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yesterday was my birthday

i woke up and the bears were already up by two tds and i had this pretty girl next to me asking if i wanted an egg sandwich

her name is amber.

when she returned from the kitchen she looked at me

and i was watching the end of the game

and she looked at me again

and again until i looked back.

when i did she looked down at a huge box

i opened the box and it was something ive wanted for a long time but never felt right spending the money on. it was this big Marshall bluetooth stereo.

amber was never one to play a lot of music around the house and one thing she has noticed with me is i have music on all the time.

one day we were in the best buy and we just wandered and i showed her what i wanted but i never thought she was taking notes.

after that i opened my moms gift box which was equally huge, filled with all the things i really wanted too: white socks, candy, and a bonus Amazon gift card. thanks mom!

then we met up with chris and sass and her man and we dined at hollywood oldest restaurant, musso and franks.

then we went to hamilton. which, if you havent heard is pretty good. but looooong. woah. it musta taken that guy forever to write it.

very inspirational that way. i will never whine about how long something takes to write after sitting through 3 hours of rap and song and dance which had to have taken years to fine tune that perfectly.

at halftime amber wanted to pee but the lines went all the way back to the 18th century.

i noticed by the front door it said you could get back in if you have your ticket. so we went next door to the emptish frolic room. while i waited for her at the bar i ordered a Bailey’s neat.

the shot of rum at dinner had gotten me buzzed because i hardly drink any more. so the Baileys just took the edge off of that.

for some reason this birthday had made me nervous. maybe it was because i knew Hamilton would be the big part of it and it’s gotten so much hype. somehow that energy turned negative and got all up in me. hard to explain.

im such a sensitive poet.

i do feel everything.

we took the subway home, met these walking dead contest winners from west virginia

watched when the cast of hamilton went to the white house

ate cake

and thanked the Lord for all of everything.

i am so lucky it’s crazy how many things ive gotten to do.

however

there’s a million things I haven’t done

but just you wait

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!

todays the busblogs birthday, it’s sweet sixteen

sixteen years ago i was doing some washing by the river.

i looked into the weeds and there i saw a little tiny raft and a blog wrapped tightly in a blanket.

i swam over to the scene and the blog was barely alive. it was ugly. it had very little to say other than ba baaa

i said, is that your name?

it said ba baaaaa

i said busblog?

and then i saw a stream of urine seep down its leg.

i picked it up and dunked it into the river to wash it and a light shot down from the Heavens

apparently i had inadvertently baptised it AND named it.

son of a!

when i looked back to the now-empty dingy i spotted a Post It which had been placed on the blog’s head

on it was written a curious phrase

nothing in here is true.

i gave it a home on my url: tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm

it wasn’t grand or interesting because at the time i didn’t think it would survive the night.

but alas, quickly it grew and grew and everyone wanted to see the little thing.

i said, what about my fully formed website?

they said, but your beautiful baby blog is fantastic!

and it grew and as it did i learned it had magical powers beyond my wildest dreams.

and every year it did something weirder and more beautiful than the last.

and now it’s 16 and wants to drive.

so be it.

happy birthday blog of my dreams.

thank you for coming into my life.

today is Licensed to Ill’s birthday, it’s 30

licensed to ill

i dont remember if i was still working at the record store or selling car radios at federated group

but i do know that once i did start selling stereos there was no better tape to demonstrate speakers

especially subwoofers than

“slow and low”

(white castle fries only come in one size).

anniversaries like this can make some feel old. but it makes me feel grateful.

im glad i was of age to see this record become the biggest debut ever for a trio or a group or a hip hop group or someone.

but it was also fascinating to watch this brand of rap evolve from Run DMC to LL to this.

and it was so obvious right away how much of an improvement it was to integrate the bells of DMC, the aggressiveness of LL with the led zeppelin and Mr Ed samples and just straight up tomfoolery to make this record

and live: all they did was run around the stage spraying budweiser cans on each other and the fans and sliding around in their adidases.

im so grateful i got to see their first show at the Paladium. im so glad i got to see them in college graduate to Pauls Boutique and then Check Your Head

and what a small world that i was in Atwater Village when they were in Atwater recording Ill Communication.

but it all started with the three bad brothers you know so well.

and they were so so def right from the jump.

happy birthday baby

today is my birthday, im 50

50

how did this happen? how did i get here so fast? nothing i do is fast.

it takes me 17 hours to eat dinner. i like to savor every moment of every thing. who knows why but i do.

50 knocked on the door when it shoulda been 30. i feel exactly as i did back then. my eyes my heart my legs my knees.

except for a mild touch of high blood pressure im in exactly the same shape in mind body and spirit.

all while eating healthy portions of fast food every. single. day. often 2-3 times a day.

my poops are regular. my weiner works. my back is fine. and my dreams are just as vivid as they were when i was seventeen.

the old noggin keeps thinking of wild twisty colorful storylines and i write about one per cent of them down.

50 was the age bukowski was discovered and his life completely changed.

he was told he could just write and no longer work. so he wrote and he wrote some of the best things youve read by him: post office, ham on rye, women. all after 50. all about four blocks from where i write you.

when you dont have to worry about the government job getting weirded out by your weird ideas the flow can flow. then you walk up the street and order some chicken and walk home with a nice greasy bag.

i think about working out. i say to myself you were in shape the first 20 years and then coasted the last half. how about seeing what you could look like now.

keefebut i dont want people to like me because of my abs. who cares about those. i want them to smile from the crazy stuff. the wild side. the weirdness. the love.

bodies are the dumbest things ever and we know this and we know this but we fall. some of us. into that murky madness of a lie. donald trump looks like a cartoon and yet millions of people are going to give him their vote because of

his

crazy wild weird anti love.

thats what im learning from him at least. he doesnt stop letting it all out. he didnt wait till he was 50. and imagine how much better our secret stash is than his.

we are not our abs or our life savings or the pretty girls we kissed or rock shows we didnt miss.

we are not our incredible friends or our education or stories we can tell.

we are the reflection of a loving god

who has given us the freedom to make something fascinating of ourselves.

we can hoard it or hide it or share it or help others with theirs

but we are not mes we are wes

theres no accident that theres so many of us in such a small space.

we are not here to be alone.

and like reflections, when we reflect each other the mirrors do the trippiest things

into infinity and back all at once.

and everyone except for the one holding it can see.

im 50 because the universe allowed me to be 50.

im 50 because of health, which im telling you, i did nothing to help.

if anything i hurt it, i fought it, i completely took it for granted.

but god wants me to keep reflecting

clearly

or as clearly as my circus mirror can.

i am grateful for everything

i know i didnt deserve to even hear about most of it

never mind see it or be it.

if anything it was a secret message from above

saying we love you, baby.

love

you.

now lets play two.

today is charles bukowski’s birthday, he’s 24

charles bukowski let it kill youborn in a rowboat in Lake Los Angeles during the stock market crash, charles bukowski, americas greatest poet, never saw riches until he was in his 50s and never cared about them once he had them.

what he loved he did, be he broke or wealthy: the drink, the dance, the fight, the fuck.

he had a higher voice than youd expect and he sang when he spoke.

how do you doooooo, he’d say as his horse rounded the home stretch with the lead.

he loved to gamble on the ponies so much that he’d often drop off his wife at the huntington library in pasadena even if the horses were running in hollywood park. afterwards he would pick her up. was he drunk? probably. did he ever get a DUI?

did mark twain?

did hemingway?

did Moses?

if you were talking to Tom Petty right now would you ask him such a question?

Charles “Henry” Bukowski loved cats and classical music. he didnt care for your questions unless you were a pretty girl at a poetry reading at a college where he was invited to speak. and then he would just watch their lips move and eyes crinkle and hair gently flow.

did he ever cheat on any of his girlfriends or wives? WHERE DID YOU GET THESE QUESTIONS? DID ROOSEVELT? DID MONROE? DID LASORDA?

he smoked when he drank and drank when he wrote and wrote in a rocking chair in front of a typewriter until the year 19 hundred and 90, the year punk broke when he switched over to an Apple Quadra. the step brother of the Mac. a very young Steve Jobs himself  poured sand in Bukowski’s keyboard so the clicking sounds would be louder.

once Jobs offered Bukowski LSD but the poet didn’t want any of that nonsense. he wasn’t a Beat! he’d bellow. give that hippie crap to Ferlinghetti or Proust or Philben! he just wanted a cold bottle of something bubbly

and your undying love.

you, the one with the ruby red lip colors

you with the barrette

you with the notepad half filled with scribbles.

hop into my rowboat.

today is the busblog’s birthday, it’s 15

get born

the other day someone asked “why did you Even start this blog”?

but it was so long ago i dont even really remember why.

maybe the same reason you start fiddling around when you pick up a beautiful guitar

or dip your brush into some paint and go for it when you see an empty canvas

or how when dudes really need to pee, and they’re outside, and it just snowed.

but i think the busblog always wanted to be alive and found me.

it saw me toiling away, unloved and unrespected in my cubicle, sad, and it said

oh heres someone who will do this pretty much every day for years and years and years.

heres someone who wont bail out after the fad has faded.

heres someone who will do it for the right reasons and make something of this

empty canvas

on a snowy mound

because he can’t play guitar.

we all know the long list of goodness that came along because of this miracle web log

and for that, and to all of you who have been here supporting it, may i sincerely thank you.

expect a redesign soon.

today’s os’s birthday, he’s 24

os

born to long time kentuckians on the allegheny river on a river boat in a flood,

os is building a recording studio on the banks of his shallow end

and even though this isnt what i said to him when i saw how beautifully it was coming along

this is what i would like

i would like all of our friends to record all of their songs in the studio

and call it the sugarfoot sessions.

what i said was

how much do those little water sprinklers cost

hanging from the ceiling in case something catches fire

the answer was

woooo boy.

id also like the friends to record the songs of other bands

the bands that cant be with us, but who should be re recorded

because no one else is gonna do it

and it would be a shame to let those great tunes

just fade away.

when i didnt tell him all of that, his oldest child was playing soccer

in his baseball uniform.

technically it was his all star uniform for he was about to play in an all star game.

i said, you know what people remember the most from their all star games?

he said what. the boy’s 10 years old. by the way. where does time go?

i said fights.

fight em all.

the inside of that plate is yours.

lean in and if they plunk you, charge the mound.

not sure if os agreed but he didnt disagree.

 

today is the truest’s birthday, shes 24

chris and africans

almost everything you need to know about todays birthday girl is in this picture.

when everyone was getting high, making money, going to cocktail parties with meliania

chris went to africa to save the poorest of the poor. the blackest of the black.

she joined the peace corps, volunteered at an orphanage filled with kids whos parents died of AIDS or wars.

some of the kids were handicapped some were emotionally screwed up.

two tried to kill themselves by throwing themselves into the Victoria River

but Chris, once a member of the UCSB Women’s Crew Team, jumped into the river and saved them

a year later she returned to the river, with the youngsters, and they took pictures to celebrate her bravery

orphansand selflessness.

some in the village called her a ghost. some a witch. some just called her America.

America saved two orphans, someone said in Lugandan, the language of Uganda.

You lie! said another.

and a sound was heard in the distance, then a dusty image, then a rollicking cab filled with people

some even on the roof.

and then it stopped.

and out came three wet souls. one white and two black.

and off they climbed from the roof.

and they all collapsed before they could get into the orphanage. they were exhausted.

but alive.

and the one said to the other SEE! SEE WHAT THE AMERICAN GHOST DID!

today Chris lives in New Mexico where she donates blood every week.

and listens to NPR on her solar powered radio.

she is the very best this country is all about.

Hillary should make her the VP.

today is michele’s birthday, shes 24

michelethe best things ive learned ive learned from women.

and the least likely things ive learned, i learned from my girlfriends

i have been extremely lucky with love.

these women have all been super smart, and thankfully patient, but most of all, genius

michele lived in malibu. i loved her family and fortunately they loved me right back. i tell these stories every year because i like to remember them.

the drive was always so long to get out there but it was always worth it. we talked a lot, she and i. we were so young. people worry but they shouldnt. some kids just like to talk with their gf/bf. hold hands and watch movies.

its weird that now i work right across the street from our favorite movie theatre: this little indie place that specialized in foreign films. i lived in inglewood at the time. i would drive to zuma, hang with her family and we would drive into hollywood and watch a movie, then id drive her home. then id drive back to inglewood.

it was a lot of driving. i was 20. what did i care. i loved her. what wasnt there to love? dark hair, red lips, blue eyes, pale skin and the most beautiful words from the most concerned mind. she was from another world. i was from the dirt. she was from the heavens.

she would see a whale in the sea and cry. shed stand by the railing and it would swim and she would see an entire novel. a mini series. she would weep during the sad parts and bawl during the happy parts. and it all took place in seconds. i didnt even look at the whale because there was a damn movie happening in her face. the weirdest and most beautiful movie. she’d apologize for crying and i’d apologize for not crying.

she taught me about poetry and journalism and the rest of my life has been about

well, not about whales.

not yet. that is.