i finished my thing about Coke today

and now im having a rabbi look it over and give me his blessing.

i could write about coke and religion all day.

in fact i did for two weeks and it was fascinating and heartbreaking and frustrating.

true story: last night i was getting sleepy and went to the fridge to get a Mexicoke. upon realizing i was out, i thought of ways to get one in the wee hours.

if the grocery store was closed perhaps get overcharged at a 7-11?

since i dont drink coffee, it’s pretty much the only way i stay awake.

then i realized i have like 3, 2-liter bottles of kosher coke, which is what my story is about.

they are warm but i dont care. i opened one up, poured myself a cup in one of ambers many unused coffee cups.

and it did the trick.

i am really hoping this story will do well tomorrow. i even asked my old boss if he would give it a good headline.

broke out of my writers block because of Rob

he was all, what are you writing? i said this thing about kosher food.

he said im a jew!

i said get outta dodge

he said already did and im still a jew.

i was all perfect.

then he said the magic words. he said i look forward to reading what you have to write about my people

i said you would?

and thats it. because i finally had someone to write to, i was back on track.

the big problem is, in order to not give a shit what people think, i often convince myself that absolutely no one is going to read it.

and sometimes im too good at convincing myself that, so my brain is like, whats the use of writing this thing if no ones gonna read it?

so now imma write it for rob, a solid man, a long time friend who ive known since he was a teenager.

i even went to his wedding.

finished this thing

the feeling of relief is real.

lessons i learned:

  • no social media for 90 minutes if im not making progress.
  • no walks, showers, or “cleaning” if i havent added even one sentence to the Thing yet that day
  • the devil doesnt want you to do it and will do everything to stop you
  • the Lord does want you to do it but He just chillin seeing if you the real deal
  • white castle fries only come in one size.

when i was done i sent it a boss i had 21 years ago!

i figured that since she has kids, it was late, and my thing was over 50 pages she would blow off even skimming it until tomorrow.

but in no time she had written me this:

Tony, this is AMAZING! I absolutely enjoyed every page of it, and I learned a lot!

I have a couple of (super minor) editorial suggestions for you, but it’s just little stuff.  We can chat tomorrow morning if you like, but this is a fantastic, creative, informative, entertaining piece, and I think that it will be very well received!

that is what i needed!

so then i looked back at it to see if it had transformed into something incredible and boom right at the top i see a mistake. so hopefully that was one of the things she was talking about.

but wow. i have a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and i got positive reinforcement from someone who is an expert in the field and whose advice i totally value.

what was it?

i wrote a thing about social media, brand building and recruiting in a global industry with lots of competitors.

i kept it real because who cares any more.

like really.

lou reed’s birthday was yesterday and arent we happy that he kept it real?

i need to learn why he was so angry so often even though he was always surrounded by great artists, musicians, music, and life

but whatever. maybe people will ask why was i so happy when so many things didnt turn out for me.

BECAUSE SO MANY DID, future people!

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.

things i wrote for los angeleno last month

birthday

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.

how?

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

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

ahhhhhh

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.

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.

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

live?

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.

everything.

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.

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

 

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