busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    drove the nicest lady from beverly hills to hollywood blvd 

    it gives me hope when i meet the good people.

    and i meet them every livelong day.

    hope that heaven is possible, hope that peace and love are possible

    hope that some of us wont get fooled again by a charlatan who promises great walls and jobs jobs jobs and blah da di blah.

    we were able to talk about music and movies and tv and ratings

    and getting talent young and letting it go to greener pastures

    and growing old and LA vs NY and all the things youd wanna talk about in a 24 minute ride in rush hour.

    sometimes its a little sad when the ride is over and you wanna hug them

    or exchange phone numbers

    or be BFFs forever

    but instead you rate them the five stars, turn on the app again and see what there is to see.

    i might be too emotional for all of this.

    but it does pay the bills.

  2. Friday, April 21, 2017

    life isnt a farm 

    and it’s not even ours.

    we are lucky to be here for the split second we’re here.

    and what are we gonna do, whine? not me. fuck whining.

    i’m here to make things.

    and tell you stories. for example today i drove a fancy stylist from beverly hills to hollywood and then to the airport. he wanted to take a picture of the hollywood sign for his friend.

    but he also had to go to the airport all within two hours.

    that seems simple enough, but it was rush hour and he actually wanted to get very close to the hollywood sign. and did i mention the airport.

    yesterday it took me 20 minutes just to get from the in n out three blocks from LAX to arrivals, i mean departures, thats the ticket. so i was all, dude, i am SO DOWN for challenges. but i really dont want you to miss your flight, so we tried to see how close we could get before getting on the freeway.

    we got to hollywood and highland and he said, nah the shot isnt good enough. so i said ok, im sorry. he said, fine. but then i said, wait, the Netflix HQ has a great view of it and its off the Sunset exit of the 101, which is kinda on the way.

    and i drove there and i said turn around and he was all, yes! and click

    and back on the road and he told me all his secrets and all the dirt on all the people

    which was mostly that they are all pretty cool people if you give them some space

    and all the dirt on west coast vs east coast fashion

    and because it was lyft and not uber i made over $100 and i betcha he tipped me

    speaking of, i emailed uber and said, pay me the $80 you owe me and i promise never to drive UberSC again and you will never have to hear me whine

    not holding my breath for them to do the right thing, but whatever.

    tomorrow im gonna read this screenwriting book all day like college.

    my life needs to change drastically.

    we are here to make magic

    not pout.

  3. Sunday, April 2, 2017

    first day doing lyft exclusively 

    yesterday was old school. yesterday i drove everywhere. yesterday i met everyone.

    yesterday i hit my goal.

    Lyft had a deal, drive 20 rides, get $75. friday i did three rides, so i only needed to do 17 yesterday. i got motivated around noon, so i calculated if i could do 2 an hour id be done at 8pm.

    plenty of time to hit up clipper girls cousin, who was showing some interest again.

    lets see how much i can remember without looking at my notes.

    gay dude fresh from nyc who was going to prep a property for a real estate company he sorta works for

    famous rappers i should know but im old who i picked up in a silver lake motel id never been to before who bumped their own wonderful tunes all the way to redondo beach

    21 yr old barback who had just bought a canon mark 4 for $4k and was bringing it to work for some reason

    cute mexican cousins having a staycation in manhattan beach who i picked up at the ralphs where they had bought booze to continue the celebration in their room who tipped me $5 cash for not being pissed that they made me wait in the crowded parking lot

    gay dude fresh from north carolina who took the red line from north hollywood to the blue line to the green line so he could then take a lyft to the Olive Garden where he works. his car was totaled a few weeks ago.

    posh manhattan beach housewife who had just gotten her nails done and didn’t want to walk the mile home. we passed Frys i said i could never live this close to a Frys, id spend all i own there. she said whats in there? i said, Man’s Heaven. she said women are in there? i said fine, most of Heaven.

    giant dude who barely fit in my back seat who works at the el segundo golf course which it turns out is only $15 because its city-owned. he’s worked there 5 years. he starts at 6am. he was headed to Compton. his mom was about to marry this man. i said oh her second marriage? he said, well she didnt ever marry my dad, so her first marriage. he was going to her house because her future inlaws were throwing a party for them. he said it was gonna be awkward. he said compton used to be really bad but its better now.

    because the Lyft bonus didnt cover rides that far south i drove to USC, got a photographer going to a shoot in DTLA. then i got a model and this fashion designer in the fashion district who Lyft Lined it to his Chinatown studio. along the way this sparkling beautiful asian waitress with black lipstick who told me about all these great pho places to eat in little tokyo. i said, i’ve been loyal to Mr. Ramen. she said omg i used to work there, i loved the reggae music. i said thats why im loyal!

    then this chinese rich girl who totalled her Beamer who was headed to the north hollywood bmw shop to buy her replacement car. she was super nervous. pisces. 23. works at a famous accounting firm. i was like whats to be nervous about, you’ll always have a car payment. plus im sure you know your budget. she said, to be honest, i feel like maybe i dont deserve a nice car after what i just did. i said, by the power vested in me in this magical lyft, you are forgiven, delicate flower.

    next was a young mexican dude who was at a party but needed a ride home real quick to feed and play with his 11 week old puppy. he said his parents were super into punk rock and named his older brother Joey and was about to name him Johnny but his grandma said you cannot name your children after the Ramones. we talked about old school punk pretty much the whole way to KTown.

    then there was the dude from a famous music streaming service who lived near a former infamous police station which everyone thought had been gutted but he said he has seen some undercover vehicles roll out of there that look exactly like plumbing trucks and exterminators but alas theyre surveillance vehicles y’all. he was going to yang chow home of the slippery shrimp and damn there was a giant line there due to the dodger game that just let out.

    got a ping up in echo park. three usc grad students who were snapchatting, instagramming and singing right as they entered the car because i was playing r kelly and they knew every word. they were going to see the Migos and Rae Srummurd – free concert at USC if you were a student. i said suddenly i am a student at USC! we talked about astrology. the libra in the back seat said Scorpios are garbage! i said Libra girl! her friend the Cancer said AGREED! later that night i heard the concert was shut down after just two songs from the Migos because the kids at USC let too many of their friends in and people felt unsafe.

    only one more ride left. got a recent USC grad, film major from hong kong. sharp as a tack. she said whats the easiest way to get an oscar before i turn 32? i want to beat Damien Chazelle. i said, first of all youre a woman so good luck with that. she gasped. i was all, jk, roll with me. then i said, Shorts is one way but you’ll probably have to finance that yourself because why would a producer give you money for something that wont make him any money. she said OR HER. i was all, didnt i say chill. she laughed. we picked up her friend along the way. i said ok another way is Foreign Language. she said what are the requirements, that i have to shoot it over seas? i said no, its gotta be in a foreign language. i said so like China. she said id rather it be in French. so i said bonne chance jeune fille.

    got hope, ate, drank, passed out before clipper girl texted me, which she did all night as i snoozed and the kittens tried to steal the blankets.

  4. Friday, March 31, 2017

    why am i so angry 

    like im really mad, almost all of the time.

    the only time im not is when im driving someone on uber or lyft.

    how crazy is that?

    last night people were cutting me off, making weird turns, not using their blinkers, swerving

    coulda sworn i saw a guy making a chinese chicken salad AS HE DROVE

    we were near the grove which is a magnet for terrible drivers.

    pretty sure that was an indian burial ground at some point.

    picked up these kids who worked on a tv show at Television City.

    they were talking about how the schedule for the movies that they are screening at the Hollywood Forever cemetery just came out and they were stoked to see Clueless there.

    one of the kids was all, how disrespectful, watching a movie on top of a dead body.

    other kid goes, and by kid i mean they were in their 20s, we were driving up into the hollywood hills to see a secret comedy show in a mansion.

    one of them called the place The Orgy House because of the decor.

    so the one kid says to the other, everywhere we go we are stepping on dead bodies, you think current cemeteries are the only place where there are dead people?

    there was talk about cavemen, indians, cowboys, mexicans, the poor.

    and yeah, we are constantly walking on the past.

    tramping them down deeper.

    forgetting about them, using them as roads, sidewalks, dirt paths.

    what do you think dirt is made of one of them asked indignantly.

    dreams, i whispered and sped up the mountain.

  5. Saturday, December 31, 2016

    dear tony, im thinking about driving for uber and or lyft 

    omg sounds fun.

    heres a few things you should know.

    your car is gonna get dirty on the inside and outside.

    youre gonna use more gas than you expect.

    youre gonna put a bunch of miles on your car.

    repairs are going to be needed.

    not everyone is gonna be nice (but most will be).

    so the first tip i have for you, especially now that the new year is moments away: Get a small notepad, something that will fit in your glovebox. This will be by your side as you drive.

    What to write in it: every trip write down the time you got to the spot, what time you dropped them off, and how much you are supposed to get paid. (Sometimes the payouts are wrong and omg mysteriously they are never in favor of the driver.)

    Also write in it your odometer when you start driving for the day and when you have stopped. (There is software you can buy too, an app called Sherpa Share, which is good, but this is an analog log.)

    Also write in any time you do repairs, get gas, get a car wash, pay tolls or parking or buy water for the passengers or aux cords or anything for the car that you are using for ridesharing.

    Once a week take a picture of the pages for that week so you have this backed up digitally in case your notebook gets lost, stolen, burned up in a terrible fire.

    Yes this notebook is good for taxes, but it will also show  you if what youre doing is profitable. Which may be a goal of yours.

    Get SiriusXM and play either Metal or Jazz. 

    the majority of your passengers will say they don’t care when you ask them what music they wanna hear and thats exactly why this country is in the toilet.

    young people today can name a half dozen kardashians but not one ted nugent record. wtf is that?

    so basically if you’re under 60 i have the station on Ozzy’s Boneyard. if you’re older i’ll put on Real Jazz which is old school Monk, Trane, Bird…

    the ride can be and should be an education. and as with most things in life, it starts with the sweet tunes.

    best of all you can write off the subscription.

    sometimes people, particularly young people, will ask for the AUX cord.

    heres my question, if they asked for the steering wheel would you give it to them? of course not.

    never let anyone grab your aux cord because the first thing they want to do when they get it is ask you to crank it.

    trust me when i tell you, you do not want to crank their music.

    not even for the 15 minutes that the average drive consists of. of all the tips, this may be my best one.

    do not do it.

    they will pout, they will threaten your beautiful driver rating, but trust me. ignore the plea.

    instead, say: i have every channel on sirius, which one do you wanna hear.

    and then play ozzy when they say uhhhhhh.

    Babies are OK if they have a car seat.

    if they don’t have a car seat they don’t get a ride.

    if anyone complains just say, “look im on probation. i can’t go back.”

    they’ll understand

    dogs are ok if they can do a trick or if i can take a picture.

    most people who bring dogs are women. no one knows why. they usually smell a tiny bit because they’re dogs, but they magically bring joy to you and your ride and it lingers.

    have some air spray or some orange peels or something that can get that dog smell out of there once he leaves because i promise you it will smell like a dog a little no matter what their owner says.

    you will be hit on. resist.

    if one thing leads to another and your passenger wakes up with her uber driver next to her and doesnt remember how it all happened, her memory will never create a romance story. it will be a horror film. slow mo. you will go to jail. no one believes the uber driver about anything. no one. give her your number if she insists, but don’t call her back until the next day.

    if you must.

    the media is obsessed with uber drivers and i have yet to read the story about juliet meeting her romeo the uber driver.

    get a dash cam, preferably one that has two cameras, one that points forward and one that goes backwards. i have the Falcon. it costs about $140, sometimes you can find it as low as $100. i only have the camera pointing forward recording most of the time. but if trouble lurks i tap two buttons and the rear camera is on along with my announcement, “for your safety and mine, the dashcam is now recording audio and video and its being stored in the cloud.” shit mellows out quickly when they hear that. bad news: it’s not really being stored in the cloud. good news: it’s usually drunk people being verbally abusive that you have to say this to and they don’t know.

    why do i have the forward facing camera rolling at all times? because people cray and if someone hits me in the front of my car i have video of it. because, no one would believe the uber driver without it. you can write this off too.

    take a lot of pictures. youre gonna see some weird shit.

    only let people eat in your car in the daytime. people spill. if they spill at night you might not ever see it and sploosh theres some ketchup on the white jeans of your next passenger. no good for anyone.

    if its not busy i will take you through the drive thru. but you have to buy me a shake. and let me take a picture. and give me some fries.

    but only if its day time.

    you can try to be a nice guy who goes in the burger king drive thru at 2:15am on a friday night but one person is gonna barf which is gonna make everyone else barf.

    you are the boss of your life. my life has very little puke.

    you can cancel rides you know. sometimes you should.

    when the passenger orders the uber it tells them how far away you are. it tells them how many minutes it will be. rarely in LA are you further than 10 minutes away (btw don’t take rides where you have to drive more than 10 minutes to get to them).

    so when you show up, and you are waiting and waiting, what i like to do after waiting two minutes is i text them this: “hi this is uber, i am [in the driveway/in front of 1234 Boogie Woogie Ave/in valet] is that where I should be?”

    two things may happen. sometimes they never respond. hard to believe since they just used that very same phone to order the uber. or they will text back with “coming” or “be right there”.

    if after 5 minutes of waiting they are still not there (and you know the time because you have written it in your notebook) you can cancel and you will get $4.

    even if they say, “turn on the meter” do not. the meter on uber/lyft rolls slower than you would ever imagine. it’s pennies. not a lot of pennies. maybe 5 pennies. a day. for waiting. fuck that. cancel. the server took forever? no, YOU took forever. thanks for the money.

    drive at all hours of the day and night.

    but know the worst time is from 1:30am – 3:30am. why? it’s a vomitpalooza, no one gets to your car in a reasonable time, the roads are filled with drunks and cops, people are cold hungry and have to pee, some people are crying, some are trying to have sex in your car, some fall asleep, some try to get violent. nowadays it only surges for 20 minutes or so around when bars close – it’s not worth it. go home at 1am.

    and often the best time is at 6am. theres little traffic. often it’s rides to the airport. have a clean trunk at all times.

    Once you start driving you will get a referral code for new drivers. They will ask you questions. Answer them. The best way that they can thank you for your knowledge and ongoing tips is for them to sign up using your referral codes (yes you should drive for both Lyft and Uber)

    My Uber code is https://partners.uber.com/i/8q88tl

    My Lyft code is https://www.lyft.com/drivers/TONY3772

    The robots will take this away from us one day. Until then, enjoy the ride.

  6. Thursday, July 14, 2016

    drove a 16 year old girl from westwood to torrance in rush hour yesterday 

    sunset silver lakeit took an hour and we talked the whole way

    she has been to coachella the last two years. vip both times.

    she wants to go to college on the east coast.

    she doesnt like Taylor Swift, at all.

    she loves Selena Gomez but wasnt aware that her latest movie is on Netflix

    says she looks at Snapchat maybe 40 times a day

    says that when she looks at it and doesnt see anything new from her friends, she’ll look at Cosmo’s story or something else

    follows the kardashians on snapchat and ariana grande

    goes to private school in west LA and her parents either drive her or she takes lyft

    when she goes to coachella she doesnt camp, she chips in with her friends to rent a house

    loved Flostradamus

    did not see AC/DC or Guns n Roses because: not interested

    wants to try the Kylie Jenner lip kit but hasnt gotten around to it

    loves Obama and will miss him.

    doesnt shop at nearby Del Amo Mall, instead prefers The Grove.

    fascinating convo the whole way.

  7. Saturday, July 2, 2016

    i had such a good day yesterday i could cry 

    kanpai

    it started out with me getting to interview this guy who has made movie posters for decades.

    designs, art directs, sketches, creates, pitches and then makes some of your favorite movie posters

    he’s worked with spielberg, saul bass, schwarezenneger, ron howard, you name em.

    i was all, i hear ron howard is a monster IRL

    people like jokes.

    then i started driving.

    on thursday uber had some technical problems. neither the drivers or the passengers could use the app

    so i switched over to lyft where because of the surge of new businesses, the prices were multiplied

    to fit demand. it was great. doubly great because lyft is offering me a bonus right now

    because soon they will introduce their luxury car level of pricing and they want me to get ready

    so i think i get double the fare no matter what the fare is, so needless to say ive been driving lyft.

    most drivers who do both say the lyft passenger is nicer and more laid back and its sorta true.

    tommy burrito

    i never met any passengers like Bobby Tortilla on Uber. So thanks Lyft.

    Bobby is a heavy metal stage manager who told me some of the best stories.

    We both talked about some weird ass times at Irvine Meadows.

    I told him about sneaking into the ACDC / Queensryche show in ’86 where while they were playing Operation Mindcrime we traversed across the abandoned Lion Country Safari and eventually hopped the fence into the rock

    And he told me about being chased by a cop and a K9 while carrying a twelve pack of Coors Light – a story that we both agreed would make an excellent music video.

    He told me that he was going to be doing a show where Alice Cooper is playing and I told him about “Supermench” and he was stoked to hear about it. When I dropped him off there were two white vans in his driveway. He told me one was the old one and one is the new one. If those tour vans could talk.

    Drove a shy french girl from one side of town to the other. She was here for two weeks, staying in a tall apartment building in West LA where I had previously picked up 5 swedish girls and while I was waiting for her there were two scantily clad black girls and if i was still in the LA news biz i’d stick my nose into that building, because what the

    tonight i will be driving more Lyft because Uber still hasnt paid me my bonus from last week and they know theyre wrong and wont even answer my emails, pretending that Manilla celebrates the fourth of july.

    but the best was lunch.

    i had just dropped off this young lady at LAX who was flying to vancouver for the weekend. it took us a half hour to get from the venice blvd chase drive thru next to the cvs next to where the Good Hurt used to be next to where theres a bowling alley i think. it took us a half hour to get from there to the airport door.

    so i figured, im not on a bonus, i dont have to be super hustling,

    so i did something i never do, i went to kanpai and sat at the sushi bar and just treated myself.

    they have a lunch menu before 6pm of enough food the fill you up for sure.

    i paid $45 after tip and it was seriously the best lunch ive had all year.

    i nearly cried in the parking lot.

  8. Wednesday, December 30, 2015

    today and tomorrow and there goes 2015 

    Original Oil Painting by the artist Matt Storyi feel like i should be doing something of importance as the earth completes its journey around the sun this year.

    yesterday i took my first drive as a Lyft driver. it wasn’t bad. mama mia is there little money to be made though. a 15 minute drive will only net you $4 or $5. They say a good chunk of them tip you but you dont see your tips right away, and i still have yet to have seen mine.

    they have this nice bonus situation going where if you work 30 hours you get half of Lyft’s commission back. and if you work 50 hours you get all of it back. sorta love that. especially on weeks like this where i dont have to work my real job.

    the passengers were pretty nice. one kid sat up front. everyone else was in the back. i like that better.

    the roads were nearly empty which was a dream. LA is wonderful but 100x wonderful when you can traverse across its vast expanses. when you can just drive down Melrose and not hit a light or deal with 25 other cars dawdling along is the best Christmas gift of all.

    and you of course.

    it’s been cold at night here in LA. 40s. definitely two blankets. my house is drafty. but the space heater does its job.

    last night i picked up this kid sort near my house. i dont know anyones ages any more. he was headed to Glendale, where he said he grew up. is going to college at SC. he was telling me about one of his roommates who comes home drunk or high “or whatever” and plays his bad music really loud. i asked him, dont you tell him to put on his headphones? he said, he’s too high to hear me.

    i said, i dont think he’s high, i think hes probably a dick.

    kid says, well i dont know anything about that, ive never done any drugs.

    i said, nothing?

    he said, nothing.

    i said, and i know this is weird, but you really should try weed at least when you’re in college.

    he said, i should?

    i said, heres why, say you dont. say you just study, you get a good job somewhere like a bank. and the bank does great that year and sends the whole staff to mexico for a long weekend. and everyone gets drunk and this hot little mexican girl offers you a joint. let me tell you this, my good friend, you dont want your first experience of any drug or booze to be in front of your coworkers in a situation where you have something to lose.

    you dont want to start acting like your crazy roommate in front of your boss.

    get all that business handled at the frat house or in your dorm room with your barely legal friends in the safety of south central.

    i better get a huge tip from that dude.