today i removed the Hear in LA paywall

for a year i forgot i hate paywalls – in part because it was a soft one

you could go to 5 articles a month for free

and on social i always included a Friend link that wouldn’t subtract from your 5

but the interesting thing with having a 79 year old mom is

if i can make things foolproof for her, then i know they’ll be foolproof for anyone

and she was always getting stuck at the paywall.

thats not good.

behind the scenes i am trying to work on a proper website for the thing instead of having it hosted on Medium

but the problem is it’s a lot of work and weirdly i dont have a lot of time and i have even less money to throw at it

speaking of money, the only reason i was having Hear in LA be behind a paywall is in hopes that if something took off, Medium would pay me a handsome sum.

i did have a few things take off, but i was paid a fugly sum.

worse: any time i wrote something non-Hear In LA related, something topical and slightly click baity i would have pretty big traffic numbers and still only make $5-$10.

is it worth $10 to have my pride and joy behind a wall that even my dear mother can’t get to easily? of course not.

so now it’s down and hopefully that will bring more people

and then all will be well

even though i am not doing this for huge traffic

im doing it because it’s the right thing for me to do right now.

got to drive uber a lot today

best cubs jersey ever 16 lwllwww

some days im burned out. some im depressed at uber.

some im mad. some im beat.

today i went from over by my house, picked up a rich girl who was going to pasadena to chill with her pa then fly to eastern europe

was way out there so i figured how bad could it be, someone will wanna go back to LA.

nope. a chinese kid on summer break from the university of illinois wanted to go to san gabriel for real chinese food. hes from china. been living in champaign urbana for four years. i said youre doing the right thing.

uber has this thing where if you decline too many rides then you cant see where the next request wants to go until you start the ride with them.

i was in that situation in san gabriel. got a ping for a different chinese restaurant. i figured it was some nice old lady who had just had lunch and wanted a ride home.

nope it was an asian kid who spoke no english who wanted to go to chino!

uber has this thing where if it’s 45+ minutes they tell you that no matter how many youve declined so you can decline that if you want.

chino was 44 minutes away. in the opposite direction of LA.

i was so mad. but fortunately it was 1pm. i figured i could get out there really fast and get back to home base without hitting too much traffic.

and along the way i figured id teach this kid rock n roll history.

the metal years.

dio, scorpions, ac/dc, motorhead, maiden, ozzy were all represented. he just nodded his head.

zero english.

as we listened i thought, did this kid work at that restaurant? if so why was he leaving in the middle of the day? did he get food for his pa? i know the food is great over there, but chino doesnt have any good spots? i had so many questions.

at the end of the night i did something illegal.

but the people i did it for were so happy.

and relieved.

and french.

and they gave me $20.

when i got home i saw i forgot i left my whole chicken on the table.

maybe the angels knew it was undercooked

things are working out, thanks to the heroes in my life

healed

have i told you i love driving uber?

i do.

i think i may have figured out a little trick.

not sure how long it will last, but for now i love it and it has inspired me to drive more.

small problem: any time you have a plan, people, sometimes unknowingly to themselves, get in the way.

suddenly im getting all these little, but great, jobs. AND im learning how to uber/lyft.

murphys law, a beautiful woman is gonna wanna lock me down.

found this place where people make love right out in the grass.

how?

dropped off two passengers there, and their blanket.

it could actually be the beginning of a great horror movie

but

hung out a little with michelle m from the daily n who is now running the show for a non profit news org on the 99

because shes here for a work trip, the work paid for the palms thai, which she liked a lot.

what i liked was i got the leftovers

some of which spilled in the trunk as i ubered after

drove someone who came out of the dear evan harris musical.

its a musical!

i say it a lot on here but it’s so true

i am so lucky

of course bad things happen too.

sometimes for long periods.

but all in all, it’s incredible what i have gotten to do and see.

my first years in LA were santa monica, venice, and malibu

who gets that – as a teenager?

why do I love LA? because that’s what i was introduced to.

by a blue eyed irish native with pale skin and jet black hair

whats not to love?

i have so much work to do

and this week ive done a lot of work.

wrote two pieces for Output

edited audio for a forthcoming episode.

did VO wraps for other episodes.

now ive gotta drive drive drive.

my man henry invited me to santa barbara but today and tomorrow ive gotta drive.

fortunately joe biden (pictured) has been lowering the gas prices.

when i procrastinate

i do hear in LA nonsenses

i write ppl i shouldnt

i take walks and nearly get in fights with crazy ppl 2x my size

i buy air in a can at the corner store for way too much money but my keyboard key is stuck

and

i eat and eat and eat and eat

do you know i love you? i do.

picked up a lovely latina woman. 34. near the freeway, coming out of an apartment wearing a misfits shirt.

do you really love the misfits or do you just like the shirt.

who are the misfits, she laughed.

get in.

i slid the phone to start the ride and saw her destination was 49th street.

i once overheard someone say, “the higher the numbers, the closer you are to Compton.”

other person said, “but the numbers stop in the 130s in Willowbrook right before you get to Compton.”

first person said, “yeah because Compton cold killed those numbers and buried them in Long Beach.

but for perspective, the swanky Grove is on 3rd St. Compton would be about 140th and our passenger was going to 49th. how bad could it be?

turned out it was bad.

we start rolling and i ask her, “whats going on at 49th street?”

“home,” she said.

“then what’s back there?” i ask gesturing to the modest apartment building behind us.

“that’s the boyfriend.”

the good thing about this so far was 45th was gonna be a half hour away since this was the middle of the day.

sometimes the people dont want to talk. that makes things terrible and slow and awkward and you dont know if they like the music, or are even listening to it cuz maybe they have their ear buds in.

it’s just way better when they talk.

she was talking.

“how long you guys been together?”

“well about 10 years ago we were messing around then he disappeared.”

“running from the law?” i asked. one of my favorite things to say as a joke.

“he was in jail.”

whups.

“omg for what?” i asked eagerly.

“rather not say.”

“oh right. 10 years. must have been something. sorry to ask.”

“it’s ok.”

“so you guys weren’t pen pals when he was in there? no phone calls?”

“no, he has two baby mommas so he was stressed enough with them. he called me right before he was going to get out to see if i was married or if have kids.”

we got in the car pool lane and sped through south central high above the congested 110 and talked about not having kids when everyone around you has them

and about love and redemption and mexico

and when we got to her off ramp she said “i promise you you will see hookers on my street.”

and we did, and the two we drove past were startlingly beautiful.

“what do i tell my nieces?” she asked, in a serious way.

“tell them, everyone is different. and some people are very different. love them all.”

and then i said,

alexa, play the misfits.

been eating a lot of pizza with an african american

 

it’s really funny, she’ll say really nice things and then say

did you shave in the dark, you missed some spots

today she asked, why dont you date women your own age?

i said, women my age dont eat pizza three times in a week.

last night we went out to tacos

i was in the best mood.

we ran into this tall black rapper with amazing jewlery and tattoos everywhere

i said, are you two from new york?

they were wearing yankees caps.

the jewlery guy was all no, we stay in south central

i said, oh the NY is for your gang?

there was an uncomfortable pause, it was around midnight after all.

but zorha was there looking cute they werent gonna do anything

and finally he said, yeah it stands for Neighborhood.

later he asked me how old i was

why are ppl so concerned about my age?

anyways todays pizza: a+

last night’s burrito: a-

was todays birthday girl the most

influential person ive met?

she got me into poetry, journalism, hippie shit, punk rock, foreign films

and this was all while we were teens.

i mean everyone ive met has influenced me but

when i first came to california – wow – i couldnt even get out of junior college

i had a history teacher who told me i was a terrible writer

i cried in the library.

while it’s true michele broke up with me 3 times

she also did the opposite of breaking up with me 2 times

she was my bestfriend for years

and today is her birthday.

i wonder if anyone thinks i was influential in their lives?

i hope if i was it was in a good way.