busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, May 16, 2016

    why i will never uber a Rose Bowl event again 

    uber

    it seems like every year i try a few times to take people from Rose Bowl events

    and every year it becomes a total waste of my time.

    im not sure if it’s the government of Pasadena or the police of Pasadena or Rose Bowl officials

    but every time there’s a concert or a game there they act as if it’s the first time anyone has ever been there

    which is weird because the 100,000 capacity stadium is 6 years shy of celebrating its 100th birthday.

    the stadium is tucked away in a wealthy neighborhood and up aside a mountain range

    it’s also very close to two freeways.

    rose bowlthat makes it both hard and easy to get to depending on whether officials decide to close or open freeway on ramps.

    for some reason the geniuses in control close all but one road going into the rose bowl about an hour before the concert is about to end

    and they keep it closed NO MATTER WHAT up to two hours after the event is over.

    so let’s say you’re an Uber driver and you get to the show early and you sit in the golf course and you get a passenger and take them home

    and then let’s say you want to go back to the venue to pick up someone else: forget about it.

    not only are the roads closed going in, but the cops, the rentacops, and the security will treat you like you are a terrible ignorant person up to no good.

    meanwhile inside and all around the rose bowl the cell reception is horrible because no one has ever thought about putting a cell phone repeater in there. or whatever it’s called. so guess what? everyones phones are dying and you cant tell them “walk two miles to the Jack in the Box where hundreds of people in their sexiest Beyonce outfits are stranded, waiting for ANYONE to drive them home.”

    the whole thing is a extremely fixable disaster. and here’s how they can fix it.

    there are temporary barriers surrounding the location with guards letting residents in.

    let Uber / Lyft and limos through too. we are not trying to rob anyone. we are just trying to get to the Rose Bowl and pick people up.

    it really is that simple.

  2. Saturday, May 14, 2016

    did i almost die yesterday? probs 

    IMG_2249

    did it feel like it?

    nope.

    it didnt even feel like a two hour ride.

    the weirdest thing is we drove 21 miles. made several stops.

    and all i got out of it, other than the incredible conversation with the

    gang member drug dealer and his bff sorta girlfriend

    was $79 and a far better understanding of south central

    and which liquor stores i should go into and not go into

    and where in koreatown i should

    just completely avoid

    because death awaits

    my negro.

  3. Thursday, May 5, 2016

    new yorker gets in the car says how long till we get to the Grove 

    benzit was rush hour, we were on the other side of beverly hills

    and the Waze said 17 minutes.

    17 minutes i told him.

    he says i’ll give you $20 if you can get there in 11 minutes.

    so i peeled out and said, hold on on bro

    the problem with trying to get from one side of beverly hills to the grove is theres no easy way.

    theres so many ways the traffic flow blocks you.

    just getting to La Cienega is rough. mostly because of 3rd Street.

    and of course all the olds who drive their cars so gingerly and cautious

    as if theyd never taken the route before. JUST GO ALREADY you say at every stop sign.

    but once you make the Uturn on La Cienega to get through the neighborhoods that amber once lived in you

    oh crap, i have 2 minutes to get through the neighborhood? i’ll never make it

    so i got on 3rd street and its jammed and because its not yet 7pm i couldnt turn left anywhere

    so i try and try and at one point theres something very dangerous i could do

    or i could wait like a a patient, responsible man

    btw the passenger in the back was enjoying my trip

    he had one hand on his phone, doing business deals (which were fascinating)

    and one hand on the handle of the roof.

    so of course i try the super dangerous thing!

    but a truck turned the corner and stifled my move.

    good try the guy said, adding, thats some weird puerto rican cabbie shit right there.

    after the truck passed i went for the danger again

    because who cares about life limb and cops

    and we sped through the alley behind the sandwich shop and went the wrong way through

    the farmers daughter

    and boom, the grove.

    still on the phone the dude pulled out his wallet and even though i didnt make it in time

    he still gave me the $20 because i tried my hardest.

    when he got out and shut the door i drove off

    and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed

    because that was so fun.

  4. Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    when bloggers turn 

    best parking space

    Remember when Virginia Postrel was an interesting, big time blogger? Have you noticed she has sorta fallen off the radar. Today she popped her head up in this contradictory and surprisingly unfair op-ed in the New York Post.

    In her piece she pats herself on the back for being “a good tipper” but then says will not be tipping her Uber drivers and suggests to her readers to follow her lead. She goes further by saying she will save that money for her hotel maid.

    Unlike maids, Uber drivers pay for their own car, gas, insurance, and maintenance and drive at the whim of the company who can raise and lower the rates whenever they please (typically the company lowers the fares).

    Unlike hotels, Uber can flood the market with as many competitive cars as they wish making it tougher for drivers to pay for those cars/gas/repairs, etc. And unlike maids drivers have to deal with your ungrateful bs on the daily while in traffic often while you’re drunk/buzzed/irritated.

    This handwringing over giving someone two fucking dollars for a ride that just a few years ago would have cost you double if not triple, is some of the most entitled bullshit i’ve seen since al gore invented the internet.

    It needs to stop.

    Give your driver a few bucks and get over it.

  5. Saturday, April 30, 2016

    why this headline should say “Uber Driver’s Family Gets $500k” 

    uber driver

    Journalists aren’t the only ones who don’t know how to deal with Uber, cops need help too.

    Over the past two years that Uber has been a household word, news stories about Uber Driver This and Uber Driver That get published breathlessly every week in coverage that no other transportation sector attracts.

    No matter if the suspected criminal was actually ridesharing at the moment of the crime or not, the word Uber somehow gets popped in the headline.

    Unless something good happens, and then it miraculously disappears from the headline and the fact that ridesharing Actually was the reason something happened is the also buried into the tale.

    Look no further than this story. An Uber driver was involved in an accident in 2014 in Santa Clara. He had a dashcam. He had the damaged car towed to his cousin’s house and went home with the dashcam.

    st. claraTurns out the Uber driver didn’t own the car. The owner of the car showed up to the cousin’s house to look at the car and get the dashcam. When he was told it wasn’t in the house, the owner called the cops, who a few days later searched the house and then much later took a battering ram to the house looking for the camera.

    The cousin then sued the cops for super totally overreacting and said they did so because he was Muslim. This week the city settled with the cousin for a half million. $150k going to his lawyers and $350k going to him. Oh yeah, and he works for for the border control for Homeland Security.

    So are we to believe that cops went aggro at the residence of, basically, one of their own, because he was Muslim? In Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, which is home to many many peaceful and law-abiding Muslims?

    No. The cops went aggro because in 2014 Uber was new and unproven. Cops are leery and would die to be one of the first to reveal OMG video of an Uber car getting into a crash. Imagine the potential handwringing!

    So they huffed and they puffed and knocked down dude’s door. Who knows what other Uber-related incriminating evidence could be in there?

    Tell me that’s not more believable than: OMG I CANT STAND THOSE MUSLINS LETS HARASS THEM IN BROAD DAYLIGHT SURROUNDED BY ALL THEIR MUSLIN FRIENDS

    In Santa Clara? Named after a saint?

    Santa Clara’s State Rep is a Democrat who has served since 2007, its State Senator is a Democrat who replaced a previous Democrat who was termed out. Santa Clara’s US Rep is a Democrat who has served for three years who replaced a long time Democrat who had just retired.  I’m not saying a heavily Democratic area can’t have some bad cops…

    But I am saying, what is far more likely is even though technically the gentleman had the type of job that would usually shield him from such police aggression, it was probably not because of his religion that the officers were so intensely motivated, it was the evidence they were seeking, namely that it would be negative towards Uber.

    And that’s why we need Uber drivers in every newsroom.

    Or better yet, journalists to admit that they too overreact when a negative so-called Uber story appears and clam up when a positive one pops up. Or so it seems in their papers and websites.

  6. Thursday, April 21, 2016

    i knew she was a model right away 

    modelshe was tall, skinny, carefree. made me wait.

    i got pinged about 7 minutes away. i was in venice. i forget why. who knows.

    it was surging almost double the normal price so i accepted it.

    youd think if you ping an uber and 7 minutes later youd be ready, but think again. life isnt like that. youre gonna wait. the pin was dropped on a lifeguard station on the beach so as i went down as far as i could on the street i called.

    hey this is uber

    hi yeah, can you wait just a minute, im in the candy store on the boardwalk.

    did this piss me off? of course. it’s my fatal flaw. it’s the thing that will probably kill me one day. it’ll give me a heart attack. for some reason i believe that if when you order your uber and it says he will be there in 7 minutes, you should be outside waiting when it says he will arrive.

    NOT omg i have 7 minutes, lets browse and then BUY THINGS at the candy store.

    so as i waited in an alley right near the beach i took a snapchat of the scene – which was beautiful – the sun had set – the seagulls had descended – the shops were closing up – the tourists were strolling

    the palm trees were saying just enjoy where youre at, tony,

    not where you think you should be

    so i did.

    and she emerged from the candy store, a tall

    skinny

    dark figure with good hair and a little bag

    she got in behind me

    said, wanna gummy bear

    ?

  7. Saturday, April 9, 2016

    it’s supposed to rain today but i wanna drive 

    eazy e tattoo compton nwalast night was fun but i got tired early and called it quits

    the last ride was a 17 year old girl i picked up at usc. her boyfriend goes there.

    she was pretty dismissive of the school, him, pretty much everything

    except for one thing.

    for some reason i always try to bring conversations to happy places

    and it didnt seem like ours had gotten there as i drove across town to hollywood via side streets at midnight

    so as she texted her friends quietly in the back

    i finally asked

    is coachella still cool?

    she stopped, looked up, and said, omg its the coolest thing ever. im going.

    i should have left it at that but when the silence returned i broke it foolishly with

    are there any bands youre excited about… like guns n roses..?

    she said oh god no. my dad would kill me but, uh no.

    sorry slash

  8. Sunday, April 3, 2016

    im disorientated, im capable of making bad decisions 

    gnr setlistlast night i drove about 12 hours with one break to do a live fantasy draft that took 2 hours. probably shouldnt have done that draft but ive been in that league a long time.

    anyways now im vulnerable to attacks. i put my apple juice glass on the oven and somehow it appeared in the living room. to quote the pixies where is my mind.

    i did 25 rides yesterday. and murphys law some of them went from one end of the world to the other.

    rarely does a driver root for short trips but i sure as hell was these last two days (in order to get the 100 trips in a week = cash bonus) and murphy had other ideas.

    the most classic thing happened in the middle of the night last night when i felt like i needed to do something different to get more than one trip and hour.

    the goal of the day was 25 because i was pretty sure i had 80 going into Saturday but you never know what Ubes might disqualify so basically shoot for 105 if the goal is 100. by 9pm i was at 16. 9 to go.

    so i headed to DTLA in hopes of getting people going from hotels to bars and back again. usually around 9pm if youre in DTLA you’re not like going to the beach or anything – youre staying downtown.

    but before i could get there i picked up two kids near my house who wanted to go to the Roost. well hell, i used to live in Atwater back in the day, so we were talking about earthquakes and Go Bags and everything is fine until i see that i am getting a new ping before i drop off the Roost kids, which is bad news because it’s coming from Glendale and Glendale isnt in the area where the rides qualify for the bonus. it would basically just eat away at my remaining time all for $6. or worse, what if they wanted to go even further out of the area? oy.

    so i drop off the kids and head north to glendale. all the while thinking, please cancel, please cancel. ive heard tell of drivers who will just drive the other way and indirectly force the rider to cancel – that way the trip doesn’t count against the drivers’ acceptance rate.

    but as Christian as i am, i suppose i do believe in a sense of karma, and it’s not like i believe God watches me when i uber (although he Should – it’s hilarious) i do thank him before and after every ride and i do think that if he saw me acting a fool, he’d be disappointed in his favorite xbi agent.

    i have been given a lot of cool things in my life and i treat them as if they were sent from above, which im pretty sure they are, so i do my best not to engage in dickish moves

    so i pick up the guy. he’s much older than my usual late night uber passenger. 55? either persian or armenian. whenever he was speaking his language every now and then id hear “merci” which is not just french, but it’s persian which is even older than french, so maybe he was persian. who cares.

    i see where we are going and its sunset blvd. west hollywood. back in the zone but mama mia, 25 minutes. what you want are 7 minute rides, not whoppers which suck up half of your hour. youre looking for 3 rides an hour knowing you’ll prob get 2. but 2 an hour means you’ll be driving till 1am. and you’re already pooped.

    ok, whatevs, poor me ive gotta go to the sunset strip on a saturday. i fucking love the sunset strip on a saturday. lets rock.

    then he says, oh, we have to make one stop.

    IMG_0267no, no stops. half of my hour. wtf nooooo.

    sure, where are we Stopping

    i say trying not to air my grievance

    turn right here in this alley

    perfect. murdered just 8 trips away from my bonus. actually i had heard glendale does have its share of crime. alright. see you in heaven lemmy!

    we go in an alley. no ones there. i say ghosts cost extra. he goes to his phone and calls someone and a young hot babe comes out. may i interject this older guy does smell really good. a curious blend of talcum powder and old spice, but it works for some reason.

    she gets in and she never stops talking. in whatever language it is. somehow i deduce they’re getting tattoos. somewhere along the way he questions my route. he laughs as he says it. i say, my man, we’ll go any way you want. he says how long you uber? i say two years. he says oh a long time. cool. it’s ok.

    two years is a long time? 25 minutes is even longer old spice guy and on the way i figure out the gameplan: as soon as i drop them off imma go to UCLA and take the sorority girls across campus to the frat houses. probably the most annoying thing when theres not a bonus, but exactly what is needed to get a bunch of short rides, lets just hope a princess doesnt hurl during the journey.

    drop them off and boss gives me a $5 tip. awwwwwww. i flip over to Select Only that way if i do get pinged on my way it’s worth it (3x the price) – and get to UCLA in minutes. lurk down sorority row, nothing. head over to the W because theres no Select cars there and wait. get an X ping from the W at 2x surge. fine. even if its a long ride at least ill get paid.

    very handsome young couple going from the w to a bar on pico. perfect. 7 minutes, theyre talkative, its date night. he could be a male model. shes beaming and dressed to kill. fun. great. Westwood!

    pedrountil i drop them off and i get pinged. the call is coming from inside the bar. awesome. i dont even have to move! they come out, i click to see where we are going. San Pedro!

    im devistated. ive been driving every night all week. and there it is late and night and ive gotta schlep to pluto. home of Watt, but still.

    fine. lets do this. it’s mostly freeway. it’s late. we are a car pool, it’s dark. we’re wearing sunglasses.

    the pair had just been to a murder mystery night where they got fed, drank, solved the murder and then had a nightcap before heading back home down in pedro.

    i ask them if theyve been to bukowskis grave down there, they say no. i try to explain how he was americas finest poet last century but that sounds like he wore a powdered wig so we start talking about OJ.

    dude says he was 12 when the OJ trial was happening and he asked for a got a $30 set of Pogs back then that had all the cast of characters of the OJ trial and Judge Ito was the slammer pog. i told him i am a million years old, i was certainly not 12 during that time and i have no clue what pogs are or were and the most fascinating thing happened, me and the young lady agreed that OJ was probably not the murderer. she says that when she was 12 and the trial was going on she was on vacation and just happened to run into two LA law enforcement ppl who were all, on separate occassions, mind you, OJ was framed. where was all the blood? what was the motive? jealousy? how many celebrities break up and nothing happens compared to how many celebrities break up and theres a double murder: zero.

    so the trip to pedro was worth it because now i dont feel so alone. dropped them off went to the 7-11, got a brownie and a fruit punch Mountain Dew because it was gonna be a long night. and it was. but i got it.

  9. Saturday, April 2, 2016

    i did 22 rides. its now 3am. 

    usc

    i did about 11 of them at USC. for some reason you can do a Pool there and get 3 of your friends in there.

    i dont understand that. the purpose of a Pool is so if you and ONE friend are going somewhere and another person and their ONE friend along the way wants to get in too, then it’s sorta like an improptu car pool.

    but when the car is already filled immediately what is the Pool part all about?

    that happened and of course i get pinged a few minutes later and i have to tell the guy theres no room in the inn.

    he understood and canceled but it seems like a major design flaw and im disappointed that Uber never educated us about this.

    whatever, the rest of the night was great. had to go to Pasadena from UCLA near the begining of the night but i didnt let that stop me.

    if anything it inspired me to max out the number of USC rides we are allowed for the bonus (15).

    tomorrow i need 22 to complete it all. but i will do 29 to play it safe.

  10. Thursday, March 31, 2016

    i drove like a hundred miles last night 

    space shuttle mountain

    through canyons no wise driver would drive.

    we have this thing called acceptance rate and just like in life youve gotta keep it up

    so you do dumb things like go up to the top of mountains to pick up who pinged you

    normally youd just cancel that ish because people who live in gazillion dollar homes

    and yet order the cheapest possible uber – well it just seems weird.

    sometimes its a nanny or a kid or someone using air b n b and in those cases its ok.

    but last night i got an Uber Select ping way up on top of old smokey and Waze said it was only 8 minutes

    but just like in life sometimes Waze cray.

    it was more like 15 which is still fine because doing this crazy bonus thing most of your rides net you $2 or $4

    so whenever you can get a Select ride then thats great because not only is that one more ride towards the 100

    but at least this one is gonna be profitable.

    she was gorgeous, wore a cape, i kid you not, was young, smelled like bubble gum and ironically as we were winding down the twisty curvy road she asked me if i had any gum.

    rule number one of being an uber driver is to carry a gun at all times. kidding mom!

    rule number two is have barf bags at the ready.

    but rule number three is never ever ever ever ever ever have gum because you will certainly see it in your carpet or seats in the morn.

    which is why i carry mints, which i found for her and gave to her and youd think youd tip a brother for that

    but the only tip i got was from this drunk dude named pablo who i picked up at a bar who i had picked up there once before

    and we drove to his apartment on the west side and talked about the Lakers the whole time

    and as he was getting out of the car struggled to find money in his fat wallet filled with business cards and promises

    and pulled out one and then two dollars and said thank you amigo

    and i said day nada my friend.