you asked, im answering!

and im thanking you for your questions

Sarah: Who do you love more? Lakers or Clippers? Favorite player?

i loved the Lakers when Shaq was there but now that its Kobes team im way more into the Clippers. i like underdogs. therefore i love the clip show. and im stoked they have Baron Davis now.

Gage: What would the title of your autobiography be? What do you think your last girlfriend would title a biography about you?

“y not” would be my title. my last girlfriend would probably want my bio to be “be glad hes dead.”

BobD: What are your Top 3 all-time sports afros?

1. Jose Cardenal
2. Artis Gilmore
3. ABA-era Dr. J.

Sharp: Do you remember many of your dreams when you wake up?

i hate dreams. theyre lies told to you at your most vulnerable. and i hate lies. i struggle with people trusting me, i struggle with trusting others, therefore lies are the worst to me. dreams are never good. if its a good dream and you wake you feel like crap cuz youre not a gazillionare. if you had a bad dream youre pissed cuz you were all, why did i hafta go through that? therefore i have sorta trained myself not to dream and i am very happy about it. sometimes a few seconds of the dream will come through but it gets squashed and forgotten within seconds.

Ashley: Cute picture! Ok anyway, why do you think most people think being friends with an ex is an impossibility and/or pointless?

i am friends with many of my exes. some are harder than others cuz theyre married or with boyfriends and i still have feelings for them. the single ones work out way better. all relationships are a unique dynamic, its hard to box any relationship in with others.

jon: What sort of stuff do bpower pitch’n loggers on the top of thier game do on vacation anyway?

we blog. me, im gonna write a How to Blog at the LA Times manual on my vacation. boring but soemthing i need to do. and i cant do it at work.

sass: What makes apple juice more superior than other juices?

apple is smooth and sweet and without pulp. its mellow and beautiful and mostly watery. it doesnt overwhelm. it invites you to chug. its as good cold as it is warm as it is hot. only girls from canada can also claim that.

Ali: What do you think of all these bands from the 70’s/80’s who have reunited recently? Is it for the music or just a nostalgic cash-in?

im sure lots of the reasons they do it is for the money. if it was for the music theyd do more experimental stuff, maybe some country albums, some free jazz, and my favorite bluegrass. still waiting on that bluegrass record from the reunited Police.

Keira-Anne: What are your dealbreakers when it comes to chicks? And what made the weirdest chick you ever [were passionate with] so weird?

life is short. if a girl wants to fight too much, or isnt interested in being physical, or doesnt want to have fun, then im totally ok with her being some other guy’s problem. maybe she is just reacting poorly to me, in which case shes better off with someone who she actually wants to have her clothes ripped off by. people should be with others who they wanna be passionate with. theres too many other folks out there for me to play games and fight with.

im usually the weird one in the relationship. all the women who have wanted to get naked with me are complete angels. i was the freak. they all ruled and if they were soldiers would be eligible for combat pay.

T-star: What are your top 5 dream jobs if qualifications, history, time, and salary were no object?

well, i currently am employed in my dream job, so here is what theyd be if i was suddenly separated from what i currently do.

1. manager of the cubs
2. blogger at the playboy mansion
3. blogger at the white house
4. commissioner of baseball
5. Old Style beer vendor, left field bleachers

Mike: Dear Tony, Will the Yanks sign CC?

probably. and i hope they choke choke on him.

timmay!!!!!: why do people still give an f about rob lowe?

people dont. but he lives in a place that just caught fire in a spectacular manner. i think they care way more about robert downey jr. just wait till his neighborhood finds itself ablaze.

Aaron: 2fer, Is it me, or is the poppy in your sidebar slowly wilting? Does Raymi sometimes have too many pictures/embeds in her blog? (Firefox has crashed the last 3 times I went to check it)

you caught me! raymi does everything perfectly. there are never too many pics of canadas finest blogger! if your FF crashes dont blame raymi blame your cheap RAM. speaking of RAM is cheap buy more of it.

sad day on the LA Times blogosphere

today we say goodbye to Countdown to Crawford

Crawford was one of my favorite LAT blogs. not just because it was one of my first new blogs at the Times that blossomed into something far better than i ever imagined. not just because for a little while there was a blogger on Air Force One writing several times a day for the LA Times. but maybe because it was such a joy watching two seasoned journalists, Johanna Neuman and James Gerstenzang, take to blogging like they had been doing it all their lives.

at first Jim was concerned that he would have to spice up his posts with “spin” or “attitude” like our other political blog Top of the Ticket, but i assured him that not every blog needed humor or snark or sarcasm. i suggested that the Bush Administration was fascinating enough all by itself, that all he needed to do was tell us as much as he could about it. all this blog needed was a mirror, i said, not a circus mirror, but a clean one. they both played it straight, and once they got comfortable their sense of humor seeped through in a respectful way. it was perfect.

because of delays the first week (or was it two) was written primarily by Johanna because the launch was pushed back to right when Jim was to go on vacation. but even while he was on vacation he helped Johanna from the road. immediately they were a great team. two very different writing styles that proved that the idea of “voice”
was oftentimes overrated in terms of blogging, that indeed a good blog could be a duet or a chorus that could create a union a little different than the individual parts.

each month Crawford became more and more popular. always in the top 10 of our blogs (usually in the top 5), last month “the bush blog” attracted nearly 1 million pageviews, its all-time high. quite a testament to Jim and Johanna because think about October… all the news was about Sarah Palin and that black dude with a funny name. to be able to get almost 1 million pvs while covering an administration that noone was talking about, one that wasnt generating any news, is a damn miracle. keep in mind, they were able to blog multiple times a day, finding and posting photos, as well as moderating nearly 10,000 comments, all while maintaining their original responsibilities of filing different items for the newspaper.

i will miss working with Johanna and Jim a great deal, and we will all miss their terrific blog.

i must also thank two additional people for helping make this blog happen. the first credit should go to my boss Meredith Artley. she was the first person who i pitched the idea to. she has heard many blog pitches from me and many of them have gotten the thumbs down, rightfully. but when she heard this one she started brainstorming, she knew who should write it, and she knew who we should talk with to get it going. she believed in it immediately and without her support it wouldnt have happened.

the other person is National Editor Scott Kraft. when i went to Scott, a man i had never met before, i felt really uneasy because i didnt want to come across as disrespectful. i said, i liked the coverage that was often on the front page of the paper about the Bush Administration, but many of us news junkies wanted more. was there more? wasn’t it interesting that this group was flooring it as the clock ticked down whereas other administrations typically went on cruise control? arent there more stories than the one or two that hit the paper each day? could two or three people from the DC bureau write two or three posts and tell us some of the stuff that the paper would print if it had unlimited pages? thankfully Scott said, “im not sure, but lets see. lets try.”

so often people will say, “i dont see the possibilities, so, no.” Scott said, “i dont know whats there, but lets go for it anyways.” i have so much respect for that sort of attitude, and if Scott had said no it wouldn’t have happened. so major props to Mr. Kraft.

i only got to meet Jim and Johanna once. Johanna was out here during her summer vacation and Jim came to LA last month. both of them were blown away by their experience on Crawford. they both had the same wide-eyed thrill that you see from The Ticket’s andy malcolm. there is something about blogging that can energize veteran journalists in magical ways, and it was a total joy to see that in jim and johanna. i wish them both all the luck in the world.

who knew ken layne and his family were vacationing in santa barbara?

he delivered this report of last night’s fire for LAist. heres an excerpt:

Out in the Mojave where I live, two-and-a-half hours from the elegant coast, all the houses look like dull crap or vulgar insults. But I’m thinking of building a place out here, among the Joshua Trees, and there is no better open air museum of Early California architecture than Santa Barbara. Thanks to the building codes and the general aesthetics of the place, even a Ralphs grocery store can look like a Moorish castle, and the grandest estates are simple adobe family houses around a courtyard of outdoor tables and citrus trees.

A lot of those fine old Spanish Colonial Revival places are in the hills of Montecito and the Santa Barbara foothills tumbling down from the mountains of Los Padres National Forest. And that’s where the wildfire struck last night, not long after sundown.

Just as my son and dog and I got back to the house, the power went out. It would flash on and off for the next hours, as hot white ash rained from the sky and I cranked my little Red Cross emergency radio to hear the live coverage by KTYD-FM. Santa Ana gusts blew open the doors and windows. You couldn’t go outside without a wet towel clutched over your nose and mouth. When the teevee did work, the scenes were devastating. The fire was headed to the ocean. We packed up and left our house a day early.

The radio warned against taking surface streets. All the stoplights were out, and drivers were so bewitched by the flames dancing on the mountains that they were crashing, everywhere. I took the 101 from Las Positas and drove through a hellscape.

In the foothills, dozens of “hot spots” could be seen, with five or six huge estates bursting into flames and a fire line that dropped behind ridges and over hills and went in either direction for as far as you could see. Convoys of fire engines roared up the highway, from Ventura and Los Angeles and Orange County. The radio hosts somberly recounted the tragedies seen and offers of help received.

Mansions and compounds literally exploded as we creeped south on the 101. The Santa Barbara radio stations faded out. I switched to the L.A. news stations, 1070 and 980, both of which were inexplicably reporting that the estates owned by Oprah Winfrey and Rob Lowe were safe. Idiots.

LAist has done a great job covering the fire, and im glad that Layne still has a log-in. Here’s the rest of his piece.

photos by penner42 via flickr

not sure if theyre talking about this around the country

or even in canada

but theres a pretty huge fire happening in Montecito, which is the town next door to Santa Barbara, land that i love. Montecito is where the rich people live. actually rich people live in Santa Barbara too, but the people in Santa Barbara feel poor compared to the folks in Montecito.

which is why its a pretty big deal when you see the news and hear that 60 80 homes in Montecito are on fire right now.

oprah, for example, has a pretty large home in Montecito. the dude who directed Forrest Gump, for example, has a pretty large house in Montecito. sports illustrated cover model kathy ireland was born and raised in santa barbara but when she became famous moved south to Montecito and bought a big house.

so our prayers from the busblog go out to our friends in Montecito and Santa Barbara and lets hope these 60 mph winds mellow out and the fires die down and everything can go back to paradise which is the 805, where my heart is.

photos via crisiswire which also has a pretty good map of the fires.