nothing in here is true

  1. Saturday, June 16, 2018

    i drove a big powerful movie executive on thursday 

    everything about her was smooth.

    perfectly dressed. great sunglasses.

    picked her up somewhere classy, dropped her off at a studio.

    the whole time she was on the phone with this one and that one

    and she was happy and smart and eloquent

    and so insightful about this big director

    and how to tell in an email if he had been drinking

    because if he had you can disregard the tone.

    she and i never talked but by piecing together the cast of characters

    it was easy to find her imdb.

    and when i got to where she had started in hollywood

    i totally understood why she had such an even keeled disposition.

    cuz that show was incredible.

    even though i worked at e! and now where i do,

    i have learned way more about hollywood from driving people in an out of century city

    for uber

    because these people are always on the phone

    and this city is way smaller than it appears.

    i just wish i knew who they were first because we would have better convos.

  2. Wednesday, April 18, 2018

    it’s not easy to get me jealous 

    but right now ive got friends in Egypt checking out the pyramids and in Kuwait playing video games with our troops

    yesterday i had an interesting dilemma. it was surging 2.5x on Uber but i got a ping on Lyft Premium (which is like a 3x surge).

    when i got the Lyft request i saw it was from a gated community near a country club and every time ive picked up someone there it was a short, irritating ride.

    and now that Uber and Lyft tells you whether or not it is a long trip or not, i knew this Lyft ride wasn’t going to be a long ride.

    so i was tempted to cancel it but i had just lectured all these dumb young kids on the Uber facebook page that you shouldn’t cancel a guaranteed decent ride in hopes that you will get a big fat long ride in a minute or two.

    traffic was bad where i was gonna pick them up and again i was tempted, but the Lord led me out of temptation and i got to where i needed to be and there they were waiting for me.

    one of the things about these rides is there is the small chance that as you are driving they will say, oh we didnt mean to drop us off here (a short ride) we meant for you to take us Alllllllll the way over here (a long, profitable ride).

    but the other pleasant surprise is they can give you a $10 tip because they rich as hell and cool and appreciated you and are good hearted.

    and thats what happened. a $10 tip on a $21 ride.

    still i want to see the pyramids soon!

  3. Friday, February 2, 2018

    theres two techniques to getting a fare on lyft 

    you can either drive around to your favorite spots

    or you can just go to your most favorite spot and wait.

    usually im too hyper to wait so i just drive and drive and drive. who knows if you are actually driving to the hot spot or if you are leaving where something good was about to happen

    but one thing for sure when you do that: you burn gas

    another thing for sure when you do that: you increase your chances for getting into a crash.

    so over the last few days ive been waiting.

    i just sit there and read twitter or the news or text amber or think about taking a nap.

    last night i was at my favorite spot and i got a ping on Lyft Premiere. bonus: it alerted me that it would be a “long ride” that would take 45 minutes or more.

    typically on a thursday that means it is a trip to LAX, but last night i got lucky and we went to West Hills.

    great guy, undercover hacker, told me all his secrets.

    admitted that americans arent as good as russian or chinese hackers because we are lazy or can become lazy far quicker than our enemies because we get fat and middle class to quickly.

    i said the key to success is the hustle.

    he was all, you got that right comrade.

    we took the 405 to the 101 in rush hour and he noted that i am ridiculously cool under the pressure of traffic.

    what traffic i said as miles’ birth of cool eased out of the speakers.

    he was like, is this miles? i said yep.

    he said, with trane? i said, nope.

    he said, oh with bird?

    i said this was right inbetween that period. after parker, before coletrane. he said where did you learn that? i said every sunday i turn on jazz and read the bible for an hour.

    he said how long have you been doing that for? i said since college.

    he said, how long ago was that.

    i said well, lets put it this way, i had a 300 baud modem at the time.

    and we laughed as we drove through the western valley with its wide boulevards and shirtless denizens

    on an unusually warm last night of january.

    $69 fare + $5 tip.

  4. Sunday, January 7, 2018

    got these girls from american somoa 

    beverly hills. outside of the drug store.

    do you know how expensive everything is around here? they asked.

    i laughed.

    i said, you might be in the most expensive square mile in all of the usa.

    they argued that maui might be right up there too, but they didn’t expect what they just had seen on Rodeo Drive.

    i said, i think of it more as an art project. a game. a huge fakeout ballet.

    we will put these things here and see if someone actually does the thing.

    like when some guy developed a $1,000 iphone app, back when apps were just starting.

    for a grand all it did was show an image of a gem and if you clicked it, these words appeared

    i am rich, i deservd it, i am healthy and successful.

    apple took it down after a day.

    but in that day eight people bought it.

    we drove and i told them about how to ride the bus, where Santee Alley is, and where they should stay in Las Vegas, which was their next destination.

    about half way through the ride i turned the heater on even though it wasnt very cold.

    they thanked me the most for that.

    and tipped me two dollars.

  5. Monday, January 1, 2018

    i drove from midnight to 3:30am, made two mistakes 

    when i told my mom i was driving on new years eve she said


    theres drunks, druggies, freaks, bad people, hookers, pimps, and worse: the underaged experimenting with drugs and alcohol for one of the first times

    but i drove. first to ambers hotel to drop her off as she worked the dreaded graveyard shif

    and then to the Cafe’s 50 on Santa Monica to read the bible from 11pm until the midnight hour, for several reasons including

    i love the bible
    i hadnt read it yet
    and there i was about to drive on sorta Sunday night, but technically Monday morning, but i was nervous because its written there right in stone, dont work on the sabbath. but does that end when the ball drops? would the Lord understand? am i being greedy? am i being lazy since i barely drove all week and there i was doing it on sunday night / monday morning simply because the rates would be very high for a few hours?

    i read. it was about Saul chasing David through the wilderness as Saul’s son did what he could to protect David. it was beautiful. some say they were gay for each other, and i could see how you could see that.

    midnight i was off. 3x surge, four very loud very annoying pretty young women in short dresses, faux furs and Face Time rolling.

    one in the back seat got a FT from this handsome young man in San Diego who was trying to convince her to meet halfway in Orange County. i was all, “i’ll drive!”

    he promised her steak dinner, she said yeah fool Maestros get up here!

    there was much confusion. horns blaring on his side, criticisms being blared on her side from her friends.

    eventually we made it to Culver City, but not soon enough if you ask me.

    already i could see the roads were going to be packed of buzzed drivers and bad uber/lyft dudes.

    my next ride was a $45 lyft premium ride from Baldwin Hills to Inglewood and then a $44 lyft premium from the Dave Chappelle show at the Forum over to El Segundo. on that one the woman wanted to go to Del Taco but her husband, bless him, was all, no no, theres food in our hotel lobby. we settled on iHop.

    right there i shoulda said, “i just made $100 in an hour. go home. you’re safe. no one puked. you werent in an accident. ”

    but of course i didn’t listen to myself. who quits the super bowl in the 1st quarter?

    around 2:45am, after driving little short deals all night in beverly hills, and two cancellations, i got a ping to the Soho House.

    theres two places to pick people up there, on busy Sunset or on the narrow side street next to the garage. so i called as i approached and he was sorta mumbling, which is a RED FLAG to avoid avoid avoid especially at that hour because it means hes drunk or on drugs or up to something.

    he was drunk.

    and he took his boots off immediately.

    and thank god passed out half way there.

    but when we got there he didn’t know where he was and didnt want to get out.

    frail little pup who claimed to work in the fashion industry. his cigarette broke as he gathered his things, but when he called his friend who’s house we were in front of the worst thing ever happened.

    “my phone died. i don’t know where i am. i want to go home.”

    huge problem because i had already ended the ride and they dont let you re-book with a passenger because they dont trust such things. also we were close to my house, it was late and i did not want to go anywhere else with this dude, who i could tell, was VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT HE DIDNT PUKE IN MY BENZ

    so i charged his phone for him as my flashers blinked and cars had to go around us

    and waited and waited, cursing my life choices.

    it charged. he called. and the prettiest black girl i have seen in a very long time comes waltzing out

    with a scruffy white dude.

    they collect my passenger.

    i clean out the back set of trash.

    and call it a night.

    Lesson: I should have just kept my Lyft on exclusively. it was paying better and on a night like that more Lyft passengers were out and drunk and not caring about price.

  6. Sunday, October 1, 2017

    did the longest lyft ride i ever did yesterday 

    prettiest girl you ever did see.

    black girl!

    curls and curls and curls and curls

    fuzzy flip flops and a big purse.

    picked her up in the hills of hollywood and we needed to run some errands she told me

    most expensive brand lyft has and there i was playing old school smooth jazz from wes montgomery

    on a saturday afternoon in los angeles

    smack dab on a Jewish holiday.

    the roads were smooth, the sun was bright

    and first thing she says once we get rolling is

    oooh – i like that music.

    i have this theory that i may have shared once before about native californians, including native los angelenos and that is that they are extremely mellow and down to earth because if they grew up here

    they have seen it all

    and i would say that even though she had the funniest way of saying things

    she was chill

    so we went south then east then west then south

    talking about race, soul food, tacos, bell hooks, college, snapchat and most importantly taking three busses to get to high school

    hour and a half drive.

    there were times when there wasnt anything to say and nothing was said.

    rarely does that happen but there it was.

    and when it was done she even tipped me.

    called my mom as i drove home and called it a day.

    but not before ordering some bell hooks off amazon.

  7. Monday, September 18, 2017

    i think about my cat Prince a lot 

    he does things and he cant help it.

    im the same way.

    if you throw his favorite little bell-ball he will run after it like a dog. eventually you will find it near my bed. a weird, slow, game of fetch, even though he’s a cat.

    me, i drive uber and lyft as often as i can, even though i have a perfectly good normal job.

    even though the roads are dangerous, the traffic is heinous and letting strangers in my Benz isn’t the wisest move deep down.

    but i am addicted to learning about and helping people. ive got a friend Ben who works at a Catholic soup kitchen. they lure Catholics to skid row, murder them, and make soup out of them. the poor are nourished and Ben feels good about himself, which is crazy because Ben is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

    got another friend, Steve, who writes novels and interviews other authors about their process. i almost wanna write another book just so Steve will interview me about it.

    some nights i will drive and drive and drive for eight hours straight. peeing just once or twice. usually mcdonalds but today i peed in a bowling alley bathroom. what a great place.

    my problem is i love people for about 25 minutes. i wanna know everything about them. and then they’re gone. no fuss no muss. am i a commitment-phobe? probably. who cares. we live such short lives why are we trying to box ourselves in? why can’t we just enjoy a bite-sized conversation, especially if it goes into a deeper truth.

    the problem though with driving for 8 hours is somewhere along the way you get tired so you eat something and drink a giant Coke. then you get home totally frazzled and you can’t get to sleep.

    luckily for me, theres a long legged blonde girl who dresses sexy and helps me get my Zzzs. and she has a key to my castle.

    do i wanna write novels? yes. do i wanna have a great podcast? yes. would i love to build a house one day and shove a Conversation Pit in there? of course.

    but i am currently addicted to lifestyle choices that keep me a mild mannered apartment dweller with no hope for advancement.

    except in my heart.

    where all my little conversations with the good people of this city live forever.

    occasionally i will let you in for a peek.

    which is how Prince would do it too.

    (my Prince, not yrs.)

  8. Tuesday, August 29, 2017

    drove 100 miles yesterday for Lyft n Uber 

    first ride was right close to my work. two hollywood producers from up north. they didn’t know movies. it was weird.

    the one guy kept asking the other guy “who is that?” and they were talking about Famous people!

    we were speeding across town to go from one fancy hotel to another.

    i mighta blown my tip when, while driving north on La Brea, one of the dudes asks, “so we’re taking side streets?”

    i said, “gotta take them to get to the freeway, but yes.”

    it came across snotty i think. am i defensive about my routes? maybe. sometimes.

    but i did follow up by asking, “is there a way you wanna go?” he said no. he was just asking.

    after that i saw that i was in an area that Uber was giving us a 1.7x bonus.

    i was downtown where you have to be careful because a lot of times people are just going 5-6 blocks and its annoying because you have to wait for them and the roads are packed and youre double parked and ughhh.

    but at 1.7x i figured i would head over to the train station and see if i could get a long ride from there because often people get off the train and have to go to places where there isnt a train station like Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach or Pasadena.

    got over there and immediately got a ping. and whattya know it was a Select ride! thank you Lord!

    ended up being a really good kid who had some birth defect or learning disability. he sounded like Rain Man a little.

    he sat in the front seat which is extremely rare for Uber Select. i hit the app and saw he was going way out over to the Wesssside. $40 ride at least for me, probably $60 for him.

    i said, this is Select, you know that right? he said yep.

    and we were off.

    while talking it became obvious that his parents were very rich doctors and he regularily takes the train East to volunteer at a hospital.

    which ward did you work at today? i asked

    The Burn Unit he said.

    dude, youre going straight to Heaven.

    i know, he laughed.

    i was all, do you go there often? he said every Monday Wednesday and Fridays. so i told him i would see him on Wednesday at the same time.

    he was all, ok!

    my goal every week is $200 as that is what my car costs when all is said and done. if i could make $120 of that on one passenger, i could probably hit $300 every week.

    best laid plans tho so relax.

    so there i was at UCLA pretty happy with myself. i texted amber to see what she had planned for the night. maybe we would get some grub somewhere.

    when ping i got a call from the center of UCLA. usually i would cancel that because those rides are shorter than DTLA ones.

    turned out this woman wanted to go to Rancho PV, which is damn near long beach. 22 mile ride.

    but it was Uber X at only 1.3. I told amber i wouldnt be home till 10pm and id be exhausted from doing the 10 twice and now the 405 there and the 110 to get home.

    she is always a good sport so she said there will be food when i got home.

    for some reason traffic was a dream and i did the whole thing in no time and got home at 9:30p

    amber had told me not to go to fast food, that there would be food waiting so when i got home and there wasnt

    i was mad.

    here i had this super profitable day driving, traffic was amazing, a half naked babe was cooking for me and all i could feel was unfulfilled entitlement.

    it made me upset that i was mad because it reminded me of people who would get mad even though others were doing nice things for them.

    i dont wanna be that guy.

    so i took a walk to get her some milk that she needed for the mashed potatoes and apologized profusely for being a jerk.

    its weird how automatic emotions can filter up.

    i got emotional thinking about how i am not 100 per cent in control of my feelings all the time and sometimes they are dark.

    she said you are super kind, you were not mean, you have nothing to apologize about.

    but i knew what was inside and it reminded me of fellow Libra Jimmy Carter who told Playboy that a sin in your heart is just as bad as a sin you take action on.

    and of course i agree with the president.

  9. Saturday, August 19, 2017

    dear tony, why haven’t you written in like sooooo long? 

    dear britney,

    omg i know. right?

    picked up these four kids in beverly hills. i mean kids.

    seventh grade.

    we’re headed to the grove and unlike many of the kids i occasionally get on uber or lyft, these boys are really well behaved.

    what’s going on at the Grove today, boys? i ask.

    “nothing much. just signing some autographs, waving to the tourists.” one of them say.

    we drove down 3rd Street and i was all, what are those people standing in line for?

    must have been 30-40 people.

    “sneakerheads!” the kid next to me says.

    is that all, i ask

    kid goes “yeah, shoes are overrated.”

    one of his friends in the back says, “whatever, Gucci.”

    another says “dude’s got Gucci flip flops!”

    kid next to me says, “they’re my uncle’s”

    i demand to see said flip flops. they’re quickly produced.

    kid has black socks on and black Gucci sandals

    manufacturer’s suggested price: $200.

    i go, well, they are cool.

    agreements all around.

    i say, answer me a question about the 7th grade.

    eagerly they await my amazing ponder.

    i ask, what do 7th graders think of our president?

    from the back, a kid says, “oh donald dunk. donald dump? uh…”

    another finishes the thought, “everyone hates him.”

    Gucci next to me says, “well a few say they like him but we all yell at them.”

    we took a selfie at a stop light. they added me on Insta.

    and when i dropped them off they all waved and said thank you!

    thank YOU

    Thank YOU!

  10. Friday, June 2, 2017

    what if ive totally lossed my mojo 

    the pings just arent coming out there in the luxury ride sharing world of your pal tone

    today is summer friday so they let us out early but i had to stay an hour late because im dumb

    when i finally got on the road things became so bad after a while that i flipped it over to

    regular Lyft and got pinged for all these tiny short trips that because they were in UCLA

    turned into long ass rides because driving through campus in the day takes forever.

    one ride was 1 mile and took 18 minutes.

    then i got these norwegians going to the westside pavilion.

    i was all, hey didnt you guys have a holiday recently?

    they were like, nooooo. i was all, sure you did!

    then the hot blonde goes ohhhh the 17th of may? i said yes!

    they go oh yeah we went to a festival that day.

    how do you forget that?

    then i took this dude from the grove to the beverly hilton.

    i was all what do you do? hes like stem cells.

    i said damn dude, well thanks for saving the world.

    then he goes, but i also sell guns.

    swear. to. god.