i already know my new year resolution

stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter stop fighting with strangers on twitter

and facebook

there were two magazines that made an impact on teenage busblog

one of playboy, naturally.

the other was Cosmo.

living in a divorced home, my moms magazines were in her bathroom, neatly stacked.

and when i visited my dad, his mens magazines were in his closet. also, neatly stacked.

both had photos of scantily clad women, which was the bait for every teenage boy.

and both had articles, which were the Switch.

playboy was filled with stories about jazz, shiny cars, new technology, rankings of sports teams, and of course sex advice.

Cosmo also had articles which were about how to deal with your shitty husband, how to convince your shitty boyfriend to marry you, fantasies about cheating on your man, and quizzes to show you that you and your man are not compatible.

month after month Playboy showed me an, albeit skewed, take on life that I could be great in bed, rich, hunky, healthy, and well-versed in literature.

and month after month Cosmopolitan taught me that even if I lied in the quiz: men and women would never be happy together.

even though it was mildly depressing, I kept flipping through Cosmo because: omg boobies.

and once i got tired of looking at the omg boobies in Playboy, I would return to the articles I hadn’t read yet, and the comics, and the jokes, and the weird mail-order offers, and the letters, and the interviews. And the fiction that went on and on and on.

both magazines tricked me into reading. and both magazines delivered onto me a distorted look at masculinity.

one was devastating, the other hopeful.

and while so many who wish to judge Hef for airbrushing his models, i ask: have you ever seen what they do with the covers of women’s magazines? it’s even more exaggerated at times.

which doesn’t make it right. at all. and sure as hell doesn’t help prepare teen boys and girls everywhere for the reality of waking up next to someone in the morning.

but in a world that is so confusing, no matter what age, sign me up for the deliverer of Hope.

which is why I will defend and thank Mr. Hugh Hefner for his print product, even though I never became that suave dude in his pages.

yesterday a complicated man died at 91 years old

we are all complicated.

we are all super nice to some people and cant fucking stand others.

my mom is the greatest grandma and mom and friend and co worker

but if neighbor kids play on her lawn she freaks out like a dog does on a squirrel.


hugh hefner was even more complicated. he loved women so much that he wanted to look at them all the time. clothed, unclothed, sorta clothed.

and omg he wanted to live with them!

unlike a lot of his critics, i actually got to meet him a couple of times and i was invited to have a one on one interview with him when i worked for the LA Times. i asked him all the questions i wanted to ask him and he answered them openly and honestly.

some today are saying he was the saint of not giving a fuck. but he cared very deeply. in fact he cared so much about being misquoted that he had his own video team filming my interview so he would have proof if i was up to something. i appreciated that.

he was a friend of the First Amendment, Jazz, Civil Rights, good writing, science, humor, and the most sensitive topic of all: human sexuality.

weirdly he wasn’t able to rid the conflicts that people have in their minds about an untraditional sex life. but he tried.

one way he tried was by living by example. he told me the happiest times of his life was when he was married. he explained that he was a romantic but he also loved learning and exploring and experimenting. so when his previous two marriages failed, he did what most men would do if they could: he lived the life of a single man.

heres the things i loved about Hef: he made a magazine that had a naked superstar in its center during a time that was so uptight that naked bodies were only allowed if they were of black people in Africa. to display an American white woman was super dooper taboo. And he did it and it was an overnight success.

he made a magazine that championed quality music, style, fiction, nonfiction, sports, politics, interviews, cars, stereo equipment and even religion.

he loved animals so much he had a mini zoo at his house. And full time zookeepers. one of the very few private residences in LA that was allowed to have such a zoo.

who saved the Hollywood sign? (it was Hef)

i loved how he proved how important his magazine was (and is) simply by the reactions that people EVEN TODAY have about the nude body.

they still can’t get over the fact that he had pictures of boobies in his magazine.

even my beloved LA Times in the Metro Section today, written by one of their top editors has a story about his life but they simply couldn’t do it without putting “hedonistic” in the headline.

Hedonism is defined as the pursuit of pleasure. Who among us isn’t looking for pleasure?

and as much as i am truly madly deeply in love with my local paper, they are stuck in the same exact 1950s uptight sexually repressed mindset that Hef so successfully rebelled against.

Sex is part of life.

It’s ok to have fantasies.

It’s ok to be just as progressive about our sex lives as we are about our politics.

And if you were to have someone preach those messages, isn’t it nice to have that same person not be a hypocrite, and actually live that way.

Hugh Hefner was a fascinating groundbreaking publisher who loved journalists of all kinds.

He loved film and scrapbooking.

But most of all, at his heart, he loved love.

That’s what I loved the most about him.

in the days of chimpanzees i was a busblog

spent part of the weekend fighting with people on Twitter about why NFL players were kneeling during the National Anthem.

It’s tough to argue on Twitter for a few reasons:

1. some people want to remain in the dark

2. im a verbose SOB thus it’s tough to stick to just 140 letters

3. i was watching football and forgot that i was arguing with half of the South.

the biggest problem was these people kept wanting to say that by kneeling during the Anthem, the players are disrespecting the flag.

as if the flag has feelings. it’s cloth i told them.


but they didn’t want to hear it. and it was curious.

im sorry they arent protesting the way they want people to protest. when Trump tried to impose the racist Muslim ban, people took to the streets. The Trumpsters whined accusing the protesters of being paid. They complained that the traffic was bad now. They bitched that the signs were painting them in a bad light.

so here you have a protest that doesn’t affect anything. it doesn’t keep the flag from flying. it doesn’t keep the singer from singing. and it doesn’t even affect the game.

so they bring the military into it: “these selfish millionaire football players are disrespecting all the veterans who fought for this country!”

as if these Trumpsters care about the military. Aren’t a good chunk of homeless people veterans? Where were these defenders of the troops when W was cutting the VA?

but more importantly: is a veteran more American than a schoolteacher or a Community Organizer?

hey man, some of my best friends fought in wars. but members of the military are just Part of America. firefighters, nurses, farmers, fruit pickers, union bosses, seamstresses, and even your neighborhood blogger are all important parts of our society and we are all Americans who, when we are at our best, contribute to what makes the USA the second-greatest country in this continent.

hi baby.

long live every man woman and drone who defends this country and all the things we stand for but at what point is someone going to say, please stop using veterans as pawns for your bullshit argument?

the actual issue at hand is kids, teens, adults and even women have been straight up murdered by police and those cops paid no price even when they said


Yes. Yes you do. You know damn well why you do. And until we get that unsubstantiated fear out of the minds of our police force we are going to continue to have innocent dead black folks and athletes kneeling in protest.

but we can’t get there until we knock off this fucking shit about the flag or the military or the “country”.

until the flag murders a kid holding a toy gun, no one has any problem with the flag.

until the military says “i’m gonna kill this MFer”, kills a citizen, plants a gun on him and gets away with it, no one has a problem with the military.

athletes are kneeling because it is working. it is getting the word out there that police brutality and murder will not be tolerated.

the President of the United States wants to pretend that this is not about race or cops or anything other than the flag.

which is why you know it’s not about the freaking flag.

and now i wish i had learned how to run a Post Route so i could kneel

with my clenched fist up

during every anthem my team played on Sundays.


dear tony, im so tall what do i do

life is a cabaret old chum.

theres no such thing as average. everyone wants to fall within the boundaries.

everyone wants to fit in.

crazy thing is, though is, if you showed me an Average person i probably wouldnt wanna be friends with them.

in fact, nowadays theres a great phase: BASIC

no one wants to be that.

people should fly their freak flags.

show us the thing that the others dont have.

the great thing about this is if you can figure out what makes you unique your friends will be able to tell you immediately.

now heres the tough part:

if that wild card feature is about something lame like your hair or your clothes or your shoes

you should probably either change that

or let out the real thing inside that makes you you.

because i’ll tell you right now, you are not your shoes

you are not your hair. and for damn sure you are not your height.

back before blogs and facebooks and twitters there were AOL chat rooms.

and in those rooms all you were was your user name. and you could be TallBitch988 but only if you truly wanted to be. usually you were MaryfromLA or something

and as you chatted with people they got to learn your personality.

there werent profile pictures or anything that showed who you were visually. it was your ideas.

yes virginia, for a small sliver of Time, people were not judged by the size of their instep

but on the quality of their blah blah blah

i think about my cat Prince a lot

he does things and he cant help it.

im the same way.

if you throw his favorite little bell-ball he will run after it like a dog. eventually you will find it near my bed. a weird, slow, game of fetch, even though he’s a cat.

me, i drive uber and lyft as often as i can, even though i have a perfectly good normal job.

even though the roads are dangerous, the traffic is heinous and letting strangers in my Benz isn’t the wisest move deep down.

but i am addicted to learning about and helping people. ive got a friend Ben who works at a Catholic soup kitchen. they lure Catholics to skid row, murder them, and make soup out of them. the poor are nourished and Ben feels good about himself, which is crazy because Ben is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

got another friend, Steve, who writes novels and interviews other authors about their process. i almost wanna write another book just so Steve will interview me about it.

some nights i will drive and drive and drive for eight hours straight. peeing just once or twice. usually mcdonalds but today i peed in a bowling alley bathroom. what a great place.

my problem is i love people for about 25 minutes. i wanna know everything about them. and then they’re gone. no fuss no muss. am i a commitment-phobe? probably. who cares. we live such short lives why are we trying to box ourselves in? why can’t we just enjoy a bite-sized conversation, especially if it goes into a deeper truth.

the problem though with driving for 8 hours is somewhere along the way you get tired so you eat something and drink a giant Coke. then you get home totally frazzled and you can’t get to sleep.

luckily for me, theres a long legged blonde girl who dresses sexy and helps me get my Zzzs. and she has a key to my castle.

do i wanna write novels? yes. do i wanna have a great podcast? yes. would i love to build a house one day and shove a Conversation Pit in there? of course.

but i am currently addicted to lifestyle choices that keep me a mild mannered apartment dweller with no hope for advancement.

except in my heart.

where all my little conversations with the good people of this city live forever.

occasionally i will let you in for a peek.

which is how Prince would do it too.

(my Prince, not yrs.)

im brain storming right now

im spitballing, im freeballing im baseballing im softballing im team coverage im fast breaking

sip taking ball breaking rum jumping

i used to be the one who was the man who beat the man who helped the man who was the man

im super dooping free throw shooting mario jumping sonic tumbling

i got an idea i got an idea i got an idea

i love tough assignments i got one today they said make magic happen by the end of the day

which would be fine if i could just focus on the divine but

all these other distractions came up in my face and now im creating some space

so im spitballing free falling snow balling hand jiving

i fink yr freaky and i like you a lot

i fing you freely and i heart you a like

sometimes youre buying pillows at Fallas Paredes discount store

and you’re waiting in a line that wont move and amber says hey im gonna get some bananas at the Jons and i’ll meet you outside.

and you wait and you wait and as you’re waiting you hear the booming sounds of what appears to be a band playing.

now you’re old enough to remember when rock music used to float through the air all the time.

but those times are long gone.

so when you connect with her outside you say, hey lets go over to that alley to see what local schmos are about to get shut down because clearly this music is too loud.

and as you walk with your pillows and bananas

you see a tiny little crowd in the alley are looking over a fence

and you get closer and notice theres an entire parking lot fenced off with a huge catering situation. really good smelling food and people in chefs outfits scrambling.

then you see a security guard but not in a cheesy Don Knotts outfit but a suit and tie like the Secret Service. and he’s guarding the back of what appears to be a stage.

and then you hear what has to be the worlds greatest Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band break into “Under The Bridge”

and someone nods their head.

and you see Flea’s head bounce above the fence.

and then you realize, uh, this is one of rock’s biggest bands playing 10 feet away from you

playing one huge hit after another.

so you keep standing there with 5-6 others and no one moves you and no one tells you to get lost

and amber goes to a woman smoking by the back door

and the woman says,

Randy Newman is coming on next.

and you’re all,

you mean one of my favorite musicians of all time?

you mean the same guy who I chose to see over seeing Stevie Ray Vaughn w/ BB King or The Who because they were all playing the same night in 1991 in LA


and even though i sorta regret never seeing SRV, i thoroughly enjoyed seeing Randy at the Universal Ampitheater that night.

and the stars say yes.

but it was taking a while.

and two college aged kids came out through the back entrance. past the secret service dude.

and i say, hey is it true that Randy Newman is on next.

and they say are you kidding us right now?

i say no, youre in there do you know if anyone else is playing?

and they say, oh youre serious? we are Randy’s children.

and we LOL and chat and i tell them to tell their dad that he’s amazing.

and 10 minutes later Randy walks from a car to that back entrance and plays.

and as he does Chad Smith from the Chili’s has a smoke and a chat and poses with Amber Smith and then puts on his motorcycle helmet and hops on his bike and zooms home

into the hills of Hollywood.

where 100% true stories like this happen.

today is mary’s birthday, she’s 24

born on a new moon in the woods of darkest africa, mary waltzed onto an oceanliner when she was 16 to america

she had no ticket, no reservation, and no money so she was ordered to sing show tunes to the elderly

and steal from the drunk.

once in the land of the free, mary was accepted by a catholic orphanage where she learned how to sew, hem, and sing psalms.

after school she read to the blind and helped rehabilitate returning veterans from our many wars.

her techniques were unusual but successful and when she graduated she applied at some of the top medical schools

but was denied because she failed the piss test.

not the drug test, she knew all those, she failed the urine exam because hers contained a fluorescent glow that the lab had never seen before.

“THATS NOT ILLEGAL!” she tweeted while trying to explain that it was due to how she healed the sick.

Ever the selfless saint,  young Mary would disrobe the soldiers, thoroughly examine them, and then suck the shrapnel and bacteria and mayhem out of their wounds and spit it out onto the floor.

Clearly some of it was ingested, she argued, BUT ITS NOT ILLEGAL she cried.

And cried.

Earlier this year she was awarded a Purple Heart for her service.

Except it was a Purple Mouth.

With distinction.

Happy birthday Mary and thank you for your service!

i wrote because my mom encouraged me

i wrote because i had a sports illustrated subscription

i read both papers every day in the library at school

not because  i was smart – if i was smart i would have read my homework.

i read them because of mike royko and because sports on tv was pretty much nonexistent.

i wrote because when i sent little stories to the girls,

they smiled and

took my hand and

i wrote because there was a typewriter in the house.

when i was little a fancy car rolled past my house and stopped.

a man got out and said tony pierce?

i was 13.

i said jd salinger?

he said, here is the secret to writing,

it’s called the baseball hat.

i said, n word please.

he said, no, this is a magical one.

i said i will accept it but i would prefer one someday that will match all the Cubs crap i wear all the time.

he said im sorry thats not how it works

and tossed me a weird green one.

i haven’t washed my hands since.