nothing in here is true

  1. Saturday, October 25, 2014

    the role of a journalist is to do things and go places 

    katie bain and bwhere most people dont get to go

    and talk to people that most people arent able to talk to

    and afterwards you tell your brothers and sisters what you saw and learned.

    i find it ironic that many of my friends who are (or were) professional journalists

    don’t readily blog or do their role despite the fact that they travel and talk with some of the coolest people in the world.

    fortunately katie bain is the exception to the rule. the other day she went into the woods and listened to that music the kids are all koo koo about and when it was over she omg came home and wrote it down.

    here’s an excerpt:

    The concept at this camp is simple and completely fucking genius. You arrive, take off all of your clothes, get inside a huge shower with a bunch of other people, get wet under the shower heads and then get sprayed with soap hoses by people standing above you on an elevated platform. You then dance around in the shower while accidentally (or not, I suppose) sliding up against the other naked soapy bodies around you. Then the people on the platform spray you down with a hose. When you are sufficiently rinsed, you leave the shower and move to the adjacent dance floor, where there is a DJ and an area to brush your teeth, slather yourself in lotion and drink cans of yerba mate while drying off in the sun.

    now you may not think that your lives are as exciting or as interesting as that, but im here to tell you you couldnt be wronger.

    there are subtleties about your life that are just as beautiful and insightful as anything dr. thompson or ee or ms bain has ever jotted down.

    and you’d be lying if you said there was no drama or breakthroughs or surprises that, after the end of the day, you didnt say omg i really need to tell my friend about that.

    we are that friend. and no one can tell it better than you.

    for once in your life ignore that annoying voice in your head that says your stories dont matter or the world will implode if you typed it up or blah blah friggin blah.

    it is the role of a journalist to tell their brothers and sisters what theyve seen and the catch is, we are all journalists.

  2. driving to watts with a guy dressed as a naked dude at 2:15am 


    Last night I picked up this group in DTLA at the Mayan at 2am during a 1.75x surge, meaning the ride would cost nearly double the normal rate.

    They punched in their destination in the app before I arrived. When I started the ride I saw on the map it was gonna be a long one to the South. 114th street I asked? They said yep. We were currently on 11th.

    I asked what sorta music they wanted to hear. They said 105.5 FM which is a spanish music channel. And we were off.

    Drove south on the 110 and when we went east on the 105 I realized we were headed to Watts.

    watts nbd

    When we got there I asked is this really Watts? They said yep. I asked which way is the Watts Tower (I’d never been). They pointed.

    The guy in the black shirt said “but wear a helmet” and chuckled.

    Dropped them off in a mighty scary area. Two guys were selling drugs at the corner like in the movies. Cars were speeding by abandoned buildings. But as I was driving away from my passengers, they yelled to me.

    They then gave me a $10 tip.

    Amazing how sometimes the poorest people living in the scariest parts of town will be the most generous after a $30 ride. Whereas some of the richest people living in the lap of luxury will whine about a $10 ride and not even consider tipping (or even being polite) to the guy driving them home in the middle of the night.

    Long live Watts.

  3. Friday, October 24, 2014

    got beeped in Culver City and this super hot chick comes out 

    shit happensi go Greg?

    she says no, i’m a friend of Greg, he will be out as soon as he settles his check with the waitress.

    and i start cursing this Greg under my breath thinking things like, why would you order an Uber before you have paid for your meal? why is it ok for us to wait and not you? what is wrong with the world???

    a few minutes out comes the hot babe again but with an even hotter and younger woman. in between them is an old man.

    he gives them each some cash and kisses them on their cheeks and he slides into the back seat of my car.

    we start driving.

    i say, tell me your secrets, sensei.

    turns out Greg is a photographer who lived in Haight Ashbury right before it became The Spot in the ’60s.

    i asked, how did you know to live there?

    he said, i didn’t. i got lucky. it was close to the University of San Francisco.

    he told me they smoked weed, dropped acid, and had lots and lots of free love.

    i said, so that was real?

    he said, very real. beautifully real.

    i said, but you still got it?

    he said, no no, im old, no longer good looking. but being a photographer does have its advantages.

    Greg told me that 15% of all models will have sex with their photographers. he advised me never to make the first move. always have wine. and tell them things like, “imagine the man of your dreams just walked into your bedroom. how would you treat him. what would you say. what would you do?” and then keep taking pictures. take too many pictures.

    i said, i take lots of photos and theyre all terrible.

    he said, take twice as many. use good equipment. but never stop.

    we wound our way up the hill in Bel Air, he got out and he tipped me $8.

    it was his first Uber. and it made my night.

  4. Thursday, October 23, 2014

    so the first half of my life is over. great. what next. 


    no question ive done a lot of cool things since moving to LA 30 years ago.

    so what. now what?

    is this the time to have kids? can you do cool stuff while raising kids? mabes, but i probably couldnt.

    fine, no kids. then what? start a business? get a condo in DTLA? move to africa and save them from themselves?

    aint no saving anyone. when adam and eve were the only ninjas in the garden they still did what God told em would kill em.

    should i run for political office? i dont like wearing suits or shaking strangers hands.

    should i be more active in the Church? should i start my own Church? nah. no one wants the church i’d give em.

    maybe teach, maybe learn, maybe travel, maybe read books. for what though. what good are all these books.

    do the people who read the most books do the most good for the world or do they just buy more books?

    should i adopt a kid? should i clean my apartment? should i do the unspeakable:

    do everything i can to accumulate as much money as i can in my bank account?

    joan rivers did that and she never seemed happy. she gave $100 million to her daughter when she died.

    but she lived like she was broke. hawking crud on cable tv to people who shoulda saved their money.

    how do you die with $100 million when you coulda given half of that away?

    maybe i should just write. and judge. and sin. by judging. but really write this half.

    thats what bukowski did and we are all better for it.

    and finally give those page turners something to turn.

    leave something behind for the ninjas not born yet.

    share the wealth. share the know how. share the lessons.

    pass the dutchie pan the left front side.

  5. delicious bday. people were super nice on the web 

    took a lyft to work and then to kanpai and then home so i could eat drink and be merry

    got to kanpai and my mom had called ahead and gave them her credit card

    which was a pleasant surprise

    chris ali and mary were there.

    so much was eaten and dranken.

    im a very lucky man.

    thank you all for all of it.

    amber was super dooper sweet

    and omg Alyson from Canada – ahahah thank you!

    next year’s is gonna be in vegas.

    why not.

  6. Wednesday, October 22, 2014
  7. today is my birthday, im 24 

    get born

    a million years ago my poor mother was rushed to a hospital in washington dc

    she was not given any pain meds to deliver me because she was told that she would want to feel the once-in-a-lifetime experience of having her first child.

    advice she would now never give another woman, she says.

    birthdays are about the child but i think they should be about the mom.

    my mom’s the greatest and unlike her gynecologist i have done my best to ease her pain as much as possible.

    this isn’t the easiest task because, being somewhat affiliated with the xbi, i am often in the middle of some dangerous situations, and i don’t always succeed.

    likewise i cant really have a steady girlfriend, which means i cannot produce any grandchildren for her.

    fortunately my sister has brought unto the world replicants who look a lot like me and are named after grandma.

    anything impressive that i have done in my crazy twisted life is all due to my mom who continues to be supportive of my wild imagination and bizarre paths. shes supportive the way Marge Simpson is. she may grumble but you know it’s for the right reasons. and often her tone alone will nudge me in the direction she feels is best.

    so happy birthday, mom. thanks for bringing me to this crazy planet filled with beautiful people, wonderful music, and fantastic movies.

    i hope i haven’t freaked you out too much so far.

  8. Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    death rides a skateboard 

    death rides a skateboard

    xbi was all hey it’s your birthday tomorrow, what do you want?

    how about for you to leave me alone?

    LOL they said no really, a cake? an ice cream cake? a pie?

    i was all not seriously, for realsie, how about a year of radio silence, maybe three?

    they were like dude youre the best we ever trained we cant just let you flounder out in the world sitting on your assets like some hobo.

    i said whats a year between friends.

    we’re here to save lives and make the world a better place, they said.

    then we both LOLed.

    how about a skateboard, i whispered.

    you’ll break yr neck, they replied.

    i’ll wear a helmet.

    no you won’t.

    ok how about the iphone six plus.

    all sold out, how about the plain old six.

    got that already.

    what do you need the plus for then?

    fine, i’ll take a pie.

  9. Monday, October 20, 2014
  10. Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Cause you and I, we were born to die 


    life has a way of getting in the last laugh.

    amber and i had a great summer whirlwind whose highpoints involved some of the best rock shows.

    so of course after we split up she, so kindly, gifted me her high priced ticket

    to see Lana Del Rey at the Hollywood Forever cemetery

    because she had to work and couldnt get out of it.


    the lines were long to get into the place because they had to scan your soul to see if you were worthy

    no one was.

    amber woulda been, but not us.

    we were just lucky to be at the famous cemetery squooshed between a gritty stretch of santa monica blvd

    and the  back lot of Paramount Studios, one of the many homes of make believe.


    since no one was passing the test they said screw it and let everyone in and we flooded to see the chartreuse

    who was simultaneously a throwback to martini sipping, cigarette toking broads

    and futuristic femme fatales who know what they want and look great in cocktail dresses

    the crowd were not just fans but uber-fans. they knew every word and sang it with her. even the song that just came out.

    and despite the fact that there were two jib cameras swooping around they had their phones and tablets out recording it all.

    many had paid several hundred dollars to see Ms. Del Rey. she has only performed a handful of performances in LA,

    the last being at Coachella way back in the spring.

    this, however was the very last night of her Summertime Sadness tour

    and despite being held in a graveyard a lucky 13 days from halloweentumblr_ndok8vaG2A1rk2e30o2_500

    there was nothing to cry about, but boy were there tears.

    from the moment she sauntered onto the stage with what appeared to be a vintage grass green dress

    and summery white heels the audience flooded the stage with adoration

    screaming any time she looked her way or


    waved gently.

    several times throughout the show she glided down the stairs of the stage and into the photo pit next to the crowd and took selfies and autographed various graven images

    people fa-reeked out.

    her vocal range is lacking, she doesn’t dance, and she didn’t even sing her Oscar-nominated hit Young and Beautiful

    but she is this generations Barbara Streisand, she can do what she wants.

    like only play an hour-long set

    like smoke, not one, but two cigarettes during the night

    like perform zero encores

    like not introduce the band.

    shes not normal, it’s ok.

    lana del rey live is exactly like her music: dreamy, haunting, romantic to the hilt

    and in the end leaving the audience with the desire for more



    the only thing that made the 30 year old go a little off script was when, during a long instrumental intro to a song,

    a man yelled out


    to which she paused

    and then crack up.

    almost as to say, sweetheart, what do you think i’m doing.


    thank you amber smith blog, so so much.

    the next one’s on me.