the 100 pics project is now underway

tony pierce blogger xbi agent your friend

as you may know i love pictures. who knows why but i do. love them.

for a while there were pictures and posters all over my apartment walls. as high as i could reach, if there was any blank space i would put something in it.

my philosophy was, what good are these pictures in a photo album when they could be right there over the toilet?

then one day i fell in love with a young lady who moved in with me briefly and asked if she could remove all of the memories of my past. it seemed like a reasonable request so i allowed it. now, years later, i am slowly putting new photos back on my walls and i love it. i love seeing all of these… things… all the time. friends, family, strangers, famous ppl, not famous people, and just great images.

so last night while driving the mean streets of downtown LA i thought, dude you’re gonna turn 100 in a few weeks! you should probably do something for such a milestone of a birthday. and you should do it on the world famous. and it should be something you aint never done before — which is a tough assignment for someone with  11,240 posts.

i concluded that every day for the next 100 days i will put up a picture that means something to me. a special picture. one that might be on my walls – or should be on my walls. and i should write about it with as much honesty as you have grown to expect from this humble url of love.

so lets start with this selfie. this one is from the buzznet days. i can tell because im using a canon rebel camera. only time i ever had that camera was when marc brown bought one or two for buzznet so they could send me out on assignment and take pics for the pic site. i was on a little roadtrip up to vancouver for a buzznet meetup party. it was thanksgivingtime. i had just spent the holiday with the truest and her family in Umpqua, OR and took some really great pics along the way.

but this one was taken in, i wanna say in the portland area at a cheap motel. i was alone. i missed the truest already but i was looking forward to hanging with chad and smelly danielly and matt good and the canadian crew. it was going to be my first time in canada i think. either the first or second time.

back then neither my beard or moustache liked to grow in and i was just starting to get gray hairs in there.

i was cold. i was alone. and the florescent light of the bathroom made me look green. i loved it.

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.

see that pretty girl over there on the right

? the one surrounded by sweet little african kids. orphans and sick ones. thats my truest.

for two and a half years she was in uganda helping those kids at a place called Providence Home, many of whom were dealing with the fact that their parents have died because of AIDS. some of the kids were born with birth defects and were dying until they were saved by the sweet nuns that my truest volunteered with.

for almost the last two years my truest has been back in america. dissatisfied. trying to find work that was as important and valuable as what she was doing in uganda. but after such a life-changing experience where she learned the language, ate the foods, slept in the modest facilities, and most importantly bonded beautifully with all the people, she was unwilling to just get any old job at any old company doing any old thing.

so tomorrow afternoon she flies back to africa for a month and a half. literally for the kids.

over the last few weeks we have been shopping for little things that they would like: soccer balls, stickers (they love putting them on their sweet faces), candy for the nuns, pencils, pencil sharpeners, etc etc. the goal was to get as many small things that could fit two duffel bags so these kids can have a really nice Christmas.

now when the truest was in africa the first time she didnt do any fundraising because while in the peace corps her job was to help the community learn how to be self-sufficient. which she did. the ball began rolling, the orphanage learned how to raise and sell pigs, among other things.

but as you can imagine, it was just a start. recently the truest talked to the Sisters and the current Peace Corps volunteer, and learned that their usual resources aren’t meeting immediate medical and school supplies needs. so she is going to also be bringing some much needed cash so they can give the kids the most important things they need.

you can help by donating anything: $5 can go sooo far, so imagine what $20 can do.

click here and give the best Christmas gift you could give all year.

100% (minus the paypal fees) goes right to the needs of these sweet kids in uganda.

i will miss my truest for the next six weeks but i know she will be doing the right thing for the right people for a nice long time. she will have her bags of fun toys and sweets, and she will be collecting cash for the Sisters to heal and educate the kids. seems too good to be true, but thats who she is, a sweet angel.


our plane is delayed so here we are at SFO just killin time

reminiscing about this weekend

last night we were at this one bar to see the Giants game but it was super packed so we went to this other bar but it was a private party and i walked past this other restaurant that looked super hoity toity

but they had a projector showing a bootleg version of which only showed the centerfield camera version but you know what, it was raining and this place had lots of empty seats at the bar and comfy couches for the girls so i was all, this’ll do pig, and it did do.

today this is what it looked like when we woke up: foggy. it was our last day in SF

so we decided to try out Mr Fang’s new restaurant Fangs which is next to a strip club?!?!

the truest had soup and some pork buns and i had ribs cuz im black (and proud)

indulged in the shrimp packets which are like sex packets

the food was top notch just like at the House of Nan King but the interior was way nicer

i was all, this doesnt seem like his wife’s doing, i betcha its his daughter’s. and i was right!

she took us downstairs to the super chill party secret room and i was all omg you rule

then we went two blocks west to the Metreon and saw this crazy land of Claw games

then we went back to our hotel, got a drink in the lounge, got a town car

and seriously the Hilton Financial District couldnta been better

service was top notch. everything was spectacular. their rooms are like $275 a night

but priceline stoked us at like $189 and they moved us to the sweet floor and side

so thank you so much nice dude at the counter.

Earlier we went to the Body Shop to check out their Hemp lotions

and the other day we had seen some fine art

mostly street art but it was killer

this art was aside where my truest and i fell in love, haight n steiner

i think the new tenants are still rocking the drapes that charlie and ken hanged up

we saw some awesome tshirts. god bless the kids.

it was good to see my bro Chris Hepburn is getting some love for once

best name for a pop up shop: zero friends

did you know that the weekend examiner is free? why give it away?

cruised past the crib we once shared. garage, washer dryer washing machine. someone had painted it pink!

it was right near the original Levi Strauss factory on Valencia which we were stunned to see had been converted into a K-8 private Quaker school. talked to some parents there and if i had kids, id have them in that place. seems amazing. for a school.

considered some yoga on friday but passed.

this is what a satisfied man looks like

this is what a city completely satisfied with their baseball team looks like – errythings orange

this is what a lazy mans Cioppino looks like with a hot babe eating a whole crab looks like

many famous people adore this seafood soup that originated in san francisco. just $35!

check out the truest devouring her roasted garlic infused king crab of love

earlier we had brunch at Mama’s in North Beach which every woman loves cuz its cute

and fresh like dougie

i had shrimp with poached egg on a muffin, whats that called? she had salmon, so we shared

people say bring a book if you wanna go to mamas cuz the line can take an hour to get in. because it was raining it only took us a half hour to get in. soooo worth it!

tonight we have to go home. sad face

reporting from the home of the NL champs, this is yr busblogger saying hola!

dear this week

how you gonna beat last week?

last week started with da bears winning ugly on monday night football which lead to me buying drinks for so many people at the hot babe bar that i had a little hangover on tuesday

we wont talk about what happened last night

wednesday was sushi with sarah and ali followed by sonic youth and pavement on thursday with ali

friday was zz top and tom petty at the bowl with the truest followed by lady gaga and yoko ono on saturday

yes you heard me right, yoko and gaga and perry farrell with mike watt

and Joseph Gordon-Levitt from third rock with two angels

and the RZA from wu tang and kim and thurston from sonic youth and carrie fisher and vincent gallo and sean lennon who played guitar and bass and piano and drums so well we didnt at first think it was him. easily the most interesting show ive seen all year.

and then last night was Allen at karisas house with her oldest brother and his wife and many friends

and bbq and beer and stars on yr head

and giant pixie sticks and lies and booze

and hot dogs and burgers and polish food and 7-11 cheese

and little dogs who peaced out and semi ran away during all of it because she didnt get enough food.

this week you have a tough act to follow lets see what you can do

took the truest to the hollywood bowl on saturday

for the sound of music singalong

we had pretty great seats. close enough to almost reach out and touch the costumed attendees

this little girl was dressing up to be the frog in Julie Andrews’ pocket

the MC lady was really funny. the kids would go on stage, she’d coo and turn em around

there were lots of nuns

this little girl was “wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings” (from my favorite things)

and this one was “brown paper packages tied up with string”

the winner was this little girl who was a gold drop of something. who knows, i was drunk.

good night. good nite. gooooooood niiiiiiiiite!

made it back home alive

after a very nice flight on jetblue.

to save some money we routed our flight through long beach instead of LAX.

i think the difference in price was $80 from chicago to the lbc instead of through LAX, but then we realized we had no ride from the airport.

we were thinking about a super shuttle type van but we were so tired. the difference in price was $60 for a shuttle or $75 for a cab so we took the cab. turned out the meter was almost exactly exact from the airport to the truest’s house.

near her crib we decided that i wanted to crash at my house and she wanted to soak in her tub at her place. so i told the dude to keep the meter running as she climbed the stairs of her bachelorette pad.

but my cabbie didnt seem to know what i was talking about and turned off the meter.

he said he couldnt pick up any fares in LA so he didnt mind driving me to my place on the other side of hollywood (a $25 cab ride, typically) and he said he’d do it for free.

without her in the car i started talking to him. turned out he was from Cambodia and moved here 30 years ago after his family was slaughtered after it was discovered that his father was in the army. because he was a teen at the time he was in the jungle working so as they killed his mom and brothers and sisters he was saved.

he now drives a cab seven days a week in long beach supporting his family of five. he has four children, two are in the us army, the other two are in college.

his oldest has served two tours of iraq with the marines and soon may be deployed to iraq. he has your fathers warrior spirit i said. he shrugged.

we talked a little about religion. he said that cambodia and thailand share a border and many types of food and buddhism. he said he doesnt have much time to go to the temple to pray.

i gave him the extra $25 when we got to my place. why not.

went downtown chicago with my mom and my truest

like tourists!

my mom doesnt like cars. shes a natural woman. but she loves me so when i said hey i wanna go downtown with you and look around she said what moms always say “we’ll see.”

secretly she knew we would take the slow train through the burbs to the city. it was a trip id never done before but she apparently does all the time because now that shes retired the city gives her a free pass, which is nice.

even though this is the busblog, based on the fact that i spent years in LA taking public transportation, i was initially against taking a train to the city. what would we do once we were down there? how would we get around?

but it turned out to be so fun. cabs were plentiful and cheap, and between millennium park, state street, navy pier, and michigan avenue we had quite a fun little afternoon.

the only problem we had, blog-wise, was my good camera’s battery died after only a few shots. so we went to Central Camera an olde fashioned camera store on wabash, bought a battery charger, and asked the man if he would charge my battery in my new charger as we ran around the crazy park. he was cool with that, and i took pics via my iphone.

those turned out well too. see:

millennium wasnt around when i lived in chicago. back then the tourists were stuck enjoying chicago for what it was: huge buildings, great art, mediocre sports, and fantastic food & people

but somewhere along the line they decided to spruce up navy pier and the park and put in some crazy fountains, an amphitheatre, a garden, and this trippy reflection sculpture called The Bean. for some reason it make my truest wanna run.

navy pier was a little sad. it was off-season and apparently its all the rage in the midst of summer, but when its just a few hundred people roaming about its sorta like going to mardi gras the week After its all over.

but we did run past this brightly colored tribute to chicago childrens tv of olden times, namely ray rayner, bozo, and fraizer smith. wgn stalwarts and icons in the minds of any kid that grew up in chicagoland back in the day.

after playing around, it was time to get serious. we had the cabbie take us from the pier to the camera store to pick up the freshly charged battery, and then we were driven to the finest pizza place in the entire galaxy, Gino’s East.

i knew it took a while to cook the pizza but i was under the impression it took about 20-30 minutes. no no. 45 minutes! so the ladies ordered salad to start and i chose the creamiest minestrone you’ve ever had the pleasure of slurping.

mom had water, truest Stella on tap, and i chose old style from the bottle. even with a bad stomach it all went down beautifully and some would say it cured me of all the things Tums couldnt. it was delightful.

we ordered a small pepperoni and sausage and barely made it through our 1 slice each. it was cheesy, hot, and delectable.

the conversation was good. and i was so energized that i was inspired to take pictures all throughout the restaurant.

got on the train right before it was gonna leave the station and almost fell asleep in our chairs because we were so full and happy and worn out from walking and talking and laughing at my incredible jokes.

when we got home the ladies watched Castle and i messed up my moms beautiful house by trying to get her caller ID to work in her kitchen. the end!

this is our last few hours in new york

and as always it has taken my breath away

yes theres the energy. the possibilities. the buildings. the diversity. the music. the power. the history. the people. the doggies. the newspapers. the food the food the food. the bars. the people in jets and giants jerseys. the lights. the boats. the parks. the little garbage cans. the brownstones. the markets. the late night every things.

but theres something even more.

yesterday we had a great lunch with my dear friend amy who gave me some great advice about Whats Next for me. its weird when i first started at LAist she was all, ok thats great but Whats Next? i was like omg i have my dreamiest job, i get to wear pajamas and blog and blog what could be more than this? and she would say youre tony pierce youre bigger than one blog no matter how much you grow it.

and now shes still saying theres a tony pierce project i should be thinking about. and its fascinating because when she was the editor of our college paper winning every award you could imagine our biggest dreams back then were to work for papers like the LA Times. but still she says theres more.

i dont want more. i want a freaky crazy quality. i want to be part of a fine and funky system. i want to be… i dont know what. nirvana meets miles meets king kong.

this is what i want. i want exactly what happened for dinner.

right before dinner we had a great conversation with our friend anna who knows more about the other dimensions than makes some comfortable. including me. i had been reading the first 10 psalms when she came home. then we all talked. then i had to use the restroom (its getting better) and i read a few pages of meghan mccains book and im loving it. then i rejoined the convo with anna and my truest. it went on for hours.

around 11 it was decided that my baby wanted to eat and since we hadnt eaten since mexican bbq with amy we left the house and found our way to the R train. we were told to get off at R street and walk a few blocks to a Cafe. i figured that because the Giants game was in the 3rd quarter that everything would be open. sadly the Colts were demolishing the Giants so things were closing.

didnt matter. we kept walking and we ended up at the muy romantico Brooklyn Promenade. quality views. sweet couples arm in arm or cuddling checking out that great view. all the lights. a few boats. but mostly loveliness. we kept strolling. where? who knows. at some point i put “restaruants” in Google Maps but there werent that many near brooklyn bridge. there was one pizza place that said “no slices” but that one was getting close to closing and i hate to be that guy who keeps everyone open longer than they want. so we strolled until a cab came by.

we got in, a nice man with a long beard and a turban welcomed us calmly. “can you take us across the street, i mean across the bridge to the city. we want to go to a restaurant thats still open.”

he said, “there are many that are still open.”

i said, “good, take us to the place where there are many that are still open.”

we got on the bridge. it was gorgeous. he said, “east village?” i said sure.

thats how i want my life to be. quiet, peaceful, working together with my brothers and sisters. trusting. loving. respecting. but at the same time its a little tiny mini adventure of discovery.

some may say never just let the cabbie be in total control. but control is an illusion. whos really in control when youre in the back seat? you could say 42nd and 5th and he drives you to detroit. so why not just sit back and enjoy the ride?

ended up at 7A, which strangely is a place i walked by years ago. its across from a crazy park in alphabet city. theres a wall painted for Joe Strummer. “know your rights”.

you have the right, to love.

you have the right, to learn.

you have the right, to live.

thought about eating ice cream after dinner. a dinner that featured music by jay-z on the speaker. one great hit after another.

thought about a belgian waffle in a store that had lots of nice pictures of our president.

saw a sticker with our president. saw graffiti celebrating our president.

i remember when reagan was around, i remember when clinton was around. i never remember the kids (and adults) being so excited about the sitting president.

if the question is hows that hopey changey stuff working out for you, the answer in many corners of where ive been lately is the people still believe. and better than believing in one man or one party – they believe in themselves. and whoever that guy is who they keep making posters of, he simply represents what that hope and change is. he symbolizes what it is in our hearts and our hoods.

and if you want to make a belgian waffle and name it obama and eat it, thats fine too.

next stop chicago.