1. Monday, April 13, 2015

    challenge accepted 

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    the more difficult things are, the better. it’s the only way to learn.

    last year i drove out to coachella weekend one and barely made $100. the place was swarming with uber drivers, all the most important roads were closed. i was staying in a beautiful house with cool people near the rock fest. and i went to sleep too early.

    and on top of it, i got there too late.

    so i left frustrated.

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    this year i got a decent hotel the first night out in the boonies, and the lowest priced air bnb near palm springs (and, yep, you get what you pay for) for the other few days.

    i was completely focused on driving.

    no distractions.

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    because of the law of murphy, when you’re set on that path

    obstacles will come out of the woodwork

    for the sole purpose in which to distract you.

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    there was a time when i woulda jumped at the shiny flashy fun thing

    but you know what else is fun?

    science.

    creating a hypothesis, trying new things through experimentation

    and seeing it through to a conclusion

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    one of my theories was that if you drove in the day and took a good nap around dinner time

    youd be able to drive until 5am, when most of the newbie drivers were sleeping.

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    that plan worked perfectly.

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    but because im human, i got cocky and thought i might give the picking up of the ppl at the show a shot

    and of course it didnt and i wasted three hours of what could have been a nice dinner followed by a peaceful sleep.

    lesson learned

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    my hands hurt the first two days but i lathered them in icy hot and paid attention to how i was holding the wheel.

    just thumbs after a while on11128209_10153201144753057_1036196505_n the long stretches of the 10 freeway going back and forth

    back and forth

    from palm springs to indio and back.

    risky because if i just went half way i could possibly have gotten more rides or more rides west with passengers,

    but this year the experiment was to be ok with driving back empty.

    be patient.

    trust the system.

    because my air bnb was nothing to write home about, i was out of the bed early

    just the right time to pick up the people who were off to brunch

    or on their way to pick up makeup or hot dogs

    or chokers

    or flowers.

    i was there to pick them up. i was there to soak in their energy

    i was there to listen as they told me about their globetrotting lives which even if they werent from LA always seemed to have a story about LA, like this young lady who had never been there before so went to Venice and Beverly Hills and drank at the Chateau

    and then met me

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    it was a long drive from indio to the ace hotel, pretty much the most westerly part of palm springs

    but that meant if you got someone, there was a good chance that they wanted to go to the most easterly part of the valley, coachella

    making for a $60 or more fare.

    something, even in the uber plus, i rarely would get.

    there was no uber plus at coachella, but that was fine, the rates were higher and the runs were longer. even if they just wanted to go halfway to pre-party it was still a bigger fare than youd get on a friday in one ride in LA

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    then on saturday night, my last night, i took a nap from 7pm to 11pm, way longer than you should they say, but i was so tired.

    i woke up groggy, dicked around on my phone for an hour and finally motivated.

    drove over to the ace and picked up a latino man with a british accent and two very hot black girls.

    i hoped they wanted to go to the neon carnival which had started at 11pm and went till 5am, and they did. a very long drive.

    i asked the ladies what kind of music they wanted to hear.

    11136888_10153202301363057_1568791118_n“urban”

    uh

    “hip hop!”

    ahhhh. old school or new school, i asked.

    new! they requested and i said, shade 45 and we were off.

    we talked about food, LA, how everything was behind gates in Palm Springs.

    it was a little difficult because the man was in the back with a very soft spoken woman

    and up front with me was the other woman who was less shy. or did the two in the back just want some alone time?

    it was hard to read.

    nearly an hour later we were there but the line to get in was long and the gentleman had received a text that the carnival was no longer fun.

    our plan was to pick up wristbands from them in the parking lot but the ladies were tired and just wanted to go back to palm springs. so we did. but first a stop at the del taco. and then to the AM/PM. and then back to their hotel where, to my surprise, he got the backseat girl’s number and asked me to drive him back to indio where his motel was.

    but first another stop at Del Taco because the fish tacos were so good.

    i knew the fare would be a record setter for me, so i bought the tacos for both of us.

    got to the bnb at 5am fully energized from breaking my record on such an interesting ride of mostly highway driving, packed my two bags, wrote a note on the fridge, and headed to LA.

    but first i pulled over about a half hour into the return, found a shady spot, and slept in the benz for the first time. for about three hours.

    right when it started to get hot.