nothing in here is true

  1. Friday, September 25, 2020

    gonna try to unplug this weekend 

    it’s already hard. im addicted. and im procrastinating.

    i have so much work to do and a hard out on Thursday. maid’s coming, so i have to skedaddle outta here.

    two weeks worth of work boiled into six days.

    how will i do it? am i that amazing?

    i gotta say this about my first year with Los Angeleno, i always wanted to write more since leaving LAist way back when and it’s nice to write again.

    it makes me really appreciate those who do it every day or damn near every day. it’s not easy.

    my problem is not in the story ideas. i have 10 a day. good ones. perfect ones.

    its: can i remain excited about them 20 minutes after theyre approved?

    the answer is rarely yes. so i try to write as fast as i can before i get bored to death.

    my brain zips around so much these days FOR OBVIOUS REASONS and social media does not help because each page refresh or full screen scroll leads to two new moments of agita.

    thats one thing i miss about not being in Chicago, even though i havent been there in ages, i miss the italians

    today at the grocery store this black guy passed me and said nice hat.

    turned out he was from the South Side. super rarity to have that happen.

    most younger black dudes from that part of town are Sox fans.

    they view Cub fans as entitled white boy fratty dudes — and they’re not 100% wrong.

    so i asked him why a Cub fan and he said his grandma always had WGN on back in the day.

    i wish more networks understood the secret trick that WGN did to us:

    Ray Rayner cartoons in the morning, Bozo at noon and the Cubs at 1:20pm.

    it tricked millions of us kids to get addicted.

    i still dont know how a kids show at noon stayed so successful when most of their target market – pre TIVO – was at school, but thats another story idea for another media outlet.

  2. Tuesday, September 1, 2020

    things i wrote for los angeleno last month 


    i had terrible writers block last month.

    i just coudnt get it together.

    i struggled harder than i have — ever. just too much was going on. like all the time. finally i snapped out of it.


    i just let that gunk flow through me and waited. and finally it was gone. and i was able to get back to writing.

    but if that makes you think i wasnt concerned AF, youd be wrong. fortunately i was able to eek these out:

    Why My Girlfriend Doesn’t Want to Eat in a Parking Garage in Glendale

    Why Not Just Party if the Cops — and Everyone Else — Are Doing it?

    Picking a Psychiatrist’s Brain About Kanye, Racism, and the Rise of Karens

    Twitter Sounds Off on Kamala Harris’ VP Nomination

    Uber and Lyft Poised to Hit Cancel on California Like the Losers They Are

    Who Is That Masked Man Offering Me Pizza?

    The Buck Stops Here: NBA, WNBA, MLS and some MLB Games Postponed

  3. Friday, August 7, 2020

    arrest the cops who killed breonna taylor 

    i interviewed someone who was so easy to talk with. sooooo easy.

    in fact any time she was all, did you see this, did you see that?

    i was all, yes. of course! and i had.

    she is a shrink and the last question i asked was did she think everyone should be in therapy.

    she said yes.

    and i keep wondering what i would talk about in there because im good

    but usually im thinking things like that when im procrastinating.

    thats would i would want to work on with a shrink

    how i could be more productive about work

    so i could be lazier at rest.

    it took me days and days to transcribe that interview.

    it kills me to hear my questions and annoying laugh and weird voice

    sentence by sentence over and over.

    but when its over i feel so good.

    its like being constipated for days, sometimes weeks, and then


    imagine if i could just do it in hours, knock it out, and then spend the next two days

    eyes closed, beautiful music playing from a different room

    bathtub filling with mr bubble

    all while trying to float into a

    smoother plane.

    im gonna try this next week.

  4. Thursday, July 23, 2020

    i once had a teacher who said 

    if youre having writers block, dont write.

    but he was a short story writer.

    i get paid to type.

    i can’t just not write.

    plus the things i like to write about are timely.

    this day has come and gone and nothing.

    maybe four paragraphs.

    and theyre all terrible.

    i think im exhausted.

    i think im thinking too much.

    i think i have too many distractions.

    i think i am a distraction.

    R. Crumb when he was doing the Old Testament, bought a house on the top of a hill in France. but it was far away from his actual house in France.

    his wife would show up on Friday night with food and supplies like ink (he draws with old fashioned ink pens you have to dip) and then gave him love until Sunday and then she would drive back down the mountain.

    then he’d work.

    took him 6 years to finish the book.

    but what a book!

    but i aint got 6 years.

    in a perfect world i would have two stories finished before tomorrow.

    but i aint no where close.

    i think thats the problem. im trying to eat this elephant whole. and i have convinced myself i gotta eat two elephants.

    i just wanna go to palm springs.

    might just go to palm springs anyhow.

    i am Lots wife. i just wanna look back at the past even if it kills me. hotels, margaritas, sunshine, naps.

    it is killing me though.

    ive gotta push through.

  5. Wednesday, July 8, 2020

    in the days of chimpanzees 

    it’s taking me forever to write things during this pandemic.
    can i blame it?

    am i getting old? have i lost it? is this it?

    beck turned 50 yesterday.

    this blue eyed child who when he was introduced via my SPIN magazine subscription he looked like a schoolboy.

    how is he 50?

    how does anything survive and not just bob in the water but


    i dont wanna just sit there and let the waves rock me around

    a victim of the tides and the winds

    i wanna be part of the current.

    i wanna say we’re going this way.

    i wanna say we’re not going that way.

    beck didnt wanna whiteboy rap anymore so he didnt have to.

    i have so much control over what i write and still

    today every sentence was a struggle.


    and i know what it was, i was trying to make it

    you cant try and it wont make it.

    its gonna be it no matter how much you futz with it.

    i think it was shakespeare who said writing is like taking a dump, you can’t force it, you can’t will it

    you just have to eat right, act right and marvel when it arrives fully formed and solid.

    tennyson mighta said that, actually.

    amber and i had our sixth anniversary from the first time we kissed today.

    time flies when yr staring at the sun.

  6. Sunday, July 5, 2020

    10 things i wrote in June for Los Angeleno 

    it’s funny. i dont think i write much. i dont think i write as well as i used to. i dont think theres any magic in my makeup. when i look in the mirror i dont see the man i thought i would be.

    then something happens. then something gets popular. and i think i still got it.

    which is ridiculous because who cares if the public responds? who cares if the right people at the right time click the retweet button? did that make what i wrote any better? shouldnt i just judge myself with my heart?

    shouldnt i just say, i wouldnta published it if i didnt think it was good?

    i have never cared about people’s approval. why start now? because im not 21 any more? because im not getting 100s of comments on shit anymore? trust me, in 2020 if youre getting 100s of comments on something it’s probably bad news.

    last month i was in DEEP on the Rona beat. then i had to also do the BLM beat. it was a lot. it kept me from features and Q&As which is why this month i’ve been asked to lay off the roundups and focus more on original things.

    this week imma write about baseball and swimming pools. but best laid plans… who knows i might meet the coolest Somebody and talk to them for an hour and write it all up and dole it all out. thats why i love Los Angeleno.

    15 Epic Moments From LAPD’s Police Commission Zoom Meeting


    Skip the Lines and Get Tested for COVID-19 at Home


  7. Wednesday, June 24, 2020
  8. Friday, October 11, 2019

    LA is burning about 20 miles north 

    maybe 15, who knows. but i can smell it and my nose is irritated so ive been blowing it

    its sorta too bad i wasn’t a dad because i can tell


    if someone had been smoking in a house. perfectly.


    what daaaaaaaad? 

    I’m going to smell your fingers! Someone has been smoking?

    OMG gross much? Geeze! 

    Oh I’ll show you gross, young lady. I’ve got a half a bean burrito in me itching to fumigate this villa. Now tell me who has been smoking!

    this week i was a busy body. and all of it made me feel so thankful that i was raised by a woman who was not mentally ill or violent or crazy or mean.

    i interviewed an amazing doctor who taught me about violent criminals whose psychosis was triggered by this or that. we talked about the Joker movie and how she would have treated him. we talked about Kanye and Britney and racism and DNA and the holocaust

    and it was all the things i always wanted to do at the previous gigs but for some reason i was not trusted or the bosses felt weird or… whatever. it never happened and now it is and i feel so liberated and vindicated because these stories are being so well received and i wanna rent a hot air balloon that says Told Ya on it, and shower the globe with marshmallows.

    why those? who knows. who cares. cuz it would be funny. and it wouldnt hurt anyone. just like me.

    then i did a bunch of editing and researching for stuff coming down the pike.

    then yesterday i went to Compton and Inglewood and ALSO did stuff ive been dying to do: talk to THE CENTER of LA about something of global importance: the impeachment of the POTUS.

    and when you pitch ideas in the real world, so often they are shot down before you can get out of the room. “come on tony, what do you Think those people are gonna say?”

    we dont know. we never know. did we think Reagan would trade arms for hostages? did we think Bush 1 would puke at a dinner? did we think Clinton would turn a giant deficit into a giant surplus? did we think the GOP would be totally cool with a US president being super chummy with the Russians? did we think a bunch of GOP senators would fly to Russia on the 4th of July and come back and lie about it?

    if people are anything they’re unpredictable AF. which is why i love them. which is why i ask them the most basic questions and often i am rewarded with surprising answers.

    just like i was treated to in Compton and Inglewood where a young black lady said she thinks Trump is bad but Pence would be worse, so no. And an old black man said he likes Trump for a variety of reasons but he cant get too into it because his gf would get pissed at him. which is REAL, grampa!


  9. Wednesday, September 25, 2019

    omg im so happy 

    worked so hard. did the things in the daytime. did some phone things.

    was able to walk around the neighborhood during some of the phone things cuz i gotta get in my steps.

    still had time to procrastinate a good deal before i finished the last 2/3rds of my super giant piece. the longest, most epic piece about a chicken sandwich that you’ll ever see, but i finished it, i learned how to get into the CMS, i put it in there, hit draft and

    could not believe that it was done, and it was funny, and it was real and it was me me me.

    the first thing i did there was fun and punny and sorta great. but then i struggled, which hurt my confidence and slowed me down on this one. i have limited attention span for these things. i wanna talk to the people, get it down and go on to the next thing. if i feel bored with it then thats what will come out.

    but this puppy. once i got going again tonight. once i turned off facebook and trump and blocked out all the distractions, good shit happened. and i was laughing. i totally forgot that i laugh when i write. had it been that long?

    the key, for me, at least, is talk to lots of people and ask all the questions. and laugh during that part too.

    i am so blessed to be doing this. especially now. particularly with and for these people.

    God is good.

  10. Saturday, September 21, 2019

    what have i been doing? 

    gurrrrl ive been working working working.

    thats the thing, give a man a fish he will eat for a day, let a man run his own fishing boat he will fish all day and night

    and think of ideas and talk to people and write and talk and write and scheme and plot and plan and not sleep and not eat and talk and figure out

    and parts of his brain that havent been loved in sooo sooo long will emit clouds of smoke and gears will turn and things will go slowly at first but damnit if this machine wasnt ready for this, if i wasnt built for this

    if i wasnt born this way.

    and baby im telling you right here right now, i was meant to do the job that i am doing right now and the only thing slowing me down is some outside forces which will be cleared up super soon

    and then the rock will begin.

    because it’s about writing though there needs to be a bit of structure and thats coming too. in part is the lesson i learned at UCSB which was “when it’s light out, study, when it’s dark out party.”

    i need to write in the daytime now and study at night because my body has changed. my magic is in the AM and i get so distracted at night. maybe this is because i was sitting on the bench for half of this year turning into mush?

    maybe it’s because i havent written news and features in far too long. FIVE YEARS david bowie i was doing basically PR, trying to do news but being nudged into a different place.

    remember in Moneyball when Brad Pitt wanted Scott Hattenberg to play first base and they asked the dude, hey its easy to play first and the dude said, it’s actually incredibly difficult. writing news is not as easy as it seems. but i can do it. and i have the freedom to do it the way i want. which is priceless. a dream come true. and i thank the Lord above for this blessing. and just wait what i do with it.

    speaking of the pretty boy. i fell asleep in an afternoon matinee of the new Brad Pitt movie because i was so tired. i see why people do cocaine now. but id never do that for a few reasons. death. expense. and the last thing i wanna hear from St. Peter is come on dude.