busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, June 21, 2016
  2. Monday, June 20, 2016

    call me a princess but i dont drive if someone owes me money 

    king of the avefor most of last week i wrote Uber emails telling them that they shortchanged me about half of my paycheck from the week previous.

    they replied, as they usually do, with some dude from a foreign country, where English is a second language, that i was wrong and they were right.

    i replied, as i usually do, with, a stern but polite, you cray kanye, give me my money or i dont drive this week.

    they replied two days later, as they usually do, with an omg look at this it appears we do owe you some money, but of course it was not the entirety of what should have been remitted.

    and then two days after that i wrote them again to remind them that it was at that point Friday and if they were going to put their customer service to bed for the weekend that would be a bad idea because i was not going to drive unless i was fully paid

    and they didnt reply, because for some reason, this so called technology company valued at several tens of billions of dollars, do not employ customer service reps over the weekends, which means the correspondences pile up

    which means i will be writing them again today to tell them that they still owe me about $150 and im not going to drive this week unless it is given to me.

    it’s weird to work in partnership with someone who doesn’t want to give you their phone number, who is currently working on ways to have robots replace you, who pawns off all correspondences to people who are either mentally challenged or intentionally dragging their feet because others might either give up or assume that they were incorrect.

    but the thing is i am neither incorrect or worn down by emailing. emailing is simple. proving my point is even simpler. and because this customer service org is obviously not owned nor operated by Uber, it is clearly a cash grab based on multiplying the replies so as to triple and quadruple-charge the cash cow. thus a simple “omg we didnt pay you correctly, heres the money” turns into 8-10 emails of which the third party can charge Uber for each and every email.

    this is not how the so called technology company should be doing customer service.

    as someone who worked for an actual tech company who did actual customer service from 1998-2000 i know first hand how much money Uber is wasting by trying to do things the cheapo way.

    but it was relaxing having the weekend off.

    now its time for me to write another email.

  3. Sunday, June 19, 2016
  4. Saturday, June 18, 2016

    keith richards exuding magic all over the page 

    keith richards 1963
    im finally reading the keith richards autobio “life”. actually johnny depp is reading it to me via audible.  you miss details when youre driving around LA listening to johnny read the words of the stone, you daydream and think, “did johnny really know what he was in for? this book is loooong. is he tired? did he get paid a million bucks or did he do it for free?”

    but then a passage like this comes to you and you hope you remember to make note of it. so heres the note: keith is incredible.

    we are on page 108 when Keith, talking about 1963, the time right before the stones blew up, writes:

    There you have it. That was all we listened to at the time. Just American blues or rhythm and blues or country blues. Every waking hour of every day was just sitting in front of the speakers, trying to figure out how these blues were made. Chicago blues hit us right between the eyes. And as long as we were all together, we could pretend to be black men. We soaked up the music, but it didn’t change the colour of our skin. Some even went whiter. Brian Jones was a blond Elmore James from Cheltenham. And why not? You can come from anywhere and be any colour. We didn’t want to make money. We despised money, we despised cleanliness, we just wanted to be black motherfuckers. Fortunately we got plucked out of that. But that was the school; that’s where the band was born.

    The early days of the magic art of guitar weaving started then. You realise what you can do playing guitar with another guy, and what the two of you can do is to the power of ten, and then you add other people. There’s something beautifully friendly and elevating about a bunch of guys playing music together. This wonderful little world that is unassailable. It’s really teamwork, one guy supporting the others, and it’s all for one purpose, and there’s no flies in the ointment, for a while. And nobody conducting: it’s all up to you. It’s really jazz: that’s the big secret. Rock’n’roll ain’t nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat. So we sat there in the cold, dissecting tracks for as long as the meter held out. A new Bo Diddley record goes under the surgical knife. Have you got that wah-wah? What were the drums playing, how hard were they playing . . . what were the maracas doing? One of the first lessons I learnt with guitar playing was that none of these guys were actually playing straight chords. There’s a throw-in, a flick-back. Nothing’s ever a straight major. It’s an amalgamation, a mangling and a dangling and a tangling thing. There is no “properly”. There’s just how you feel about it. Feel your way around it. It’s a dirty world down here.

    Mostly I’ve found, playing instruments, that I actually want to be playing something that should be played by another instrument. I find myself trying to play horn lines all the time on the guitar. When I was learning how to do these songs, I learnt there is often one note doing something that makes the whole thing work. It’s usually a suspended chord. It’s not a full chord, it’s a mixture of chords, which I love to use to this day. If you’re playing a straight chord, whatever comes next should have something else in it. If it’s an A chord, a hint of D. Or if it’s a song with a different feeling, if it’s an A chord, a hint of G should come in somewhere, which makes a 7th, which then can lead you on. Readers who wish to can skip Keef’s Guitar Workshop, but I’m passing on the simple secrets anyway, which led to the open-chord riffs of later years — the Jack Flash and Gimme Shelter ones.

    stones 1963There are some people looking to play guitar. There’s other people looking for a sound. I was looking for a sound when Brian and I were rehearsing in Edith Grove. Something easily done by three or four guys and you wouldn’t be missing any instruments or sound on it. I just followed the bosses. A lot of those blues players of the mid-Fifties — Albert King and B. B. King — were single-note players. T-Bone Walker was one of the first to use the double-string thing — to use two strings instead of one, and Chuck got a lot out of T-Bone.

    Musically impossible, but it works. The notes clash, they jangle. You’re pulling two strings at once and you’re putting them in a position where actually their knickers are pulled up. You’ve always got something ringing against the note or the harmony. The reason that cats started to play like that was economics — to eliminate the need for a horn section.

    Brian and I, we had the Jimmy Reed stuff down. When we were really hunkering down and working, working, Mick obviously felt a little bit out of it. Also he was away at the London School of Economics for much of the day to start with. He couldn’t play anything. That’s why he picked up on the harp and the maracas. Brian had picked up the harmonica very quickly at first, and I think Mick didn’t want to be left behind. I wouldn’t be surprised if from the beginning it wasn’t just from being in competition with Brian. And Mick turned out to be the most amazing harp player. I’d put him up there with the best in the world, on a good night. Everything else we know he can do — he’s a great showman — but, to a musician, Mick Jagger is a great harp player. I find it hard to listen to him without awe. His harp playing is the one place where you don’t hear any calculation.

    I say: “Why don’t you sing like that?” He says they’re totally different things. But they’re not — they’re both blowing air out of your gob.

    It was a mania. Benedictines had nothing on us. Anybody that strayed from the nest to get laid, or try to get laid, was a traitor. You were supposed to spend all your waking hours studying Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson. That was your gig. Every other moment taken away from it was a sin. It was that kind of atmosphere, that kind of attitude that we lived with. The women around were really quite peripheral. The drive in the band was amazing among Mick, Brian and myself. It was incessant study. Not really in the academic sense of it: it was to get the feel of it.

    And then I think we realised, like any young guys, that blues are not learnt in a monastery. You’ve got to go out there and get your heart broke and then come back and then you can sing the blues. Preferably several times. At that time, we were taking it on a purely musical level, forgetting that these guys were singing about shit. First you’ve got to get in the shit. And then you can maybe come back and sing it.

  5. Friday, June 17, 2016

    mom, you shouldnt read this, trust me 

    13413534_10154239608858057_3610566224302235945_n

    today is the 22nd anniversary of OJs bronco chase which means 22(!) years ago i was roommates with todd francis on Folsom Street in Frisco when we saw the chase.

    Todd had a great apartment which i think was like a guest house in the back of a regular house on Folsom and like 22nd if i remember correctly.

    i had just been asked to transfer from LA to SF for Philips because they were about to introduce this thing called WebTV which connected your TV to the Internet and their guy in SF didn’t know anything about the web (who did 22 years ago?) and wasnt willing to learn.

    so they made me the dude in charge of No Cal, which was fine with me because as much as i loved living in Atwater Village with Greg and Jeff, none of us were getting laid and they were pursing their musical careers and i was up for a change of scenery so why not.

    Todd had an extra room for rent so why not. He was a great roommate, soooo funny, and he was a vegetarian so there were nights when omg i wouldnt eat any meat. trippy.

    right away i started getting dates through AOL for some reason.

    one of the first ones was this rich girl who was sorta seeing this guy whos dad owned a car dealership. beautiful asian girl. i wanna say her name was Candis. i was all, why are you breaking up with your dude. she said because he is so obsessed with money, he never pays any attention to me. i said send me a picture and it was like a put on, she was too beautiful. i was all. take a picture with todays news paper. she said i dont get the paper.

    i said ok take a picture with your hat on backwards and standing on one leg. she did and i was all

    lets go to the drive in, that way we can see a movie AND talk at the same time.

    ok mom if youre still reading you really need to stop because its only gonna get worse.

    Continue reading “mom, you shouldnt read this, trust me”

  6. Thursday, June 16, 2016

    does everyone feel lucky to have been born when they were borned? 

    desk

    in 1980 i was in eighth grade and because i was a very popular kid for some reason the teachers always volunteered me to do things that i never wanted to do.

    i still have a terrible fear of public speaking, i have no desire to be an actor or to be on stage. yet the teachers said, tony you are the funniest kid in school, we are about to have a talent show, and we want you to be the MC. i said no. they said please. i said damn you magic word!

    once that was over i thought i was home free, high school here we come. but then they said omg we are going to have a School Dance. i said see ya! they said no everyone really should come and Tony we want you to be the DJ. i said i have like five records. they said no problem, we will ask all the kids to bring one or two of their favorite records. i said so wait i can go to the dance, but i dont have to dance? Awesome! so i played rock hits and some slow tunes and slow danced with the pretty girls during the slow dances.

    thats what i remember of 1980. we didnt have a computer like the one in this picture until four years later and i didnt have a fax machine at home until like the 90s. and scissors? are you out of your mind?

    but heres why i am glad i was born when i was: i got to see video games come into the world, and MTV, and crack cocaine (jk mom!). i am so grateful i was part of the last generation who truly understood how to use a library, and a real typewriter. i wrote love letters to my girlfriends. on stationary. in different colored inks. i rode a bike as a kid, without a lock. we played outside allllll day and when we were older, at OMG night!

    and back to those records: we cherished them. all of them. we stared at every image, every word, while listening to every sound. often while using big monstrous headphones.  most kids only had 5-10 records by the time they graduated high school so we knew those by heart. and because this was before MTV, often times we had no clue what some of these bands really looked like.

    because this was the time before Tivo and DVRs and for a while even VCRs we watched tv live. not only that we knew exactly what was gonna be on and when. TV Guide was cute but you didnt have to tell most kids in 1980 what was on TV, there were only three networks, how hard was it to memorize that junk.

    but the best were the Saturday Morning cartoons. it was the icing on the cake of a Saturday. which isnt to say the cartoons were all that great, but they were ours. and some of them were great even though i cant remember being as blown away by The Wacky Races as i have been by Game of Thrones. but im sure in my little heart back then i was.

    so am i glad i was born when i was? fuck yeah. but im also extremely grateful of the innovations that we have been blessed with since then. and doubly glad the slow dance survived.

  7. Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    im a little nervous i might get screwed out of my uber bonus 

    bambias i have written on here before, occasionally Uber offers bonuses to some of its drivers to drive a bunch of a trips on the weekends.

    what this does is gets a bunch of drivers on the road for Uber

    and it prevents Lyft from having the drivers.

    and, best of all, it give us drivers a boost of about $300-$400.

    last week’s bonus was simple: get 30 rides from Friday – Sunday, average 1.5 trips an hour, have an acceptance rate of over 80% and you will get $30/hr and a $150 bonus.

    so i drove 8 hours on Friday and 8 hours on Saturday (sunday is the Lord’s Day) and to play things safe i took 32 trips

    today Uber is saying I only took 28 trips which knocks my trips per hour down to 1.45

    and they dont round up.

    one of the more frustrating things with this self-described technology company is they only communicate through email and often times you have to write to reps whose English is not their first language. also everything is shady.

    example: they swear they are a technology company but as you are driving you have no clue what any of the metrics are. you dont reeeealllly know how many trips youve taken – you sorta do – but clearly it’s debateable. and for sure you dont know your acceptance rate nor do you really know how you are doing per hour.

    on top of all of that, how is it the driver’s fault those last two hours if he has his phone on but there are no passengers requesting him?

    THE PHONE IS ON!

    so right now i am in email hell. ive written them like four times and all ive gotten back from them is “thanks for your email, we’ll get back to you.”

    hopefully that means there is a glitch in the system and theyre being bombarded with drivers like me who are all wtf bros.

    developing….

  8. Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    remember when i said i wasnt gonna read the bible on sundays any more 

    tumblr_o8irbsPcFR1qz9v0to3_500well that was crazy talk

    i read it last sunday, just like i have every sunday for the last ten years or so

    or twenty? who knows. who cares.

    all i know is its good to have a little routine in your life if youre a somewhat crazy person like i am.

    i have to do my laundry now. this is probably the only sad thing about my life. my landlord and my request to put a washer dryer in my apartment.

    at the beginning of the year i called her to ask her if i needed to do anything to get a washer dryer and she said first of all you cant have one

    i said but everyone else has one.

    and she said and secondly youd have to write a letter asking if you can have one. so i wrote the letter and it was not answered. now a lot of things could have happened. for example it could have gotten lost somewhere between hollywood and santa monica. it was probably routed to downtown and then something crazy could have happened to it like it was burned by clowns on a smoke break.

    or she doesnt really respect me because i pay the lowest rent in the building. and she thinks that if i have to haul my laundry to the laundramat all the time i’ll eventually get fed up with the lack of basic laundry equipment and move.

    but ive lived here over 15 years. the first five of those years i didnt even have a car and i still figured out how to get my clothes to the laundramat. now i have a bad ass german luxurymobile. i can get my cubs shirts cleaned, have no fear.

    you know what the bible teaches about this? it teaches that i should keep asking. moses’s jews were slaves in egypt. he had no leverage, just like how i dont neither. but he kept saying let my people go. of course he also said i will torture you through freaky plagues, but at the root of it – moses was gonna keep asking until it happened.

    part of me wants to say, look i’ll pay $20 more a month, you know, to cover any water costs. but fuck that. she never responded to my first letter. why should she get an extra $140 a year for being rude to me? i dont even spend that in a year in quarters at the laundromat.

    but i will ask again. i will say. hello, tony pierce here. earlier this year i sent a letter about me purchasing a washer dryer. i believe clowns may be involved and intercepted the request. may i please install a washer dryer in my apartment, in the spot where there are washer dryer hook ups ready to go? thank you so much.

    hopefully shes been reading the bible too

  9. sometimes i dont know any more 

    tony awardsyou do your thing, you walk around. you drive around. you talk to people. the people seem reasonable.

    but then you go on the internet and something changes. everyone loses their minds.

    were their minds always lost? is my mind lost?

    when something happens 1,000 times and every time is sad and every time is horrible, shouldnt it be changed?

    since the massacre at Sandy Hook where 20 little innocent kids were gunned down there have been 998 mass shootings in the USA. the land of the free. my home sweet home.

    of those 998 only three of the mass shootings were at the hands of Muslims.

    and yet the LA Times, my hometown paper, allows Jonah Goldberg to write a column about how its all the Muslims’ fault. and how Obama is weird by not calling it Islama Fascism or whatever Jonah Goldberg wants him to call it. and the Times pays him money for this.

    meanwhile of the 998 mass killings, all have been done by men.

    most of them white men.

    when will Jonah Goldberg whine that Obama doesnt tell the world that what we have here is a White Man With A Gun Problem?

    who will the LA Times pay to write that? you know, something that’s based in actual math and science instead of malarkey gleaned from the Fox News talking points.

    no one will write it there because, it’s not really a White Man With A Gun problem, it’s just a plain old gun problem.

    there are some guns we shouldnt have. and there are ways that we should be selling and registering and keeping an eye on these guns that is the problem.

    duh

    and thats why i feel like sometimes i just dont know. because some very smart people really truly believe in their hearts

    that if we treated guns like how we treat cars, which is to say, in order to get and keep a gun

    you would have to prove you are capable of using one, you have to register it, you have to maintain it, you have to do all the paperwork, etc.

    these smart people really think that it would lead to us taking away

    all

    of the guns.

    they forget or ignore the fact that we haven’t taken away

    all

    of the anything in the usa.

    hand grenades are illegal but there are still a few floating around.cartoon

    a man can’t have a bazooka, but every now and then you find someone with one.

    all we are asking for is a reasonable adjustment to these unreasonable actions occurring to innocent people.

    like i said yesterday, i believe this change will come.

    i believe the tides will change. i believe we will start voting out representatives who care more about money flowing in from the NRA than they do about blood flowing out of innocent victims.

    we will return to being the home of the brave

    and we will let go of some of the machine guns that have ruined the lives of far too many innocent families.

    we are not a stupid scared fucked up terrible ignorant doomed nation of jonah goldbergs

    who like to blame boogeymen and not ourselves.

    this is not a muslim problem or even a white man with a gun problem.

    this is an american problem

    that will be fixed by americans.

    which is why i cant wait to vote.

  10. Monday, June 13, 2016

    Wow the ESPN Prez sure loves talking to the NYT about Bill Simmons 

    bill simmonsIt sure seemed to anyone with two ears that Bill Simmons was fired from ESPN because on his podcast (!) he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a liar which ruffled the feathers of The Sports Leader because they are in bed with the Shield.

    But today ESPN’s president tells The New York Times that it wasn’t about the commish, instead, “I alone made the decision, and it had nothing to do with his comments about the commissioner. I severed our relationship with Bill because of his repeated lack of respect for this company and, more importantly, the people who work here.”

    Which also sounds like a lie because if you are pissed at the creator of Grantland and his alleged lack of respect for the people there, why would you shutter the beloved site and make all those people instantly unemployed due to your scorched Earth style of management?

    Further, why would you add gasoline to this fire a week before Bill’s new HBO show is about to come out? All you’re doing is giving him free pub and making him look like the David to your Goliath. Super fascinating to me how thin skinned those at the tippy top can be when talent who has earned an audience based on their opinions actually give opinions.

    Always remember: the president of ESPN didn’t even have the guts to tell Simmons that he was fired in person on the phone or via email. Instead he told the NYT and Simmons found out through Twitter.

    In summary: The commissioner of football was lying about the Ray Rice video and now it looks like the president of ESPN is totally omg wtf lying about why he shitcanned Bill Simmons and spitefully ended the beloved Grantland.