Dear Elizabeth Lauten


I get you’re in those awful 40something years, you look at your life so far and you think, “wow i’ve sold out for most of my life helping the rich get richer and the poor poorer and the best i can say for myself is I’m the communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN).”

I understand your frustration of having to try to think of ANYTHING you can to get people to believe that this administration is evil despite the economy miraculously turning around (with no help from Congress), Obamacare being beneficial to millions (and not the end of the world as the GOP promised), the real estate market bouncing back, and even gas prices shrinking.

So you went to the third rail: you went after the president’s teenage daughters.

For looking at each other as their dad pardoned a turkey.

And wearing skirts.


I get it that when you see other young women you get jealous because you’re no longer young and full of promise.

But must you attack their mother as well?

The First Lady’s whole agenda is to attract attention to living a more healthy lifestyle. Somehow that doesn’t fit into your worldview as respecting her position or being a “good role model”?

I wonder how many of your boss’s opponents’ children you communicate such hate toward.

Or is it only towards the black ones?

Try to be a better human being in the second half of your life.

Step one: write about policy, facts, and the actual politicians the people voted for.

I’m sure your momma raised you better than this.

black friday ucla

photogi had two goals yesterday: stay away from the Grove and try to get a good ride out of the UCLA game at the Rose Bowl.

the morning was slow and i was downtown and a super cute girl jumped in and said, the Grove, and if you can, make it fast.

turned out she works at Nordstrom and was running a little late for work.

just goes to show you that theres no way to avoid any part of town from DTLA to Santa Monica. maybe groups stay in certain LA zones, but individuals will bop you around.

the mile radius around the city’s most popular shopping mall was packed, as expected, and so after i dropped her off i turned off my phone because the last thing i wanted was to haul a dozen of some rich lady’s Christmas gifts three blocks to her condo.

but then i thought, screw it, why not. dont be a prick. so i turned it on and drove east back to downtown and got a beep from this health food grocery store restaurant back over at the grove area.

i looked at it and said, oh hell no. thats all i need some kale eating mfers in here spilling their protein shakes.

but i took the deal, turned around and picked up two italian models and a german photographer.

the girls needed to go to west hollywood, the photog wanted to go to santa monica. he asked if that was ok.

i said, how about i stay in west hollywood with the bellas, and you take the car to the beach?

we became fast friends. the photog is 25, travels the world, has a place in NYC, spends time in hawaii, brazil. tells me that 1 in 10 models wink wink nudge nudge.

but he does it for the beautiful pictures.

i now have an idol.

i asked him how long he needs with a model to get 5-6 good shots. he says 20 minutes, but that freaks the girls out, so he usually spends about an hour.

took some girls to the century city mall and suddenly i wasnt so happy any more


on thanksgiving i took an uber to dinner and talked with the driver who said the $4 trips is what kills him, and i said me too.

it’s because you spend time getting there, you wait, they finally get in and you drive them a mile and the fare is $4 but you only get $2.40 out of it.

if you get two of those in a row you’re basically making $5-6 an hour. it can depress you.

so i risked it and drove to LAX to see if i could hover around some of the hotels and see if someone wanted a ride to the grove.

if all signs were pointing to malls, maybe the poor saps who got LAX hotels wanted to do some shopping.

lord knows theres no where to shop around LAX.

so i did a few circles around the joint and got nothing. so i figured ok, it’s noon-ish, let’s drive through the hood and see if some stories come my way. sure some guy got shanked in his uber in south central last week, but this is the day time!

so i drove east down manchester and got to hollywood park when i got a beep near the 405.

i remember there was a motel six there and a best western and feared they just wanted me to drive them to the airport because there probably isnt a motel 6 shuttle.

got there and it was three teenage looking international students


the guy who sat next to me was from mexico city, the girl was from tokyo and her touchy feely maybe boyfriend was from columbia

we want to go downtown to go shopping.

i said, thats a perfect idea.

as we drove i asked them if they’d ever been in Little Tokyo. i told them about Mr. Ramen, the pho shop that plays reggae.

they told me they all met in santa barabara at a language school and did not know the word reggae.

i said, you clearly didnt live in Isla Vista.

boy did they laugh.

i said my car will alert me when Bob Marley comes on the radio and i will play it for you then.

within minutes One Love came on and i said voila, mi amigos.

cutest kids ever. they all had to go back to their countries in a week or two and were sad about it and i said dont worry, obama will let you come back.


got to the rose bowl and sometimes i wonder why i try my luck over there. the cops shut down the roads into the stadium

and the people seem to think that they can just summon an uber from anywhere.

but what was worse was, once i did sneak into the DMZ by following a rich local in a Benz, and after finding the family of 3, they just wanted a ride to a local hotel where they parked their car. $5.

no worries, theres plenty of people around, surely one of them wants to go back to Westwood. ding. same hotel, turn around, this lady wants to go to neighboring eagle rock. has no idea there was even a game. what? $9.

turn back around, head back to pasadena for one more ride. third times a charm i tell myself.

and sure as silk, it’s three chinese girls, heavy accents, ucla shirts, take us to the century city mall.

i say, how do i say i love you in chinese.

they laugh and laugh. we have the best conversations about china and pollution and buddhism.

the quietest one tells me she visited santa barbara once. i said, did you go to Isla Vista?

she said, yes. i said, ok, how many boys did you kiss?

and they giggled and she did not answer.

i said omg so guilty. but it’s ok, love is beautiful. i hope they teach you that at ucla.

i’m thankful for you

black lives matter

because we live in a Fox News world where we are convinced the world is going to hell because we have a half-black president, it’s easy to forget how much progress is happening right now.

groups all around the world are doing historic things to make life better for everyone.

people Are trying.

the fact that same-sex marriages swept through this country faster than those with hidden agendas could stop it was beautiful.

last night i picked up a 22-year-old Saudi gentleman. he asked me what i thought of his country. i said, your country reminds me of mine: we mix religion and politics too much. whenever the two are separate things are so much better.

im the biggest Christian you probably know. when some people get drunk and run around saying they love everyone, i say things like i need to build a church.

and still i think life is better when the government has nothing to do with religion. especially one particular religion.

why are government buildings closed on sundays? wouldnt that actually be the best time for them to be opened? if i ever had kids, id love for them to get bible study as much as possible: but not in the public schools. wtf. what about the kids who aren’t into the bible? f them?

im grateful of people who fight for the whole. im thankful for people who use their creativity to express love. any sucker mc can bring fear.

even my kittens are afraid of shadows.

im so thankful for you, the light.

figured out what the movie im writing is

david lynch

every week on hbo there will be four 15 minute uber tales shown
every week it will be four different actors
every week it will be directed by a different director

some of the segments will be traditional television: guy picks up a passenger, they hit it off, theres laughs and then they drop them off.

but some of the segments will be


what does the uber guy do during a break
why did he take a break
why does he stop his break

a 15 minute drive where no one talks

robert de niro is the uber driver
two girls get in the back
all they do is talk to each other
de niro doesnt talk
but we do see his facial expressions now and then
as he listens to their stories

the beauty with this format is you never know who they will pick up
and you never know who’s gonna drive.

as the weeks go on, some of the same drivers are featured
will de niro say anything this week?
hey arent those the same chatty girls as two weeks ago?
but this time mike tyson is the driver
or al gore
or pee wee herman

maybe pee wee is the driver and some old lady wants to talk about mike brown.
or some saudi guy wants to talk about how he just smoked weed yesterday for the first time.
or prince wants to play a 15 minute guitar solo
because he has a battery operated amp he just bought
and wants to know how good it sounds in a car

maybe some great actress wants to show how great she is
and delivers a 10 minute soliloquy
and when we finally see the driver
it’s stephen hawking
or hologram tupac
or borat

who just says
very niiiice
and then they run into a bus.

i think thats what the show is.

current events: Mike Brown’s killer won’t be tried

mike brown

one thing ive noticed when i occasionally go back in the archives is i have strayed away from talking about current events on the busblog.

in the spirit of Nothing In Here Is True and the fact that my gigs at LAist, LAT, and KPCC made me think exclusively about current events, I stopped writing about them in here.

my current gigs however dont care about breaking news, so here we are back again talking about what CNN tried to talk about last night

racism and how an unarmed black kid was shot to death in the streets of Missouri and how the prosecutor didn’t want to prosecute the cop so he put on a lousy case for the grand jury of mostly white ppl and the grand jury said yeah lets not make this cop stand trial.

what do i think of all of this?

i think we rely way too much on guns in the USA and there will be a day when blacks will get tired of being shot by white cops and they’ll start carrying guns too.

like lots of guns.

and then we will have huge problems.

because sure it’s not cool to shoot a cop, but what if he’s shooting at you and you don’t feel like he should?

and what if he is shooting at you in a way that could kill you?

dont we have the right to bear arms to protect ourselves?

can you see where this is escalating towards?

how about we try to do this without guns and the professional lawmen call in backup when a teenage boy wont cooperate.

and how about we dont shoot to kill them. how about we use teamwork and skill and technique instead of bang bang bang bang bang


we have enough dead people in this beautiful country.

how about a few of us alive people figure out what is working and whats not working, and im sorry but this grand jury of one isnt convinced that guns are working out.

saw mockingjay last night

american music awardsit was fine. nothing amazing. a placeholder but a perfectly fine placeholder.

the biggest applause at the end was when they put Phillip Seymore Hoffman’s name on the screen at the beginning of the credits.

i must say, it is nice to hop in a car, drive a half hour and see a brand new movie, free, in one of the best movie theaters in the world. perfect sound and picture. nobodys talking. it wasnt even as packed as i thought it would be. maybe because there was no panel afterwards. who knows.

this is gonna be a short work week. i plan to drive though. not sure if i wanna drive on wednesday. the paper says its going to be super crazy terrible traffic like omg.

might go see dumb and dumber to on wednesday if thats the case. imagine you get a ride to the airport and the guy is late and the traffic is terrible and then you have to deal with LAX.

theyd have to give me triple pay to do that.

and be super nice.

last night i watched playboy after dark. whoops i mean the american music awards.

dont get me wrong, im a red blooded straight american man.

sexy or slutty, which was it? guess it all depends on who you ask. to me it made me a little happy because the women were very pretty and i enjoyed the songs.

but it made me a lot sad because pop music is usually horrible, but occassionally you can see some hope there. like everythings gonna be ok.

lorde was good.

but can she save rock n roll?

ended up in the most exclusive neighborhood in So Cal


tooling around hollywood, minding my own business, i got a request from a guy who it turned out is a movie producer with some DUIs who wanted me to drive him all the way to the most northwest part of the valley: the star studded Calabasas.

he was attending a party of an long-time chum, a gentleman who is basically running the most impressive production company in movies. to get there we went through a lot of traffic, picked up a half dozen bags of ice for the party, and had to go through some pretty serious security gates before we slowly climbed the hill to the guy’s mansion.

because there were so many bags of ice, the passenger asked me if i could bring in three bags with him.


here is where i should tell you the only recurring dream nightmare ive ever had. one thats haunted me since i was a little kid. i dream that im in someone’s house who i dont know, uninvited. and i can’t get out.

we walk into the house, theres people everywhere, we go through two living rooms, and then the huge kitchen. the homeowner is cutting some meat, people surrounding him, helping, but our bags of ice are now freezing our arms, so we are let out into the back yard, which is also huge, tables, table settings, ah an outdoor bar, also huge, and behind it a huge ice chest, which we fill.

as i walk to exit, my passenger disappears among his friends and i realize im not only in a house where no one knows me, but in the backyard and i have to go back through that huge, home, wearing a hawaiian shirt and cubs hat, by myself, obviously guilty of something

and all my nightmares gave me such a flashback. it was cool and creepy at the same time.

got in the car, saw the whole trip was only $45. for an hour drive? didnt see right. i paid more than that in a cab from LAX to Hollywood. whatever. at least i saw the same block Bieber and the Kardashians lived in.

asked Siri where the local Jack in the Box was, and while i was heading there, got beeped by a rich persian mom and her daughter who wanted to go to Brentwood. thanks, Obama.