nothing in here is true

  1. Friday, August 22, 2014

    the year was 1994, the northridge quake rattled in january 

    greg vaine, jeff tsar and i shared a three bedroom house in atwater village

    because the boys were aspiring rock stars and they had wanted a home

    that also had a basement or a rock room, and voila greg found 3300 glenhurst.

    jeff worked at warner bros in the animation cel division, greg was in art school

    and i was the southern california sales rep for magnavox with a company car.

    but at night we were the Three Bad Roommates watching old westerns and listening to nirvana non stop because kurt cobain had just ended his life and we were more than obsessed with trying to find clues in his music that such a talented and loved man would want to do that to himself.

    but with every aftershock from Northridge we got more and more ancy so we went into the rock room basement beneath our kitchen and i would create eerie rhythms on my drums.

    daring the earth to crush us.

    earth QUAKE earth QUAKE boom boom boom, id drum

    then jeff would mimic it on bass and greg would make a melody.

    and then we’d jam defying mother nature and the angry spirits bubbling below.

    after a while we’d freak ourselves out and segue into cover songs from our favorite bands: nirvana, the velvet underground, the stones, springsteen, even the romantics.

    while jeff and greg worked on their serious projects, we kept jamming for fun and eventually we formed a covers band called Chopper One which allowed us to bond as roommates and set up a fun playground for the two actual musicians to get their ya-yas out without worrying about every note and lyric.

    when we realized we had enough songs to put on a show, we invited our friends and neighbors over, jeff threw on a david hasslehoff tapestry as a cape, greg slipped into his Elvis Presley outfit, and i put on my grandpa’s pajamas as a tribute to cobain who often wore pjs on stage

    and Chopper One rocked out in our first show.

    hard to believe that was 20 years ago, but time flies when you’re giving the biggest earthquake in a century the middle finger.

  2. Thursday, August 21, 2014
  3. theres a scene in Barfly where Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway meet at a bar 

    amber at thai

    they have a few drinks, eat some food, fall asleep at his apartment and at some point he has to run

    but before he does he gives her a copy of his keys

    she’s all, you trust me with these?

    he says, sure, it’s easier that way.

    pretty sure amber smith blog follows that same lifestyle. if we’re driving down the road

    and she says lets have some thai, i’ll say where do you wanna go? she’ll say somewhere off the beaten path.

    for some reason i like that.

    last night all of her plans went haywire so i picked her up after work.

    i said id really like to take you to the movies. so we went to my place, heated up last nights thai.

    played with the kittens and jeanine. and then ubered to the arclight.

    she didnt even ask what movie we were gonna see.

    we sat down and took in Boyhood. a movie that was filmed for two weeks a year for 12 years.

    really different. a little weird. three hours long. and pretty enjoyable.

    when it was over she said, i will go to any movie you want anytime any where. you know movies!

    i was all, you know where i work, right?

    she said the xbi, duh.

  4. Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    how CNN could make a gazillion dollars without even really trying 


    it seems to me that no one really understands the constitution

    or even the bill of rights.

    if I ran CNN i would TAKE MY TIME and produce a 50-part series

    about the history and the nitty gritty about the laws that govern us.

    spending extra time on those that most often get misunderstood.

    if Neil Degrasse Tyson can have a hit tv show explaining the science of the universe

    then CNN can have an award winning series about the constitution and the amendments

    produced in such a way to lay out what everything means.

    so that if you watched it all you’d never think that there could be a “free speech zone”.


  5. Tuesday, August 19, 2014
  6. one of the nice things about the xbi is they teach you how to spot lying 


    one of the bad things about learning that skill is you see how many people lie to you and it makes you sad

    it makes you feel like those people think youre so dumb youd never realize their terrible lies until it’s too late.

    you have to remember not to take it personally, but it’s a total personal attack.

    it’s saying youre a dumb dummy full of dumb and im so smart i can verbalize fiction minus footnotes

    and you’ll never know.

    its why many agents reprogram that part of their brains.

    they get tired hearing the little bell every time an intentional falsehood is levied.

  7. Monday, August 18, 2014

    ali was all lets go to the taco fest in east LA 

    ali and chris at the LA Taco Fest

    so i said chris lets go to the taco fest in east LA!

    he said si so ali go tix and we tapped up our tap cards and took the red line to the gold line

    empty beer garden

    and arrived at the 4th annual taco fest!

    this was the beer garden.


    tony pierce with modelo model

    after a few beers things started looking better but we werent there for beer

    tequila tasting

    it coulda been a mirage but magically a tequila tasting appeared in the beer tent

    but we werent there for tequila

    we were at the Taco Fest for TACOS!

    long taco fest lines

    unfortunately so were thousands of people and only 8 taco tents.

    so the lines were loco.

    at the temps were super hot.

    and the lines barely moved because apparently it takes forever to put meat on a taco

    spokesmodel with ice cream guy

    there were no lines to buy ice cream from the ringy dingy man

    or talk to the wireless spokesmodel with tube socks

    japanese white oak whisky

    but we’ve been around the block a few times and weirdly ALL of LA has tacos.

    so we split and drank some japanese white oak whiskey

    and thought about how weird it was that the only place you couldnt have a beer while you ate tacos


    so we went downtown to a place where you could play pinball and drink beer

    purple hair pinball girls

    a little place called 82 which is always packed at night, but in the day its air conditioned and lovely

    i am your father pinball guy

    your dad is even there and hes great at pinball

    ali drinking at the pinball place 82

    great call, Ali, thank you for taking us there

    ali and chris calling an audible

    so after the beers and shots and more beers Ali wanted to show us something she learned in Venice

    ali doing a handstand

    and we loved it.

  8. Sunday, August 17, 2014

    nothing in here is true, the early years 

    amber entering my car

    its true the xbi likes to interfere with your life. especially if they want you.

    and its ok to want things.

    i dont know if its gen x or what but sometimes you say to yourself i dont want nothin

    monk style low key. maybe you ride the bus

    maybe you blog on blogger.


    she was all, if you could do anything right now what would it be

    i said write a tv series called omg heaven

    about how the angels struggle to inspire divine intervention as they watch earth do its thing

    most of the time God wants to tinker, but the angels say lets just watch.

    and he loves them. so hes all k.

    early in the season you learn that some angels live on Earth

    and to screw with us, some of them, most of them, are named jesus

    or angel

    or amber.

  9. Saturday, August 16, 2014

    today is charles bukowski and madonnas birthdays, theyre 24 


    last night i drove an 18 yr old kuwaiti kid from marina del rey to newport beach.

    hundred bucks.

    he sat in the front seat and told me about how in kuwait they’ll throw you in jail for life for having a beer

    if a girl dates a guy and they break up and dont get married then shes shunned forever

    that the worse thing you could do to you or your family is say youre an atheist.

    88 minute drive and the whole way was nonstop about the persian gulf, religion and politics as wiz kalifa bumped in the background.

    traffic was light, he had just been to six flags with his buddy, he wants to study engineering out here for college but it’s very hard he says for international students to get into a UC unless they have a 4.0 average.

    so, just like i did, he is going to take two years of junior college and transfer in that way.

    he says he loves LA, was not impressed by San Diego, was too young for Vegas, but thinks Dubai is the coolest place in the world.

    no offense sir, but their taxis are Bentleys.

    i dropped him off at a swanky hotel near fashion island and watched as cars unloaded with the most amazing young women in outfits i had not seen in hollywood.

    and i was, salaam alaikum, g

    and he was like alaikum salaam

  10. Friday, August 15, 2014

    Uber must include Tips in the App NOW 


    A while back when Uber started they incorporated something called “Tips Are Included”, which is cute and plausible back before the ridesharing company started slashing prices and raising their commissions.

    A year ago a ride from Hollywood to LAX in a taxi would typically cost about $70 and that same ride via Uber would cost about $50. The Uber ride would be in a cleaner car, a bottle of water would be available, charging devices would be there for your dying iPhone, and thanks to the Uber App after the ride was over the fare would be instantly deducted from the passengers’ credit card.

    Thus the ride to the airport was cheaper and “better” via Uber and the company could say the tip was included.

    A year later that same ride cost a mere $30 with Uber and in a few weeks it will cost even less. The company claims the price cuts will encourage more passengers to use the service which will give the drivers more rides and thus make everyone more money. But the truth is a driver can only make so many trips in an hour – and will more than likely make less money during those hours than they would have a year ago, even if there are more passengers.

    Why? Because It still takes time to get to the passenger and time waiting for them to get to the car and then time for the ride to be completed. Meanwhile Uber is smiling like a pig in [mud] because they are making the same (or more) commission than they did on each ride a year ago, they are now charging the drivers for use of the phone used to connect them to passengers, and other nickels and dimes end up in their pockets and not in the drivers.

    The tips are included. But they are all tips going to Uber, not the drivers.

    Now that the typical ride from Hollywood to LAX is considerably less, it’s time to stop pretending that the driver has this magical tip baked into the fare, because they don’t. Plus, by definition a tip is something the customer determines AFTER the service has been rendered. The cashless Uber model is ideal, and thus should be implemented into the Uber App so that if a passenger experiences a pleasant, clean, fast, enjoyable $27 ride from Hollywood to LAX during rush hour traffic and wants to flow their driver $5 they should be able to do it with a click of a button.

    But Uber has not allowed this.

    One can only imagine it is because there is no immediate business incentive for them to do it.

    But that is short sided. For if they can advertise that they have the lowest rates AND if they can attract and retain educated, intelligent, drivers BECAUSE at the end of the day the drivers are being rewarded financially, then the fleet of Uber drivers will maintain the level of quality it now sees.

    Once the profit motive leaves the driver ranks and the only people who can afford to drive relatively new cars around cities are those willing to work for close to minimum wage, the quality will drop and Uber will have shot themselves in the foot with greed.

    Now is the time to implement tipping while the quality of drivers is still here and the prices are substantially lower than taxis: who also get tipped.