so this will have to do.
people on long threads can be incredible.
so this will have to do.
people on long threads can be incredible.
it was super nice.
as always a lot of their kids were there, which is beautiful.
the kids are mostly in high school now, a few are younger, one is in college
but together they are their own adorable mini extended family.
for the most part the adults were outside in the cold around the fire pit while the kids were inside playing video games and yapping it up
they came outside when they got hungry.
while food was arranged, i asked a group of them if they were watching Euphoria
they lit UP, i asked some other questions and they were soooo into it.
none of the parents, my friends, had seen any of the show, they said they were scared.
i asked them which boys they thought were the hottest. i guessed. i was wrong.
then they all agreed the super soft spoken drug dealer was their fave
not the pretty boy.
i thought that was unusual and honorable.
they didnt like the pretty boy because he was a druggie who cheated on zendaya.
wow. good for these kids!
my friends called me the Teen Whisperer and suggested i do a podcast called
Tony Talks to Teens.
i said, do teens wanna be called teens? and also, isnt that creepy if a guy like me had a show like that?
so they said Tony Talks With People.
perhaps they are not aware I HAVE A PODCAST WHERE I DO THAT
but they were complimenting me, so thank you.
but for me the best part was when i revealed i didnt know any of the kids’ names
the kids were shocked, insulted, not sure if i was kidding.
they grilled me hard. it was so funny.
but i kept saying, no of course i dont know your name. i barely know which ones of you belong to my friends.
it was shocking to them.
hilarious to me a bit.
and the best part of the night.
so shits fucked.
people are dying over there.
no one knows what to do over here.
sanctions, threats, words, tears.
in russia, all over, people are taking to the streets protesting because they dont want war.
and yet here you got the last president calling putin a genius, you got one of his sr advisors saying ukraine aint even a country, you got tucker carlson saying he wants russia to win
“white people crazy” is what the line is, but everyones crazy
we are so politicized right now, so many people want to keep us divided by looking at the world through either What Do Liberals Want or What Does Trump Want
that these “patriots” struggle to call insurrectionists traitors, can’t seem to bury the confederate flag, and refuse to watch our enemy Russia invade a sovereign land and say yep thats fucked.
it becomes distracting to say the least.
the other day i got back on the horse and interviewed a mountain climbing atheist guitarist.
today i got an Armenian refugee to agree to an interview in a few weeks
an old college friend who is now a realtor in one of the best parts of town wants to do it next month
and on monday a woman who grew up in Eagle Rock is ready to rock.
so maybe i just need to keep my head down and do the thing i need to do for the next 14 years
super flattered they reached out to me to do an Oscars post
imma write another one for either them or myself about
Fixing The Oscars
but this one was there idea, they asked me who should Angelenos root for.
which means i was just taking notes From Above.
hell, some of them say dont tweet on sundays at all
but especially not super bowl sunday because
“everyones watching TV!”
so how did my little video get 143,300 views?
and why do people, sorry, experts, always seem to have theories about when
to publish on social media?
do they ever tell you days you shouldnt tell your girlfriend you love her?
do they ever tell you which parts of the day you dont wanna be told youre incredible?
do they ever say which hours you shouldnt breathe?
a, b, c: always be (in the) conversation
always tell your girl she’s smokin hot
always tell yourself you da man
always be trying new ways to connect to that insatiable maw out there.
right now im trying to write a piece about cops.
ironically, im telling them that they should stop tweeting entirely
them, their deputy friends, and the entire force as a whole
why? because they suck at it and it’s embarrassing, and they only look foolish doing it.
but for some reason i am still stuck in this terrible writers block
something that was temporarily relieved when i went to a library a few weeks ago.
ive never dealt with this before and im sure its due to my lack of weed
how did that become my popeyes spinach?
but it did. it was a crutch. it was a habit that i thought i had under control
but if i cant write or dont wanna write or whatever you call this
then how was it not a liability?
i do feel healthier. i breathe easier. i dont wheeze. but i also dont sleep.
today is presidents day and the leaf blower guy didnt get the day off so i was up after just a few hours of sleep
and i dreampt i was tweeting
maybe thats a bad habit i gotta kick too
since clearly i have hit the high score.
did a perfect podcast with my man Joe
i dont even wanna see how little of it got recorded.
he was a super good sport about it and doesnt mind doing it again on tuesday
ive got 1,500 of these to do before i die
i cant be doing two of the same dude in the same few days
the good news is at least its joe, who produces podcasts for a living
as well as being a musician
so he knows this shit happens
and it was really good to do it with him
i know the best people
dudes a gd mountain climber
and busted with the biggest words
we were in the dorms. but that night we drove up into the santa barbara mountains and dropped acid.
i have had a blessed life and yes i am grateful.
even though i barely knew these people, for some reason we all trusted each other magically.
decades later we are still extremely close.
in the morning we ate more. it was liquid lsd someone had used an eyedropper to poison graham crackers left over from the smores we never made the night before.
we took an early morning hike.
none of this made sense to me: sleeping in the dirt, hiking around for no reason, doing hallucinogens.
at that point in my life i was extremely literal and a bit of an analysis, and i would typically overthink before trying new things.
these hippies yanked me out of that comfort zone quickly and i could just sense that they knew what they were doing.
in reality they were 17 and 18 and none of us truly knew what we were doing, but it felt different then.
as we hiked someone said watch out for the poison oak.
i grew up in the suburbs in illinois. cul de sacs. courtyards. houses that all looked the same.
wtf did poison oak look like? of note: this was pure lsd. untainted. from the lsd plant or factory or rain cloud, who knows, but it was neither “speedy” nor something else, they said, but extremely visual.
despite being just 830am, the colors were vivid green in those hills. and omg the tye died shirts they were wearing were a show all unto itself.
i could barely walk from the panic of stepping into this poison oak.
soon everything looked like it.
is that it? is that it? i asked.
yes. they said. yes.
then why are you going through it?
LOL we’re kidding. keep up.
can you guys do me a favor and dont kid for a few minutes, im nervous.
at some point one of the hippy girls said hold my hand, i’m not trippin as hard as you are. i’ll show you the way.
but even holding hands felt weird and i let go.
then she said something i have taken with me forever.
look around, tony. look up at the sky. look at those trees. look at cindy and rob and chris and joe. listen to them laugh. listen to the birds. can you hear the tall grass in the wind?
then she said, if you want to spend all day today
looking for poison
but theres way more
not poison out here
focus on what you want.
and to this day i still dont know what poison oak or poison ivy looks like
but i have seen some beautiful
unreal things since.
and only do as little as possible on it
and focus everything on the podcast.
but then i think, isn’t web shit my biggest strength?
isnt that what would help me beat the Obama / Springsteen podcast?
and then i think
yeah thats it.
A WEBSITE. A KILLER WEBSITE is what will help me compete with the coolest POTUS ever
and the boss.
i swear to you i havent smoked weed in a while.
so anyways, thats why i may keep the web site lean and mean and not the stumbling block its been since we started this gangsta shit.
She sold the ads, smoked the Camels, and stayed out of our way, which had to be hard.
How hard? Once I produced a 12-page special section in the paper, just on where to get fucked up on campus and in IV. It was mostly about shrooms and LSD. Fryday Magazine. She didn’t bat an eye. She sold the ads for it.
And that was just me! There were literally hundreds of us who passed through those doors during her decades there trying to push the limits to see if the sky would fall. It never fell.
Just the opposite.
Only once did Tybie, pictured, take me aside. I used the phrase “sorority tart” once in a column and she said, “you’re better than that Tony.”
I asked “’tart’ bothers you? I began a piece ‘Fuck fuck fuck’ the other day and ‘tart’ bothers you?”
She said, “that other piece was art. It was poetry. ‘Tart’ is something any Bozo would type. You’re special.”
I’m misting up thinking about her. She gave us all the freedom. The most valuable gift you could bestow a young person.
Without her finding creative ways to finance our paper – a freaking daily paper with no adult supervision – we would have had to study or some shit.
St Peter is hearing some great stories tonight.
in fairness it was a second invoice.
the first one was 71 days ago.
when you write an invoice on December 1 you think, ah what nice Christmas gifts I’ll be able to buy my family with that money.
a few weeks later I wrote a different invoice for 19 days of December and submitted that one as well.
that was 53 days ago.
neither have turned into monies.
2021 was not a great year for me financially and those two invoices were the 2nd and 3rd that have not been paid as of yet.
in total i am owed over $10,000 for work in 2021. hard to believe.
of the replies I have received when i inquired about remittance:
fuck you tony
you’re an asshole.
being raised in a community as a young man where i was the only Black kid in many situations, trust me when i tell you, name calling does not affect me.
i know who i am.
but those who i owe do not want to hear sob stories or “they called me an asshole and said it’s coming, what can i do?”
after 53 days is it really coming?
is it in one of those ships off long beach, polluting the air, waiting for a truck to get it at the dock and deliver it to my home.
the one i pay rent on.
who has a landlord who will say, “oh you’ll tell me when it comes? thank heavens.”
in the college of creative studies when they were teaching us how to write fiction they said, “when you write interesting characters think about their motivations. think about whats going in their heads. why do they say the things they do, why do they not say things.”
what could go through someone’s head when they know its been 53 days since the Second invoice?
and why aren’t they saying, “i’m sorry, tony. you’re not an asshole for asking. i am an asshole for not making this happen in a timely, professional way”?