today is my niece kyla’s birthday, she’s 15

dear kyla,

happy birthday. i wish i knew how old you were when i took this picture of you but whatever.

15? how are you 15! i wonder what life is for a teenage girl today.

television and movies try to show us but that’s all lies.

at least that’s what my witty butler tells me when he’s not fighting crime.

here’s my birthday gift. im gonna give you the best advice of your life.

be good.

when people are good they stay under the radar.

why do you wanna be under the radar?

because youre gonna wanna do some things now and then that not everyone would want you to do.

life is the struggle between doing the things the world wants you to do

and the things that you wanna do.

all while dealing with the parts of your days that suck.

anyone can handle the easy, fun parts. but a human being is someone who can deal with the crud.

so study. do what you’re told. be good to your brother.

before you know it you’ll be out of the house on your own and you can do what you wanna do.

but theres the catch. in the outside world

even if you’re tony freaking pierce

people are gonna try to stop you from doing what you wanna do.

which is why you’ll be glad you have all that practice of being good.

because in the outside world if youve been good

the Others will leave you alone.

what i would do if i was you is figure out how you can get a college scholarship.

college costs more than all of the cars ive ever owned in my life

current car included.

use the internet.

figure out how you can go to college for free.

and get as many degrees as you can for free.

stay positive. read the bible. listen to the beastie boys

and if you drink, dont drive.

happy birthday!

your uncle tony

I have cut the cord

My life is now complete.

went into the store during my lunch.

dude said forget what they told you on the phone, if you dont want anything but internet, i will get you just internet.

bing bang boom, im a free man.

i feel like I just took a $250 dump.

Memorial Day: another great thing black folk gave to America

1865 was a heavy year for the USA.

on April 9th, Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S Grant in Appomattox, ending the Civil War

it took a little while for soldiers to really get it that the war was over. and in some ways it wasn’t.

case in point: five days after Lee surrendered, Honest Abe was shot in the head while watching a damn play.

but by May most of the soldiers had packed up and made it back home to pick up the pieces.

A troop called the 21st United States Colored Infantry made it back to their home in Charleston, South Carolina. They found it in ruins. It was so bad most of the white folk had left and there were only about 10,000 black people still there – a third of them children.

But when the troops came home there was a huge parade of all the townspeople, preachers, and Union prisoners. The Rebels had turned the local race track into a prison. A horrible prison where over 250 soldiers died.

The first order of business that first day in May was to rebury the war dead, many of whom were white soldiers, into proper graves, surrounded by flowers and beauty.

That’s right: the first Memorial Day was started by newly freed black soldiers and their families honoring the fallen white Union soldiers who helped free them.

cut the cord today

tried to do it online but they make you call

so i got on the phone and the lady was nice

was from the midwest but lives in orange county

for some reason she tried to make that the reason why i would keep cable and my landline.

i pay $245 a month for those two plus internet.

so i called to find out how much just internet is.

i have very good internet.

what i was thinking about doing is just going internet and trying out the YouTube or Sling or whatever package that gets you like 40 channels for $35, but you need internet to make it happen.

the lady asks me all these questions like what do i watch.

i say i pretty much just watch Rachel, PTI and the most hardcore porn you could imagine.

she wasn’t paying attention.

she tried to move me to a smaller assortment of channels that would knock my bill down to $199 a month and i was all, yeah nah.

and then she said, oh i see something, you have 300 mbs and you say it’s just you in the home?

i said yep.

she said, well thats far too much for just one person. ten devices could be sharing that.

heres a few things no one should ever say to me:

im cancelling our date

why do you eat so much fast food

Cubs? oh did you jump on the bandwagon last year

i would like to slowly murder you

these gentlemen are here to slow down your internet speed

so i told her to transfer me to her boss and we agreed to just basic channels and then leave the internet alone for $120 total.

now i gotta buy a tivo.

went to the cubs game last night with todd

i dont know what it is with that guy but every time im with him i want to get back into journalism

the ideas just come flowing out.

he hates all of them, naturally, but whatever, here they come.

he bought incredible seats.

we were near the most incredibly annoying dude in the park: loud, stupid, obvious

i got to the game early because i didnt drive much after work. hadnt eaten well all week and i didnt really want to abuse my body with the typical two dogs nachos and a giant coke. so as i was walking around i saw this lady with a Poke Bowl. i was all, where did you get that?

and i pointed right at her bowl which had an enormous mound of edamame twinking in the sunshine.

she said its called Base Bowls, all the way by the left field pole.

cruised over and saw they also had a chicken teriyaki bowl with tons of broccoli.  my love.

$12 seemed a tad less rapey than the other prices at the park

but they also got me for $7 for a Coke.

later i bought three $14 beers.

afterwards we took the shuttle to the train station. i took the purple line to the red line

which only took about four hours.

and i inhaled the most foul stenches of all

and was invited to a duel by a mild mannered homeless dude

who quickly became ill tempered.

im starting to see why ridesharing has become so popular.

theres always two ways to look at things

you can listen to the devil who’s right up in your ear hole

who just goes on and on and on

with the this thing sucks, this is terrible, its the end of the world.

or you can try to tune in to the angels

who whisper so delicately

and sometimes even sing

with the omg its so beautiful tony its so nice its just lovely.

of course my devil knows where to take the conversation

he says things like youre gonna go to hell, youre gonna ruin everything, youre burning all the bridges.

and the angels, because theyre polite, wait for him to finish.

but hes never finished

and youre gonna grow old alone and you already are old and your knees are starting to ache 

btw: my knees are fine, satan.

my everythings are fine.

the busblog secret of life is the same today as when this thrill ride started in 2001:

if youre listening to the devil more than the angels you better turn that dial.

and i get it, the devil has better songs, a funnier voice, and seemingly knows exactly what to say at exactly the worst time.

but the angels: they actually work with the truth.

they dont blow smoke up your bung. as if!

there is no beautiful song than the sound of honesty being delivered right from the heart.

fleetwood mac talks about sweet little lies

but fuck the mac.

three songs in 30 years is nothing to crow about.

and neither is listening too long to the most boring poem of all:

you cant

you cant

you cant

you cant.

got a ping about 7 minutes away, which is weird

because i was in my old home of century city and usually there are lots of other cars around there

but things have been slow around there so i guess it has discouraged all of my competition. drove through the super tall buildings and then past Fox studios and then through the high class neighborhood to get the passenger

it was Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend so i figured it was either a $23 trip to the airport or a little jaunt to a restaurant near Rodeo.

but when i pulled up i saw the thing i most love to see: a latin american nanny waiting at the door and her employer outside with her making sure she got to the car ok.

i love it because these are trips usually far away from 90210, and as soon as she got in the car and i saw where to i was thrilled.

“we’re headed to Lynnwood” i asked.

yes, she chuckled. and off we went. it would be a $40 ride, i thought to myself, maybe more.

her english was great. thick accent but i could understand.

i asked her why her boss was using Uber Select instead of regular Uber and she said that usually she takes two busses and a train to get back and forth from work but whenever the boss or his wife makes her stay late they will get her an Uber home. One night she got this guy who was a little scary. he drove really fast on the freeway and then at stop lights he started to fall asleep.

she said she has been watching this rich man’s kids for 4 years ever since the oldest one was born. now there was a 2 year old too. she said she loved them very much and sometimes she gets a little too attached emotionally.

anyways the couple decided to get a higher level car on those rare nights and i guess they could afford it because when we got to Lynnwood they were charged $77 and i got $50 out of the deal so i was stoked.

on our way there she told me she was Guatemalan and she was married with no kids. she said most of her family had emigrated to LA about 14 years ago. her husband works in a warehouse as a fork lift dude. she says she speaks spanish to the kids she takes care of and they go to that French school on Pico, so they’ll be tri-lingual.

when i was about to drop her off i said is Carson near here, she said yes, Compton too. but she said those places are no bueno but Lynnwood is mostly hard working families and retirees.

she said it was mostly Mexican, which is too bad, because the deep fried Guatemalan tacos are much better and i should try them. i said oh trust me, i will.