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’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.
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.
YOU GIRLS COME DOWN HERE RIGHT THIS MINUTE
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!
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.
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.
yesterday i had my second job interview. unlike the first, this was in person.
even though i generally feel comfortable talking with people, i don’t like wearing a suit (because I think it’s a lie), and i would feel very awkward being forced to bad mouth any of my previous experiences. everywhere ive worked, people are just trying to make the best decisions given the options in front of them.
so driving over there i was like an hour and a half early. i walked around an old Staples store which had the worst energy. the two dudes working behind the counter were slow and had difficulty keeping eye contact with who they were speaking to. many of the shelves were either empty or lacking.
what a game that was. what a beautiful and terrible game.
nobody will tell you this because nobody is like your uncle tony. but heres the secret about being a bears fan, that’s different than being a cub fan.
and i can say this because ive been a huge fan of both teams for a very long time. how long? let me just say: i watched bears game on a NEW black & white tv that your grandma bought.
i bet youve never even seen a black n white tv. and for that alone you should be happy.
anyways heres the secret about the bears: they are going to break your heart more often and more painfully than the Cubs ever will.
the thing about the Cubs is they’re the lovable losers. even this season they lost and we loved them. but the Bears, for some reason, always gets our hopes up. they always have players who are so outstanding that you think, oh shit they can and SHOULD win this game.
and they get you right up to the end and they stab you in the heart.
then they get your heart and put it in a pie and put the pie in a box of money, the biggest box youve ever seen, and they give that box of money to jackasses like jay cutler or kickers named cody.
so heres what you need to do. you need to use that feeling inside of you and put it to good use.
i dont know about you, but heres how im feeling: like fucking shit.
but fret not, because shit is in this world for a good reason. you think im kidding but im not. ask your grandma. shit is extremely valuable for growing the most beautiful things in the world. green grass and pretty flowers. in fact the best shit cost money and people seek it out because the better the shit the bigger and more colorful the beauty.
and this is why wrigley field is the most gorgeous place in the world.
so use that shittiness that you feel. use it to make beauty. get your dads keyboards and hook up your headphones to it and play. so many beautiful songs have been based on sadness. i would never lie to you.
either the songs were made from the shittiness of the pianist’s life, or that crappy feeling drove that person to learn to play as a means for escape or a way for them to express themselves other than doing what they really wanted to do like take a giant torch to the entire city and start over.
now uncle tony wasn’t very good at the piano, or the saxaphone or the drums, but when i was in high school we had a dog who died. Chumbi. old Chumbi wasn’t crazy about me and i wasn’t nuts about him neither but when he died i was super sad. so i went down in the basement and i beat the crap out of those drums. for an hour i was the greatest drummer in the world.
and when it was over i learned a valuable lesson. that i should stick to writing.
which is my final bit of unasked for advice. turn that shitty feeling inside into words. if you dont wanna show anyone, fine. fuck em. just write. write and write and write. write truthfully, write a bunch of lies, write a cool combo of the two, but get the poison out. turn it into something that never existed before. use that shit to grow something excellent.
you might suck at first but keep going. everyone sucks at first.
cody the kicker should have practiced more too.
dont grow up and be like him.
i love you very much. next year they’ll break our hearts in new ways. so we got that going for us.