a few times a year i suck it up and my housekeeper comes

so i skedaddle

today i went to venice beach, which has been near and dear to me since i first moved here in the early 1700s.

it’s weird, im weird, we get each other.

i haven’t smoked weed in a while so smelling the second hand smoke was so nice.

there were a lot of aromas i smelt, but did not dealt.

one was the scent of da club. not sure how that wafted, but it did.

on the way over i stopped off at this japanese market place called Mitsuwa and picked up a Bento Box

ate it while i watched 5×5 street ball on the venice courts

they were so bad i was thinking about going out there but ive had my day

these seagulls were hovering around me because someone left a half a plate of french fries but i was too near them so they hovered, squawking at each other

be cool, hes leaving, I SAID BE COOL

but i wasnt leaving.

drank my water, watched them play. there was a young lady out there. she wasnt bad. they didnt talk trash to her. but they did put their worst guy on her.

so many mistakes.

one guy could dunk.

gave $5 to this dude who plays the piano. he smelled of piss. like real bad. hes homeless.

tunes his piano and plays really fast, missing lots of notes, adding a few to even it out.

hes half deaf.

hung out with this south american dude who sells dollar cokes

we bumped fists. somehow he remembered me from the last time i was there, months ago.

had this awesome flashback when i passed the post office that it used to be a safeway in the ’80s.

LA has been so good to me, you have no idea.

me.

stranger in a strange land.

me. fucking nobody with three cents to my name.

driving home took forever. west side. like what are people doing?

ohio, santa monica, wilshire. all jammed even at 4pm. no way around it. nearly got on the 10. next time i’ll try my luck with olympic. west siders dont wanna go through the hood so maybe Adams.

on the way in i had to write a piece for Los Angeleno.

they hit me up last night about a piece about Angelenos nominated for the Oscars.

right up my alley. i was honored theyd even think of me.

so i drove to Culver City and asked Waze where the nearest public library was.

turned out it was 3 blocks away. such a nice little library. everything was clean and nice.

but then one little girl kept repeating the same phrase over and over in the childrens section.

i was trying to do my magic AND I WAS SOMEHOW but this lil angel kept with her bullshit

i turned around to give her the evil eye but neither her hot mom nor she picked up on it.

how am i gonna fertilize an egg if i cant put up with that, i thought?

she soon left and i got back to my masterpiece.

then a different little girl ran over to this wooden kitchen and opened and slammed the doors over and over and over

why is there a kitchen in a library? i wanted to say as loud as humanly possible.

but childhood is precious so i kept my trap shut as this 2 year old banged away as her mom browsed her phone.

the old man sleeping in the chair next to me did not wake up.

the librarians, of which there were far too many for this little place did not shush her.

i was clearly the asshole, once again.

but heres the crazy thing, i got my work done.

i wanted out of there, i wanted to be at the beach, i wanted this assignment behind me, i wanted food, i wanted the boardwalk.

it was a great motivation. and im telling you i knocked that article out faster than i have done in a very very long time.

maybe ever.

weed is not the reason im a professional writer.

the angels who whisper funny jokes in my ears are.

and they wanted to go soak in the 75 degree temps on 2/10/22 too.

watched a dude get handcuffed for drinking a beer

went to venice to see if i could get lucky and just interview someone right there on the sidewalk

i did it in hollywood and it was an interesting episode and since it was a jewish holiday i figured the traffic would be light

didnt matter i took Venice Blvd all the way down to keep it real

walked around then heard a commotion

then saw two cops instantly handcuff a dude and his Bud Light Spiked Lemonade can rolling around

open container

but the thing is you cant handcuff someone for that

its an infraction

not even a misdemeanor.

yr supposed to just give them a ticket and if they run away who the hell cares its a dumb ticket

meanwhile who are we kidding theres ppl drinking, drunk, and smoking weed (and worse) all up and down the place

on top of that they were doing this all while making him stare at the mural of the Wizard of Venice

the first Black man who was allowed to have a house in Venice

and out of his love for the place he decorated the joint, made masks and floats (bc they were trying to emulate the venice in italy)

and he even figured out that a disco ball would look super cool in a dance hall

the two cops even called for back up as the crowd objected to them using undo force on

a guy with a beer

this was his friend

later i realized these two cops were young and scared

and probably didnt like it when people said

if you handcuff black people

and not white people

then thats whats called racism.

and i realized they coulda shot me

even accidentally

which woulda been weird because i had just seen the Marx Brothers’

A Night at Casablanca

and harpo was playing the harp and it looked like thats something that would hurt your fingers

but then i figured nothing hurts in heaven

which is why they probably have so many harps up there

finally you can jam on those things.

i ate poorly on the way out there

and on the way home i stopped by some stores

and got sweet potatoes and peas

and made an all veggie dinner

then someone i respect a lot handed me a huge compliment

which was very very nice

ive been working so hard and long this week i couldnt stop today

as you know i am a bit of a workaholic. even when i was at the academy, working a FT job wasnt enough for me so i started driving for Uber/Lyft at nights and on the weekends.

so when this crazy sad scary virus started spreading around the world, i upped my production at Los Angeleno. one thing led to another and yesterday they published three of my pieces

one on the middle class

one on weed

and every day ive been doing a daily coronavirus update

the first two stories were long, involved, fascinating and what i turned in was 2x longer than what was published, but that’s why i value editors. we could all use one or two or three and im glad i have mine.

anyways im very proud of those stories and grateful that i get to do this right now — especially since so many people are losing their jobs this month.

but i was soooo beat Friday at 5pm that i just had to put down my phone and unplug my old mac. i nearly cried of exhaustion and stress and the same anxiety that im sure everyones feeling.

so when amber said this afternoon that we should go to the store to replenish our fridge, we did.

but i also thought, let me take some pics of LA.

in my wrap up story there was this great drone footage of parts of LA that were totally empty

it was eerie.

sometimes one street or two will close for a movie or a weird sinkhole

or some bizarre reason

and i guess this is a bizarre reason

but rarely are streets Everywhere empty in this town that loves its cars.

so i said, lets go all the way to the beach and take pics of how empty it is there.

well, was i surprised.

people were everywhere.

the weather was close to 70. everyone had the day off. almost everything had been shut down unless it was deemed “essential”

so people decided to grab their skateboards and surfboards

and children

and walk around venice and santa monica and malibu beach and

completely ignore the pleas for everyone to stay safe, stay at home.

now you might say, well what about you?

and i would say, im documenting this. im not in my swimtrunks having a picnic on a grassy knoll.

im not playing hackey sack

or doing 360 McTwists in the skate park.

even though it’s Saturday, im doing my job, which for Los Angeleno it is: telling you what the locals are doing.

and they are not staying at home.

it was weird.

it was especially weird to see parents bring their kids out.

and dont get me wrong. i dont know what the hell i would be doing if i had kids. especially if i lived near the beach. or close enough to drive. or Lord help us, if we were all stuck together in a cramped apartment.

and im no scientist, but isn’t the ONLY way that this spreads is if we go outside and touch things and get too close to people and do unnecessary things?

surfing is unnecessary.

renting an electric bike and cruising down the boardwalk is unnecessary.

do we need this sort of activity? Hell yes.

but we also need to stay in the house for a while.

with that said, props to those who stayed far away from each other.

ilu,

tony

todays the first day of Lent,

 

instead of giving up something imma

write on the world famous busblog every day.

how you like that?

yesterday amber had the day off and i had to work but it was on venice beach so we went together.

she wasnt super into it, she says, because it makes her miss journalism and i make it look so easy and fun.

while it’s true that the interviewing part that she sees is fun, the transcribing hours of chit chat is def not fun.

neither is psyching yourself up to get the courage to ask strangers their deepest darkest truths.

one fellow i met looked like he could be in lynyrd skynryd. he had a camouflage MAGA hat and sunglasses.

i was all, hey lets talk about your hat.

twas a bit intimidating. let me tell you.

and maybe its what he wanted because who goes to Venice with a hat like that and think no one is gonna wanna chat you up?

there was kobe things everywhere and it made me think about Jimble Kimble about how he said he noticed that on every corner theres a kobe mural now

and while that is an exaggeration, there is a Ton of remembrances,  sorta how there were flags everywhere after 9/11

the best shirt i saw was one of kobe in the design of the jerry west NBA logo.

but instead of NBA it said RIP.

we ate a bit and went up to High which has such a great view. on our way back to the car i was all, lets go to the sand and watch the sunset.

ive always wanted to watch it from an unused lifeguard station and thats what we did.

i had flip flops on which were slippery on the ramp.

the sun was so perfect. so many ppl were out there watching it set because it was like 73 degrees.

when it was done i wanted to applaud it but even on venice beach i woulda looked like a freak

which i am.

as you know.

strangely: didnt smell a lot of weed there.

i think i wrote a good cover letter, but who knows

i feel like they could take it two ways:

this guy’s a huge jerk, screw him

or

hey this guy is awesome, let’s call him to see if he really is and if he’s not, screw him, or if he is then let’s let him do his thing and see if it’s all true.

fortunately it’s all true.

fortunately, even though i was intimidated when i first walked into the daily nexus

that the next time i only stuck my head in with my printed out article and then ran back to the dorms as fast as i could

fortunately i was in the right place at the right time surrounded with the best people alive and we were all ready to rock and we did, together, every day we could, day and night

and we made each other better and better and still do to this day in one way or another and i believe that that just doesnt happen in college, that it can happen again and again in life.

i feel like i helped build a pretty good team at the dot com and another at LAist and another at the next place. i dont think that was luck. i think when you are in the right place with the right people magic happens.

as designed.

you need the right sunlight and love and trust and good vibes and you shake all of that up and

hello cleveland.

the chorus in my head keep telling me the most negative things, but it took a few months to go from this to that the last time and the time before that and patience grasshopper, patience.

in the meantime, i may get a doctor’s outfit, like a long coat and an old school mirror they used to put on their heads. and long white pants and black shoes. and i will have a sign that says, tourists, ask me anything. i can help.

and i want to have a pad of paper, like what doctors hand you with your prescription to give to the drug store.

and when a tourist says i want some good chinese food in westwood or a good place to buy records other than ameoba, i will write down the name of the store, use my phone to get the address, and hand it to the person. if they tip, fine, if not, fine. who cares. maybe i’ll sit on a bench on venice beach and just consult tourists for free.

because i would have loved to have run into a “doctor” like that while on vacation.

man.

mary, the biggest party girl on the wessside, had recently escaped rehab

10356569_10152419015143057_403483043_n

i hadnt seen her in a while. i was at coachella when she told me she was entering a swanky beachside facility for a month.

a few weeks ago she texted me saying i need an uber i gotta get out of this place.

apparently the beachside malibu resort-style valhalla was too much for her.

the trips to trader joes, the massages, the kingsized suite wasn’t what she hoped for

what she really wanted was to see her beloved dog and sleep in her own bed and get back to work.

she also wanted to turn over a new leaf, stop hanging out with the party people in her life

and start doing more wholesome, healthy pursuits like throwing dinner parties with miss universe contestants

like me and my buddy todd.

 

10362393_10152419015493057_915241277_n

im not a dinner party expert and when mary said all you have to do is wash the dishes, the girls and i will cook i was all, should i bring pie?

apparently im the last person in LA who eats pie.

so she sent me a text with a photo of a certain black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream and said i could bring that

ah yes, talenti gelato.

we grilled fish, steak, miss greece arrived with kale and watermelon, two delightful sisters were there

the conversations were spicy and real, and mary shared stories with us about kicking the habit.

before we knew it it was midnight and todd had to run home to feed his cat.

was i obnoxious? duh. will i get invited back next time? probably not.

but i did help dry the dishes and it was really nice to see mary dialed down a notch or two

and seemingly healthier and happier, which is what its all about.

ps that gelato was amazing.

your girl mary (pictured) felt bad for me losing my job

mary and friendsso she treated me last night at my favorite restaurant.

we ate drank and were mary.

peter was there and stoked us with fancy fresh fish.

the soft shelled crab was perfectly adorned with pretty sauces.

the college kids slurped their pho and looked enviously at our feast.

and of course the high rollers drank and drank and ignored the laker game.

it was nice. marys nice. she means no harm. she’s like snoop: la di da di, we wanna party

afterwards drove to abbot kinney for a little afterparty she knew about

met some interesting people who like inglewood were up to no good.

venice has always held a special place in my heart.

after i found myself looking for my first apartment ever, i ended up on Innes Place

which was about two blocks from the beach and right in the middle of venice being up to no good.

teenage tony was not ready for that back then and politely peaced out.

especially being straight off the boat from the midwest like i was back then.

plus i could barely skateboard.

AK has def changed since back then.

not sure if its for the better, but what can you do.

we’ll always have isla vista.

the hard part’s telling your mom

kpcc

she always thinks the xbi is behind everything.

they just want you to fly that stupid helicopter, she said.

if its true, which it isnt, its nice to feel wanted, isnt it, i asked.

“havent they heard of drones!?!?”

i told her about my idea to paint paintings on venice beach.

20 paintings at $20 each would be way more than im making now.

she said, you’ll get skin cancer

i said, i’ll be dressed like Darth Vader

she said people are afraid of Darth Vader

i said, i’ll have a puppy there.

she said, you figured that out as you drove home?

i said, i had the twitter feed set up while i pumped my gas.

then she said, and i quote,

this is a very bad idea.

so now i gotta get two puppies i guess.