busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, December 15, 2014

    someone should start selling ads to go inside uber cars 

    pbrpeople who ride in ubers are in a car for a good 15-30 minutes.

    they’re technically savvy.

    good chance theyve got some dispensable income

    and, they have a smart phone in their hands

    and nothing to do.

    what if the ad on the back of the seat said something like

    come to this website for a chance to win 2 free uber rides a week.

    and then you sell whatever you wanna sell on that site.

    or what if the ad on the back of the pack of gum you pay drivers to hand out

    has a website, your website, on it and you’re giving away ipads to lucky winners

    or better yet, something even cheaper than those these days,

    60″ led tvs.

    uber passengers are many brands absolute target audience

    and uber cant tell drivers what they can or cannot have in their cars

    because technically the drivers are not employees of uber.

    brands never get direct access to the gatekeepers of their target.

    have a code to enter the sweepstakes, that code of course is the drivers ID

    and give the driver $20 for each person that signs up on your site.

    best believe you’ll get some damn sign ups.

  2. Friday, December 12, 2014

    “growing up in the desert, you learn to love love love the rain” 

    10844579_10152884510903057_207568660_o

    the best people i met this week, so far, were these Saudi students who loved me right back.

    the young lady in the back in the red scarf was telling me all these great stories of living here for the last two years

    so i said baby you really need to start a blog, americans, including myself know NOTHING about what its like to be young and saudi

    living in the USA.

    she said oh they wont like it. all they’ll want to know is why we dress this way and why can’t i drive a car in saudi arabia.

    and i said then start there. say my name is this, i wear these clothes out of respect to my culture

    and even though i can’t drive a car in the most conservative country in the middle east

    i can in the USA, but when i get lucky i ride in an uber with the handsome tony pierce.

    everyone laughed.

    me the loudest.

    i asked them if it was true that they cant drink or smoke weed or have wild orgies back home and they said yes.

    one of them told me that they saw a friend of theirs drunk here at a party in koreatown and they almost called 911

    because they had never seen a drunk person before (!)

    and after seeing that, they never wanted to get drunk themselves.

    i said, fair enough, but lemme tell you something about sex drugs and rock n roll

    true you look silly when youre drunk, but as long as youre around your friends you should be ok. just dont drive.

    also, ive been drunk once or twice in my life but the dumbest ive ever looked was when i was in love.

    and aint no one talking about avoiding that forever.

    point, noted, they all agreed.

    red scarf girl then said, i always wanted to come to the States to see what life was like here

    but now that i’ve been here for a while i see that the grass is always greener

    and now i just realize i just want to be a good little muslim girl.

    as we waited for the light to change by the pier we took a selfie and i said blog, kids, blog!

  3. Friday, December 5, 2014

    hadnt driven all week but last night i did 

    lana and courtneypicked up a guy who only had a four rating. i was thinking about not picking him up because it was surging but he was outside of the surge

    and he only had a four rating – which is pretty bad.

    but cancelling people is what taxis would do, not uber, or at least not me.

    also, no one is gonna become a billionaire driving people from the 90210 to westwood and then wait and wait and wait to then drive them to 90069.

    hour and a half, $30.

    yes im doing it wrong but isnt that what ive done my whole life. isnt that what we’re supposed to do.

    didnt the bible pretty much start off with adam and even doing the wrong thing?

    do we truly love the stories of the straight and narrows? how many novels about good upstanding priests do you know about.

    its always about the crooked and the demented and the dirty and the rebellious.

    it’s all about huck finn paying someone off to white wash the fence. then smoking a pipe with nigger jim.

    next ride was two smoking hot babes who wanted to go to DTLA. they talked about their work and their sorta boyfriends and this girl who disguised being a lesbian but whose girlfriend is gonna get a sex change.

    “why, if you love women and they love you,” the one behind me asked, “would you stop being a woman and try your best to be a man – the one sex your girlfriend doesnt want?”

    dropped them off and got a chatty chinese banker girl who asked why do you drive? i said to meet chinese girls who smell like spring.

    she said do i smell like spring?

    i said come a little closer.

    she leaned over.

    spring.

  4. Saturday, November 29, 2014

    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

    10822415_10152855267628057_2082376866_n

    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

    10814255_10152855267593057_101181777_n

    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.

    10833567_10152855267508057_1984860175_n

    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.

  5. Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    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

    art

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

    or
    a 15 minute drive where no one talks

    or
    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.

  6. Sunday, November 23, 2014

    ended up in the most exclusive neighborhood in So Cal 

    trip

    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.

    calabassas

    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.

  7. Saturday, November 22, 2014

    they thought they could bury us, they didnt know we are seeds 

    BEYONCE TWERKINGeons ago i sold tvs and stereos on commission. i loved getting paid commission only because the smarter i got, the more money i made.

    im still not sure if uber, which is also commission only, is pure luck or a tiny bit smarts, but last night i was busy doing relatively long trips all night.

    sad thing: i barely made my quota despite working a full shift. and getting tipped: twice.

    first tip was from a canadian man here on business going from staples center to Boa near beverly hills. he said he was from winnepeg. i said, now thats in manitoba, right? he was shocked at my knowledge. it was his first uber ride. we talked hockey and hoops and listened to latin jazz. the ride took nearly a half hour, i drove on side streets and at the end he said “may i ask how much it cost?” i said give the phone one sec, ah yes here it is and it flashed $18. he smiled, amazed, and dug into his pocket for two crisp dollar bills. hmmmm. whatevs.

    then i took a lady from beverly hills to the airport. she was taking a red eye to visit her husband who was on a movie shoot. she told me a tale of Nicki Minaj being quite a diva and i was all omg i never knew it was that bad. BUT IT WAS BAD.

    the best trip i took was i was at the airport again after a different person was going to the bahamas. i stopped off at the mcdonalds to relieve myself and get a $1 coke. as i was pulling out i got a beep. he dropped the pin in the wrong place (a scary hidden hood near the airport) so i called him and he said he was at Thrifty car rentals. turned out it was a rich old jewish doctor. he and his wife had just returned from hawaii and figured out the sneaky way to get an uber: take the free shuttle out of LAX to the rental car place and call and uber from there (we are blocked from LAX proper).

    we drove down the 405 listening to the 50s station and he sang along with every tune. at Getty Center we were at a stand still at midnight and we all cursed the 405. the wife asked me to just take sepulveda. i did for a mile and got back on and it was smooth sailing to the valley. they lived super close to where Ali’s dad lives. great house, sweetest people.

    they tipped me $10. now thats how you do it!

    off to drive bruins and trojans to the rose bowl.

  8. Friday, November 14, 2014

    of course sad things happen to me, but 

    tears on my pillowthere was a time when i would write sad things and for a little while i was the sad poetry world champion writer of all time.

    for some reason i thought it was cathartic. or Real. or true.

    inspired by Springsteens “The River” album and song, it was my belief that a real writer expressed his emotions, all of his emotions right out there on the page and blah blah blah.

    but what happened was the darker i wrote the sadder i got and it was a very slipper slope. which is one reason i try not to get too morose on the busblog or negative or angry.

    because really what am i saying when i do that: wahhhh i’m not getting all the things i want in life. waaahhhh i deserve better.

    the truth is im the luckiest bald man in hollywood. i have miraculously good health, i look 10 years younger than i am. i am surrounded with great friends. and i have two fun jobs that i love love love. any little bump in the road is just that: little. move on, whiner.

    yesterday my maid came after 2-3 months of not being here. for a while i had jeanine on my couch and she would clean but it wasnt like maid-clean. then jeanine left and amber broke up with me and i was all f this apartment. let the mess grow!

    which the kittens loved because kittens are basically rats with cuter fur. so they would roll in the ripped open newspaper bags and explore through the mountains of paper bags and hide beneath piles of dirty clothes. and play soccer with dust devils.

    all of that came to an end yesterday after i paid my maid double to unbury me from my crud.

    and it feels glorious.

    and i have almost forgotten the uber ride i made yesterday where i drove 10 minutes to wait 10 minutes to pick up a wealthy man who appeared to be an athlete, so i could drive him THREE BLOCKS so he could get a subway sandwich which he asked me to WAIT for him to get so i could drive him back three blocks to his luxury beverly hills apartment. the total trip on the clock was 15 minutes. but in reality it was 25 minutes of which i made, net, $5.

    pretty sure Uber doesnt read the busblog, which is a shame because i am amazing and my tips are priceless but heres two suggestions for the multi billion dollar company who would prefer that their drivers dont lose their minds and go apeshit on passengers who request such soul sucking trips.

    if a ride is during “surge” as this one was, and it amounts to less than a $10 far, as this one did, Uber should give their commission to the driver as a courtesy including the $1 “safe rider fee”. that way drivers don’t verbally abuse the passenger for being a lazy bastard (which i didnt, but my ESP sure did) and so they don’t quit this unprofitable gig after more and more $6 and $7 rides that account for an increasingly larger portion of our nights and days.

    fortunately i got a longer ride later in the night of three european gents who wanted to talk soccer and baseball the whole time which i reluctantly did, but of course when they asked me why the States isnt into soccer, i replied “big ball, huge net, yawn.”

    install a tip button into the app, Uber.

  9. Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    hot babe in santa monica gets in and says how do you feel about taking me to redondo 

    tumblr_neub8fPuRl1qgojgxo2_400i was all, long hair, dont care, plus you smell like you robbed a perfume store.

    buckle up.

    zig zagged through stragglers, honked at the stoned, rolled down the windows

    and felt it all.

    whats your day job she asked with an accent i couldnt immediately place.

    alaskan? new hampshire?

    finnish?

    i work for an undercover super hero agency that steals from the thieves

    and gives to the poor.

    tumblr_neub8fPuRl1qgojgxo4_400oh, the xbi she said and i adjusted my rear view.

    she said, it’s on your license plate.

    oh yeah that.

    why would you give everything to the poor she asked, applying lip gloss and checking her work in a tiny mirror she snapped closed when she was satisfied

    because no one else is gonna do it i said and turned onto the 10 east.

    she looked out her window and yawned, every vacuum must be filled.

    is there a vacuum in your life i asked her, and turned down the pink floyd.

    yeah, im starving

    tumblr_neub8fPuRl1qgojgxo3_400beep beep bop she excused herself and called her boyfriend.

    hey im in an uber, i will be home in about 30 minutes, should i pick up something?

    i hate hate hate making stops i esped her but it wasnt working. she wasnt xbi.

    chinese? how about something healthy for a change? no that place closed. i dont know why. they were terrible?

    for some reason no one was in the carpool lane of the 405 so i sped.

    they decided he would order something and it would be ready when she arrived. good boy, i thought.

    i looked back in the rearview.

    she saw me looking.

    smiled.

    tumblr_neub8fPuRl1qgojgxo1_400what are you gonna do when you grow up? she asked.

    i was thinking about doing red carpet interviews for VH-1

    she stopped chewing the gum she was chomping.

    how did you know thats what i do? she asked.

    everyone knows what you do

    i told her.

    and turned up the radio.

    cuz fuck growing up.

  10. Monday, November 3, 2014

    only in my mind am i old 

    my house

    my body feels amazing, my spirits are high, but when people ask me how long ive been in LA

    and i tell them 30 years they say wait a second

    just HOW OLD are you?

    had a lady, 88 years old, get into my car. she was going to the Disney Hall.

    do you know where that is? she asked.

    i said, probably the prettiest building in all of LA.

    she said, maybe the world.

    i said, well, something tells me that mr. naploean and marie antoinette would argue differently.

    she said, well let them eat cake.

    and we were off.

    she had an old tymie name like Lulabelle or Henrietta or Petunia. a wealthy aunt left her a fortune when she was 50 and was able to send her daughter to Juliard, where she went.

    are you sure you know how to get there, dear, she asked as i zig zagged through Westwood on my way to the 10.

    it’s the pink building by the beach, i joked. but you shouldnt joke with an old lady.

    she asked me about 5 more times as we were going there if i knew the way.

    finally i pointed to my phone and i said, even if i didnt know, ma’am, this thing does and shocks me if i go off the path.

    she mumbled that technology has ruined everything and complicated our lives and i said you mean you yearn for the days when the tv had three stations and thats it? me too!

    but i was lying. i love you technology with my very last proton.

    she was so old she couldnt do math any more.

    and as we got to downtown she apologized ahead of time before complimenting the president.

    she said, im sorry if this offends you, but i think Obama is doing a splendid job.

    i said, what sort of world are we living in where a woman can’t feel confident saying something nice about our president?

    she said, well what if you were a Republican?

    i said even if i was a dirty Commie, the gas prices are low, unemployment is low, the stock market is at a record high, interest rates are low, and a big chunk of the nation now has health insurance. who could have a problem with any of that?

    she squeezed my arm with her bony fingers and said yeah you’re right.

    what was she calling me, buster? dearie?

    sweetheart?

    she i dropped her off at the valet, he didnt smile. he asked if i was going to pick her up. as if maybe she had done him wrong some how. or he didnt like her.

    wasnt the whole hall senior citizens? why give her the stink eye?

    i liked her and i was driving around westwood later that night and i hoped she had gotten home ok because she was lovely.

    married a man, when she was 20, that the family didnt approve of because he was not rich, but she did it anyway, she admitted to me, because he was so handsome.

    it lasted 30 years she said. which is fine unless you end up back on the market at 50 as a recent divorcee.

    but then all the money came her way, so maybe that helped soften the blow.