and he said, no.

    worst son in the entire planet!

    but because shes the greatest mom in the world she said, dont worry you can make it up to me when you come out here in the fall.

    i said i can?

    she said yeah, just get me some Cubs tickets and buy the first few rounds of beers.

    which is 100% true. and why i love her so. and why anna has such a hard time getting me to commit.

  5. Thursday, December 10, 2015
  6. Tuesday, November 24, 2015

    my mom and i got 15,000 steps in yesterday 

    IMG_4962

    as you know, las vegas has always had, and will always have a very special place in my heart.

    ive been visiting here for years and years starting before i was even born.

    while in college i drove out here several times to experience Comdex back when personal computers were relatively new

    (god im old)

    and so as to see the Grateful Dead play with Steve Miller in one of the most spiritual concerts i’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing (and i wasnt even on any psychedelics).

    over the years ive been back for a variety of reasons including jobs, girlfriends, hospital music,  the xbi and reckless abandon.

    ive nearly died here at least once, and along the way ive had many many many memorable trips.

    i am here this time because my mom decided to have a family thanksgiving here, as she has never visited Sin City

    britney store

    so we went on a walkabout.

    first we headed to Planet Hollywood because i figured it was your typical Vegas strip hotel and casino.

    we walked through it real quick and then i told her about the strange shopping culture on the strip

    how every huge casino also has a giant shopping center wrapped around it with food and stores and bars and stores and shops and boutiques and stores and stores and stores.

    i told her that secretly the strip is the worlds largest mall which is why they let you drink freely

    IMG_4973

    next door was Paris, one of my favorites, where, if you recall, ashley and i chilled some 14(!) years ago. i showed my mom the pastries and she said they often look better than they taste and i was all, well we should see if thats true. but we didnt. we had lunch plans.

    IMG_4971

    we walked past the street performers and mom wasn’t at all pleased with the fake playboy bunnies and other scantily dressed women and i was all, everyone needs to get paid.

    IMG_4986

    we took a free shuttle from Ballys to the Rio for the seafood buffet but it was too early for that so we took a Lyft to the Wynn and my mom loved that even more than Paris. she was blown away.

    IMG_4976

    when she looked up she was all, hey it’s Colbert’s ceiling!

    IMG_4982

    for some reason i didn’t know that there was a Jeff Koons just laying in the hall. but lo!

    IMG_4988

    we stood in line for a minute at the Wynn buffet but the line didnt move and the lady told us it would be about a half hour before we were seated. theres two places i dont stand in line at: sxsw to see bands and vegas to eat. so we were headed out to catch another lyft to go back to paris when i saw this married couple at this asian restaurant at Encore.

    my mom loves chinese food and even though i knew it was gonna cost some good money i asked her if she wanted to try out some Ramen. she had never had ramen served right so she said oui. i got the bigass bowl of pork ramen and mom got a nice plate of salt and pepper shrimp and we shared and she loved it.

    IMG_4990

    the wynn/encore was all the glitz i think she was looking for in vegas. although she kept saying that it was nothing like what she was expecting, but i think thats cuz television and movies are full of terrible lies, unlike the world famous busblog where everything is true.

    mom at caesars

    so i was all, ok we’ve seen the malls at planet hollywood, paris, ballys, the rio (where i won some money from the robot lady blackjack table) and the wynn/encore, lets go see the mall at caesars the place that started it all.

    she was super amazed. she loved the “sky”, the street, and the fact that all of the luxury brands that she had read about were right there, next to each other: Louis V, Tiffany, Chanel, and on and on and on

    daquris

    another thing mom wasnt crazy about was all the daiquiri and margarita stands. or the fact that i had a beer in my hand the whole time. one after another. i was all, ma, las vegas is a celebration of freedom. you GET to gamble here, you GET to shoot machine guns in the desert, you GET to walk around a 10 mile long mall with a Miller Genuine Draft in your hand that you tipped the waitress $2 while you were at the tables. and if you are lonely, you GET to have a former stripper come to your room and make sex with you. the daiquiris are sweet symbolism of that freedom. if America was truly free, none of this would exist here because it would be commonplace. so we drink to forget that our real towns are horrible shells of what the founders intended. so drink up.

    IMG_5020

    when we got home we got stared down by Babe who was ticked that we didnt get her a Shirley Temple.

  7. Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    dear the future, this is what it was like this year for Cubs fans 

    hey cardinals

    even though the Cubs haven’t won the World Series in over 100 years, THIS was not the year they were supposed to do it.

    weirdly this group of young go-getters didn’t get the memo that next year was supposed to be the year.

    so in the wild card game they shut out the 2nd best team in baseball in Pittsburgh against their best pitcher

    and yesterday they completed the shellacking of the best team in baseball with a combo of good pitching and homer after homer after homer.

    scharberthe other day they hit 6 home runs and i know nothing in here is true but that’s true. SIX.

    ive been doing some work at home because my boss is fantastic and a huge sports fan and understands.

    i was so happy yesterday when the Cubs finished off the cards i drove across town Back to work to clean up some stuff i could only do there.

    emotion wise i don’t know what to do i don’t know what to say. im not superstitious – something i feel is an affront to Jesus – but i haven’t been writing much or doing anything weird because i don’t want to be the next Bartman.

    my mom called me today because she wanted to see if i was ok because i hadn’t blogged much during this historic run for the title.

    she told me this beautiful story about how she was listening to the end of the game on her way to my nieces volleyball game

    she got to the school but the cubs were 1 out away from winning, so she stayed in her car to listen.

    she sat there and looked around as she listened and noticed that the lady parked next to her and the guy parked on the other side were also waiting in their cars.

    and then when the Cubs struck out the final dude my mom was so happy she thought about honking her horn but she was raised to be a polite southern gentlewoman

    but then she heard everyone everywhere honk in celebration so she got back in her car and honked like crazy.

    i may have to take some days off and head to chicago if they make the world series because right now im not thinking right, im making some mistakes at work, im saying the wrong things to people, everything feels like a dream world of loveliness. i’ll probably get someone pregnant if i dont watch it.

    or run for the president of the republicans.

    please vote for me.

  8. Thursday, September 17, 2015

    it rained here, and thundered, and lightninged 

    trump facesthe house shook, the roof made noises

    the squirrels bailed. the birds flew to florida.

    but the best was when the skies darkened like the smoke monster in Lost.

    perfectly nice gray got covered with a thick phalanx of fuck you black.

    it was a tremendous parade of doom.

    and unlike when that happens in LA, here in Illinois it paid off: it poured.

    the thunder bellowed and the lightning struck trees and billy goats and volkswagons and corn fields.

    my mom told me to get away from the windows but what are the gonna do, shatter and scar my pretty face?

    the indians didnt run from the plate glass every time the angry gods raged.

    we were headed to ginos east pizza, the finest in the land, but first we needed to stop at the drug store for iphone cables and rum. dicks were outta both. so walmart it was.

    but mom had a better idea, lets speed back home asap and wait.

    i really wanna uber a lot more than i currently do so i can buy her a new car but she likes her crossover SUV and today i realized why: weather. theres actual weather here and it’s nice to have big wheels to go through the puddles and potholes and snow and the fallen.

    i wanted her to have an electric compact car or something but shes right, you need an actual vehicle in these parts. something that can take a punch. but something that will fit in your garage too. she chose well a decade ago and i hope to get her into a safe and sound vehicle soon, but right now shes cool, which is good because my hands and arms are appreciating this rest from eight hours of tap tap tap and three hours of driving.

    i probably shouldnt even be blogging right now

    but momma didnt raise a quitter neither.

  9. Sunday, May 10, 2015

    today i thanked my mom for not tossing me in the garbage 

    me and mom when it began

    i was so little it woulda been easy.

    plus back in the 60s, who woulda missed a little black boy in DC?

    hardly anyone.

    but no, she kept me safe and fed me and clothed me and took me to school and practices and games and recitals and to the movies and to concerts

    have i told you about the time my mom drove me to see AC/DC back in black tour and said, ok call me when its over and i’ll pick you up.

    we did not live near that arena.

    but in the middle of the night my mom drove her Pontiac Grand Prix through the suburbs of Illinois and retrieved her first born.

    she coulda left me at the Rosemont Horizon. who woulda missed a teenage black boy whose mind was freshly blown?

    later she paid off my college loans, listened to my crazy tales of frisco then westwood then hollywood.

    she saw me rise and fall and whatever this is now

    me and mom at the oscars

    she endured the curse words out of my mouth and typewriter

    and my oh my some of the girls she was introduced to.

    at every turn she could have poisoned my fruit punch soda, but no

    she loved me and supported me and sent me easter baskets and birthday cards

    and christmas boxes because i didnt wanna go back to Chicago in the snow and cold.

    there are so many good things that ive learned from her and try to emulate

    i will never gain them all, but i will keep on trying

    because thats what she does.

    i love you mom! happy mothers day!

  10. Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    congratulations mom! 

    me and momeven though she’s technically retired, my mom volunteers at her favorite department store: Nordstrom

    she takes the train into the city a few times a week and shines that sparkling smile and im all ma, youre retired, why you gotta work?

    she says it keeps her young and vibrant, and she likes the deep discounts she gets.

    so does my sweater drawer closet.

    anyway, like any normal person at any normal retail outlet, she meets her fair share of negative situations and complains about them

    to which i usually say quit quit quit!

    today she rang me and asked if i was busy.

    that usually frightens me because i expect the worst: the dog died, the boy has stopped hitting left handed, the cubs are putting up a giant video scoreboard

    when she finally got to her purpose of calling she said

    tony, i am the employee of the year.

    i was all OF COURSE!!

    she laughed.

    i laughed.

    obama and the NSA laughed.

    im so proud of her. shes the best. always has been and they know how lucky they are that she works there.

    and i know how lucky i am that shes my mom.

    congrats ma!