today is ashley’s birthday, she’s 40!

do i miss her?

of course. i miss everyone.

this blog has been around half of her life. i wonder if she ever comes here. doubt it.

some people aren’t sentimental about me. some are. some are just mental.

pretty sure im mental.

20 years ago people asked what i had in common with a 20 yr old. weirdly, lots. now that i look back, it wasn’t so weird. some people just get along.

meanwhile some people who you’d think would get along dont at all.

ashley has recently married hubby #2 and is expecting bb #2.

she also has an excellent podcast with her bff anne called How do you Drew

it’s all about Drew Barrymore, which is how she and I met.

i dont listen as often as id like to because i have a podcast of my own to get out of the ghetto with.

something is telling me that hers is already more popular than mine

which is fine.

she’s a good person.

wanna hear a crazy story

20 years ago i was looking for pictures for my website

back then i didnt have a blog, i had and i liked to get big pictures that weren’t too busy and then write around the images.

it was sorta art sorta writing. if you hated what i had to say maybe youd like the picture.

one day i was looking through this very well maintained Drew Barrymore fan site. they had folders from each of the films, ads she had done, tv appearances, and so on

and in one of the folders was pics of all the fans.

the person who seemed to be the leader, or the biggest contributor named DaisyPrincess.

let the record state i was not looking for a girlfriend. i wasnt even looking for a friend. i had plenty.

the sad fact was i was breaking up with my gf at the time which was so sad because we loved each other. but we had to do it.

we were in the process of moving. and my little website was a creative distraction.

meantime my friends in Tsar were trying to make it big. they had signed a record deal or were close to getting one. but the way DaisyPrincess hyped Drew made me think, “if Tsar had someone like her on their side, it’d give them a great push.”

so i started emailing her just to find out what her story was, why was she in love with Drew. one thing led to another and we chatted on AOL instant messenger for hours every day. hours and hours. and it was all PG if not G rated.

for some reason we just clicked.

because life is bizarre, it turned out that she loved No Doubt, and that band’s stylist had just been hired by Tsar’s management. and that intrigued Ashley and she listened to Tsar but she was not really into it.

but for some reason she kept chatting with me.

after a while i thought i was being catfished. what’s this college girl in vegas want with me? i was not making any real money at that time. i was way older. i did not look like any of the guys she had either dated or swooned over on her blog. was i being set up for a tragic end? would i be found in a shallow grave in the desert if i dared drive out to meet her?


so once my breakup with my ex was completed and i moved into the apartment im in now, i suggested that we meet for a day.

i said i would rent a car (i didnt even have a car!), drive to vegas

and i told her that if indeed she was a 400 lb man who hated Cub fans and was going to kill me, all i ask is don’t touch my face,

that way my friends or my mother could identify me and give me a proper burial in isla vista or wrigley field

or somewhere strangers could gather and say omg what an idiot.

turned out she was not a man, not a murderer, and even prettier in real life than in her pictures.

we spent the night eating taco bell and watching charlie’s angels.

when i dropped her off i thought i’d never see her again because, come on. who gets a girlfriend from a message board?

either you get chopped up or you get ghosted.

but that didnt happen either.

it’s funny that i chalk up a lot of the nice things that have happened to me in the last 21 years to the busblog and blogging, but this happened before the blog.

it was like the silent film era. you did everything yourself. design, graphics, HTML… everything. even when i started the blog i would fall back to old school features like photo essays and special web pages where i would write around pictures.

why did ashley like me? who knows.

perhaps she did want to kill me in the desert but got cold feet when it turned out i really did love drew

and really did want to watch charlies angels on pay per view

and was not there to get her involved in a life of crime

like the others had.

i just wanted some killer wallpapers.

20 years ago seems like yesterday.

maybe because i live in the same place and when i look at parts of my apartment it’s easy to remember this or that.

or maybe because time really does fly

which is why you should go and meet that stranger whose probably gonna butcher you

maybe you should drive all night while playing springsteens drive all night

we are alive for a bat of a lash

so live.

what if im doing things wrong

i wrote the thing. it got published. someone who i did not expect to like it liked it.

but i dont like it.

i tried new things. i did all the stuff youre supposed to do. i took my time. i checked it twice.

still nothing. like the replacements i feel unsatisfied.

the last time i felt like this was in 1999. i was in frisco with the truest we had a great apartment i had like three jobs, friends everywhere, but there was a hole in my soul.

the bible reading that week was the part in the new testament about the rich prince. dude goes to Jesus and says i have done everything, what now? and Jesus said sell everything, give it to the poor and follow me.

rich prince said, whoops wrong number.

that story was told three times in three differnt books.

so i sold what i could and left. first isla vista, then mexico then LA.

in LA i signed up for a minimum wage job helping people. and within a year i had been promoted and was making more money than i ever had made.

but was i happy? sorta. am i happy now? sorta.

but this is about writing. am i happy with that?


i want something to zing. i want something to fly off the shelves. yeah i hit a huge homer with that video but what have you done for me lately?

plus that wasnt even writing.

way back when i was thirty something i dated nineteen year old ashley. people occasionally asked what we talked about. mmmm everything? ashley was super smart.

one day she said, you are never satisfied tony.

maybe thats my curse.

today is ashleys birthday, shes omg how old?

was she the first person i ever met from the internet?

i think so.

life is such a weird and wonderful thing that i dont know what advice id have for my kids if i had them.

i would say try thing, pray a lot, and learn how to judge people by their hearts.

we can get distracted a lot by how pretty some people are, or how fancy their cars are, or how well they speak foreign languages

but one thing they teach you in little league football is “if youre trying to tackle someone, aim at their belly button, dont get faked out by their arms or head or eyes.”

ashley and i chatted a lot on the now ancient AOL instant messenger and the good thing about that is you can learn a lot about someone simply by their words. hours and hours of words.

to me thats the same as looking into their hearts, which is why i think people fall in love with writers and authors and poets and songwriters. words are the highways to the soul. and on a thing like AIM it’s hard to fake. nowadays everyone has text messages or snapchats and you could show a picture of your infinity pool or your sixpack and if your emoji game is on point who knows what nonsense you can make others believe you are all about.

but words on a blank screen, live, while you’re living, that’s pretty much you.

and so when we met it was, oh yes, hi, oh your accent is funny. oh your eyes are that blue.

oh you really do wear a cubs hat everywhere.

ashley is pretty active on the social medias and its nice to see her be such a great mom to her little angel. it’s so nice to see that her family and extended family are just as close and happy as they seemed to be decades ago. it makes me happy because it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. and today i hope she has a great birthday.

people may not realize but there was a daisy princess

who was critical to the early development of this site that you are now reading

the other day she got to meet one of her favorite people of all times

ms gwen stefani from the popular group no doubt

im very happy for her.

i wonder if she will take advantage of the live chat we are doing this afternoon with the celeb she named her lil daughter after, milla jovovich?

the busblog, the daisy princess

and other drama of 2001

i didnt want a blog, i didnt want a teenage long distance gf, i didnt want 9/11 to change everything.

shows how much control i have in my life.

in the wake of the tragedy that was my longest relationship ending came a wonderfully strange romance with someone known here as ashley. it started out as an innocent hunt for drew barrymore photos, it ended in some of the more interesting tales ever described in this blawwwg.

speaking of the busblog, it was in august of 2001 that this here thing was formed as a way to blow off some steam as i toiled away in one of my saddest jobs ever.

at first i couldnt believe ashley liked me as much as i liked her, likewise i couldnt believe how quickly this blog skyrocketed to popularity. probably because at the end of the day i would take the bus home and go to my empty apartment and spend the night alone. none of the rewards that one would expect were in my driveway, socked away in a bank account, or waiting for me in my boudoir. for a long time it was all virtual.

then one day i took a chance to meet the girl who i had only known online. it wasnt the smartest thing to do, in retrospect, flying to las vegas alone. any number of terrible traps could have befallen me. she was far too cute for words, let alone, for me, of course it was a trick. of course i would be robbed and kidnapped, and sent to work in some diamond mines in south africa.

when i first saw her she was this little poof of white and blonde and smiles and immediately i carded her and all night i waited for the hotel door to be broken down but all that happened was charlies angels (the movie) on the tv and diet cokes and smiles and the start of something that could not be stopped no matter how many times i tried to pull the plug.

it couldnt have happened at a more important time for me, and im very glad it happened with ashley because i learned far more from her than youd ever guess. the most important lesson being, its ok to ask for love, and its perfectly fine to demand it.

good friday + matthew good + good manners + it’s all good =

true love will find you in the end

raymi: white chocolate or brown

when i was 20 i found myself in lausanne, switzerland with a korean girl from iowa city named ae. i said ae i want to buy a swatch here. so we bought swatches. then she said tony i wanna buy some white chocolate and then eat it. so we bought white chocolate in switzerland and i can say honestly that white chocolate may be pretty and unique but it has no soul and theres a reason why brown chocolate is so much more popular.

Dan: did u see feaver on comments

Fascinating piece that I totally disagree with as it confuses cowardess, ignorance and laziness with honesty. I agree with his Wilde quote but that doesn’t mean that people cannot be civil about their biases. We allow “masks” in that commentors aren’t required to use their real names but if they still can’t enunciate themeselves without vulgar language and ad hominem attacks they should still be heard because they are “keeping it real”? The Brits seem to have zero problem in Parliment’s Question Time grilling their leaders with no masks in an educated, civil, and on-topic manner. Although that’s an ideal, there are endless forums where anonymous commentors can act like fools (reddit being the funniest) but that doesn’t mean that newspaper forums should go down that path because it hasn’t been proven that that freedom leads to higher truths. Indeed rarely do brilliant insights get surfaced in free-for-all threads because Smart people usually see that mess and wisely step away from it. Either way it’s shocking to see this guy come to this conclusion. I thank you for the link and I look forward to hearing him talk about it more.

4rilla: Cadbury Egg or Peeps?

i embrace my sweet tooth but peeps are something i can eat one or two of a year and be perfectly happy to move on. cadbury eggs however dont have a very long shelf life in my home.

Ashley: why does weezer suck so badly these days?

this is what happens when your lead singer songwriting genius gets married – he loses his edge. once people are satisfied, rarely do they make creative art any more, especially if they originally started out using their art as a bird call of “here i am, here i am”. sadness, loneliness, horniness are the best motivators for the creation of great rock music which is why the only people who have been able to age creatively and still put out great music are the exceptions of other trueisms too: tom waits, neil young, bob dylan. weezer’s last single “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” is one of the best Weezer songs ever but because of the musicality not because of its passion. the deeper well is in the blues, not in prog rock.

David: why do some people still think it’s acceptable to wear crocs? if the hottest female you know was rocking them, would it be a dealbreaker?

one of the hottest females ive known actually left her crocs over at my house and theyre still here at the foot of my bed. theyre clearly not sexy, but for some reason people find them “easier” to work with than sneakers. i can understand this mindset in climates where theres mud, rain, or snow, but here in southern california when it doesnt rain even when its predicted, theres not really any excuse unless youre still in elementary school, and even then its sending the wrong message to the children.

Mike: it’s not a sin as long as you pull out right?

it’s only a sin if one of you is married to someone else. the sin is not in the action, but in the broken commitment.

zona: Five earned runs in 5 innings. Four of them went yard. Do you think my nephew Ted might be tipping his pitches? And does he owe the rest of the boys dinner table dances for bailing his ass out for the win?

yes and yes. my fear with the Cubs’ aquisition of Rich Harden last season was that your boy was going to feel like he could coast because he was no longer so valueable. with a rotation of carlos zambrano, the suprisingly consistent rich dempsey, and harden, ted is perhaps better suited as the #4 starter. in 12 starts with the cubs last year, harden pitched 71 innings, had 89 strikeouts, only walked 30 batters and had an era of 1.77. arent those the numbers of a #2 starter as opposed to your brethren? i say with less pressure and easier competition, lefty would probably give up less runs and win more games.

Basart: What’s your take on the LAT front page ad “scandal”?

my take is i never really understood how hard of a job being a publisher or an editor of a major U.S. newspaper in 2009 was until this week. you’re surrounded with unprecedented and scary options that are guaranteed to upset people no matter which way you go. what was most interesting was the literal calling onto the carpet of management by the workers who had to answer for their actions, and did so. i really dont think i could be in a more fascinating place than in that newsroom right now, and when the stories are written about how this industry navigated through these unforgiving waters, i hope great care is taken in showing all sides, because it is a complicated and emotional and strangely delicate happenstance.

maeko: What will Miley Cyrus’ next racial insensitivity be? Hmm. I’m dying to know.

miley is a little hillbilly girl raised by a guy named billy ray. history has shown that child stars in positions like hers rarely turn out whole and healthy. so im willing to give her a break on this one because her future is probably bleak. ps thanks for the shout out!

adriel: why the hell don’t kids listen to their parents?

the replacements suggest it could be because children have physical deformities.

“kids wont follow”
the replacements

Kids don’t need that
Kids don’t want that
Kids don’t need nothing of the kind

I need some attention
From the house of detention

Kids don’t follow
What you’re doin
In my face out my ear

Kids won’t follow
What you’re sayin
We can’t hear

Can’t stop looting
Can’t stop smoking
Kids ain’t wondering
Can’t stop choking

Kids won’t stand still
Kids won’t shut up
Kids won’t do it
You talk to ’em now

Kids don’t follow
What you’re doin
In my face and out my ear
Kids won’t follow
What you’re saying
We can’t hear

Kids won’t follow
What you’re saying
In my face out my ear
Kids don’t follow
What you’re sayin
We can’t hear
What you say
Not tomorrow
Not today

matt: I know it’s not friday anymore, but I still have a question: Is it a bad idea to run off to another city&state with a girl? seems like that might be a possibility for me soon.

life is short and true love is rare. so if you love someone and you want to move somewhere funner, do it and expect others to resist, but know they could be resisiting out of jealousy, because true freedom is rarer than even love.

Alyson: I know it’s not Friday but I have a question/need advice: If someone has been making many, many blatant advances on you (me) for a while which have been clearly declined, when/is is ever okay to tell the girlfriend of the person in question if they just won’t take no for an answer?

once again i defer to the good book and the golden rule. if youre the type of girl who would want to know if your guy is hitting on others, then tell this young lady the way youd like to be told. if youd rather not know that your dude is a douche, then keep it to yourself but tell the suitor that his ways are not at all those of gentleman.

exclusive interview with the daisy princess days before her vegas wedding

ashley, the daisy princess, is getting married in vegas on sunday me: ashley youre getting married on saturday, is that true?

Ashley: true statement

me: how do you feel now that its just a few days away?

Ashley: excited, but a little nervous just in the way that i want everything to go well

me: what is the one thing youre most worried about at this point?

Ashley: hmm… people having a great time & things to look beautiful i guess!

me: how many daisies will be present?

Ashley: countless

me: who is your best maid?

Ashley: haha maid of honor! anne of course

me: what color dresses are your girls gonna wear?

Ashley: give you one guess

me: black, like your men?

Ashley: no one is wearing black!

me: who is in your princess court?

Ashley: haha where did you get these terms? besides anne, my bridesmaids are angie, clarice, and my sisters all in PINK duh

me: will you have a tiarra?

Ashley: no, flowers in my hair though

me: why no tiarra?

Ashley: i just felt it would be more me to have flowers. and i dont want to overpower my dress, b/c its a bit sparkley

me: sparkly shoes too?

Ashley: very fancy and HIGH L.A.M.B. heels for the ceremony, than cute flipflops for the reception which yes, do have sparkles

me: any other LAMB articles?

Ashley: nope, just the one. maybe L perfume though πŸ™‚

me: band or a dj?

Ashley: dj, with little interaction so they’re not all cheesy & they can’t play typical dj songs like “YMCA”

me: “Shout”?

Ashley: nope. none of those DJ songs, you know the ones

me: what sort of food?

Ashley: salad, pasta, some meat stuff i havent paid much attention to, and instead of a cake, cupcakes! and a bar with 3 jars of pink candy

me: i think i saw some of that in your bridal shower, no?

Ashley: hmm no, there were some tiny jars with candies inside. maybe thats what youre thinking of

me: what songs do you want the dj to play for sure

Ashley: there are too many to list honestly. we made the list before we even got engaged. think alternative, rock dance songs. beck, beastie boys, chemical bros, and of course NO DOUBT & GWEN. so many more. i cant possibly list them

me: which beasties?

Ashley: intergalactic. i listed that just now b/c i knew you would like that

me: tsar?

Ashley: haha no. hahahaha. you are persistent when it comes to them

me: remind the peopel why youre a vegetarian

Ashley: haha seriously? because when i was 12, i started getting grossed out by meat, so i stopped eating it. and the idea of eating it now makes me sick. and i like animals

me: what happened at 12? what did you eat?

Ashley: i had an undercooked burger

me: nice

Ashley: not really. i still remember how it tasted πŸ˜›

me: ok, so what wedding gift do you really wanna get?

Ashley: money

me: for what?

Ashley: so i can pay my mortgage next month with no problem

me: mortgage?

Ashley: yeah i live in a house now, where have you been?

me: i guess ive been out of the picture. when did you get a house?

Ashley: i guess your spies are slacking. we moved in almost 2 months ago

me: wow. congratulations

Ashley: thanks! thats why im cleaning so much. people are going to be over here for the first time this weekend

me: is it close to your work?

Ashley: a little bit closer. but i wouldnt want anything very close to my work b/c its in the ghetto

me: so money

Ashley: yeah having a house is so money. hahaha jk

me: so instead of the gift we discussed, would you prefer cash?

Ashley: no, personal gifts are really special. and i would feel really weird getting money from you

me: where are you going for your honeymoon?

Ashley: just taking a little honeymoon to disneyland. actually in july we should be going to mexico. so that will be sorta honeymoonie

me: sounds lovely

Ashley: definitely

me: where are you registered if people wanna give you a gift?

Ashley: well i doubt anyone who doesnt know me would do that! πŸ™‚ but target, pottery barn, and bed bath & beyond, target giftcards are made of awesome too

me: you have lots of fans on the busblog

Ashley: i dont think so! i see the lack of comments your stuff about me gets thats ok

me: theyre just shy. times have changed. people are tired saying right on tony or damn look at ashley

Ashley: i know, most people lurk

me: ok so if people wanna get you something at those places what do they do. i ask cuz ive never done anything like this before. just your full name?

Ashley: actually you can probably find me just by searching ASHLEY BEV in Nevada, or the wedding date, 5/10/08

me: does your new home have a hot tub?

Ashley: actually it has a jacuzzi tub in the master bath. but i havent used it b/c i dont like baths

me: will you soon be getting a dog?

Ashley: no, i love my cat, he is the best pet anyone could ever have, dogs are a little too much work anyway & barking is annoying, i like dogs though. my dad has 2. thats enuogh. i can visit them when i want

me: are you the last of your close friends to get hitched?

Ashley: no, im middle of the road, in my group of high school friends, there are 2 married, 2 not

me: one of the very first times i ever interviewed you on chat, in early 2001, i asked you how old you thought youd be when you would get married. do you remember what you answered?

Ashley: hmm. i bet i guessed 24 or 25

me: i think you said 25

Ashley: i was pretty close! i know you think im 25, but im actually 26

me: so what took you so long?

Ashley: well we were engaged when we were 25, so i wasnt too far off1

me: oh crap, you said 23,

Ashley: wow seriously??? that was only 4 years away at that point, geez what was i thinking? luckily i never did anything stupid like marry immature boys on the strip! πŸ˜‰

me: did you meet a bunch there?

Ashley: just one who i would’ve retardedly done that with

me: !

Ashley: i seriously THANK GOD i didnt. seriously

me: speaking of, how did you meet your betrothed?

Ashley: my best friend used to date his best friend. they sometimes brought her over to my house before she drove & i would say “oooh he’s cuuuute!”

me: which best friend?

Ashley: anne πŸ™‚

me: fascinating

Ashley: they are our maid of honor & best man. they are still great friends, so everyone is ok

me: ok well we all wish you the best. and know your wedding will be beautiful

Ashley: thank you kindly

me: any tips you have for wouldbe brides for wedding planning, now that youre almost done?

Ashley: give yourself a lot of time, spread it all out.find vendors who you feel comfortable with & who you know you can depend on. have fun! πŸ™‚ and stay organized and dont be alarmed by slumps of procrastination where you dont feel like dealing with any of it, they pass

me: perfecto. well have fun ashley and if Chip n Dale accosts you at disneyland thats just some busblog spies saying congrats

Ashley: does this conclude this tittilating interview?

me: yep, other than me saying i love you, i always will, and i only wish the best for you. you were so important in my life, and for this blog. and if your dude does anything wrong to you, i’ll break his neck.

four years ago today i went to the movies with a blonde girl

took ashley to see austin powers. drove down sunset through west hollywood turned left at rodeo drive and then right on santa monica to century city.

some ass changed the name of the century city mall to westfield mall.

westfield mall?

the dot com that i worked at had its start in century city right there on avenue of the stars. we would eat lunch in the swanky outdoor mall every afternoon. that was in the summer of ’98. an eternity ago, to me.

it’s 840pm and two of the showings are sold out. somehow they create a 930pm show and we buy tickets and hang out in the bretannos where chris got drew barrymore’s autograph for ashley. she also got one for me.

ashley gets very excited when she realizes that drew was in the same place that she is at. very excited.

get popcorn, two large sodas and a bag of sour gummi bears. $15. back in 98 a week before i got the job at the dot com i had a date with a girl where i invited her to my house to drink the only coke that was in our fridge. $15 would have lasted me a week.

spill some of the popcorn at the door while trying to show the 36 year old usher my stub, he yells, tania! tania! i say, dont worry about it. he says, you dont want a new popcorn? no. no thanks.

as i get older i start falling asleep easier. eating, drinking, smoking, snacking, and holding ashleys hand in the theatre with a pleasant movie on made me very very drowsy. in a good way. “austin powers in goldmember” is a good solid movie. totally fun. very funny. sexy. predictable. a touch offensive. and head and shoulders better than 98% of what you can see at the movies nowadays.

mike myers is in top form. beyonce isnt bad, and mini me steals the show, again.

we take the ten home, stopping off at mcdonalds for an oreo mcflurry.

we get into the house.

turn on the slow jams.

turn off the kitchen light.