i wonder how many regrets like this i will have this year

because of numerous reasons i didnt go see U2 with my brother in Vegas for any of the Sphere shows

people are calling it the greatest show ever

i wanted to go. i should have gone. i should have done whatever it took.

i thought this would happen or that or this other thing and none of them came through.

still i shoulda done the thing.

now i regret it because now it feels like that moment is gone and wont come back.

on the other hand u2 reportedly made $4 million a show with minimal overhead.

so maybe u2 will return to that gravy train again one day. which would be beautiful.

until then i will learn from this mistake and live for the day instead of waiting for miracles to happen tomorrow.

friday night and i hadnt driven all week

17 Burning Unanswered Shoheigate Questions

Five stories on the LA Times homepage about Say It Aint Shoheigate of various softness, and several from desks other than the Sports section which is interesting/good
But one piece that’s glaringly missing from the Times’ newfound love of listicles
17 Burning Unanswered Questions
1. Are we really supposed to believe Shohei didn’t know his BFF of 11 years wasn’t a compulsively unsuccessful gambler?
2. Do we truly believe an out-of-control gambler losing his shirt to the sum of millions would never bet on the sport he knows something about intimately, baseball?
3. Why is it out of the question that Shohei, who has mastered every aspect of baseball/life/finance/popularity might find a thrill into delving into the uncontrollable world of sports gambling like we saw another titan of his sport do: Michael Jordan?
4. Are we to believe Shohei nor his accountants would know immediately if 40k was missing from his bank account, let alone $4.5 million?
5. Why would Shohei’s people rush Ippei Mizuhara to an on-the-record 90 minute interview with ESPN if they didn’t know he would say, in great detail, how his gambling problem led to Ohtani bailing him out financially (thus implicating the star)?
6. Since when does the press “disavow” statements a subject makes in a 90 minute interview simply because PR flacks say so the next day?
7. Did Arte Moreno know about Ohtani/Mizuhara’s alleged gambling issues and knew this would eventually come out and that’s why he didn’t unload the two-way player last year in exchange for a trove of young players… because Moreno has a conscious, weirdly, and just wanted to get rid of the problem his foes the Dodgers are now up to their necks with?
8. What bookie lets a man worth less than $1 million rack up a $4.5 million debt unless that man is actually placing bets for a man worth far more than $4.5 million?
9. If the Dodgers suspended Trevor Bauer (with pay) for allegations of wrongdoing even after it was determined no laws had been broken, while MLB investigated, why isn’t Shohei being suspended during this investigation?
10. If we are to believe Ippei stole millions from Shohei, are we truly going to pretend the superstar gave his interpreter the password to his multi-million bank accounts and the ability to just wire fortunes without two form authorization?
11. Regardless of how this shakes out, shouldn’t MLB cut ties with the gambling orgs it embarrassingly finds themselves in bed with right now, because, in part, what sort of message is this sending the kids?
12. Can anything be believed by Mizuhara or Ohtani’s camp once they disavowed the ESPN interview because now we have two completely different stories, thus one is a lie, and if you lie once, who’s to say that was the only lie?
13. Does this put all the fishy things in Ohtani’s past into doubt (feel free to make another listicle)?
14. Why should we believe, as ESPN is reporting today, that the first time Ohtani learned that his BFF “stole” from him was in the locker room when Mizuhara apologized to the team, including to Shohei? Why wouldn’t the two men, often joined at the hip, have discussed this before the apology?
15. When did the gambling begin? When did it reach $1 million, $2 million and $3 million in debt? Was it all in the last year? Has it been going on for a decade?
16. How did Mizuhara (and his wife’s) lifestyle change once he began living a life as a negative millionaire? And how are we to believe his BFF Ohtani didn’t notice?
17. Will MLB, the LA Times, and the Dodgers admit now that gambling is something that can quickly spiral out of control making even the best people do the worst things that ruin their lives, thus forgiveness to Pete Rose come before letting Ohtani and Mizuhara wiggle off the hook?

the best thing about being a kid back in the day

was if you got taken to Farrell’s with all your friends.

these dudes in straw hats would come running out with a giant bowl of ice cream on a faux stretcher. bells would ring, people would shout. was there music?

these guys would run around the whole restaurant and place the bowl on your table. the large one was called The Zoo bc it had all these plastic animals in there and about 19 scoops of different flavors and chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

this photo makes the bowl look small. it was enormous.

at least in my memory.

which is fading.

i had the best day of the year last night (so far)

Weezer played a secret show and i never put in a request for anything.

i learned a long time ago not to ask for favors but this was different bc =w= was gonna play the blue album

i had taken karisa to the Memories Tour in like 2010? at the universal amphitheater and it was ok. but this was way better.

earlier this week Rivers talked on KROQ about why Keanu’s band Dogstar was gonna open and why it was important for them to play a small club to kick it all off.

if im lucky ill get to write about it for setlist.

afterwards i ran into Beth and Keith Shapiro and we had drinks


fuck waymo and fuck how the media writes about it

Near the very end of this piece is the line: “Tens of thousands of humans could lose jobs in the future — from taxi to truck drivers.”

That is called burying the lede.

When you read stories about Waymo and other robot cars bum rushing the show, watch how good journalists and reputable media outlets treat these bots and their alleged inevitably in away that is so much different than how they write about ChatGPT being tested by Sports Illustrated, Gannet, and LAist
It’s the Same exact thing, except this bot isn’t coming for their job, it’s coming for the struggling middle class gig workers grinding at all hours of the day and night to make ends meet. So it’s ok. And cute.

And “omg my backseat driving reflex is on high alert.”

While readers are thankful for all the details about how terrible these cars have rolled out onto the streets – smashing into people and property, clogging narrow streets of Frisco when they malfunction – and learn how the politicians claim to be concerned but magically these vehicles have appeared without any public consent, something’s missing in the narrative.

Namely how the humans who take these journalists to lunch and work and from LAX in the rain and to LAX in the dark – are being fucked by two new foes: lawmakers and now the press.

It took decades of voting and red tape and hand wringing to finally get first medical and then recreational marijuana in California – and we still can’t smoke a joint in a park or on the sidewalk. Meanwhile many cities have refused to listen to the voice of the people and have outlawed the sale of the Devil’s cabbage in their precious burb.

But robot cars on the streets? NBD? Get used to it? That’s the tone from every news outlet on TV, print and online. “Look everyone the rides are free this month!”

As great journos like Jon Healey, Ben Welsh, and Michelle Maltais and others are well aware, ChatGPT in online news is 1,000% easier to pull off than robot taxis.

Given a fraction of the seed money Waymo and the others have received even a dope like me could lead a team to create bots that could spit out “news” with precision SEO, tantalizing copyright free AI art to go with every story, and corresponding social media posts effortlessly deployed at the exact time the algo says they should be published.

But when the media writes about *their* precarious jobs being targeted by zeros and ones the tone is far more dark and far less giddy.

The entire entertainment industry went on strike less than a year ago over the fear of AI and ChatGPT replacing extras and screenwriters and the media supported that industry, their strike, and their cause.

That same media quietly cheered when SI folded shortly after it was revealed that they had been partnering with a startup built solely to replace human journalists with bots.

But robot taxis replacing humans and our Priuses? A yawn louder than a typical reaction from a Plaschke column.

The LA Times needs a regular rideshare column to bring home the human damage this technology can’t wait to sink its teeth into. A column where a not-so-humble driver takes fellow humans around this vast city and has human interactions with them and reports back who Angelenos truly are and shares examples of ways bots could never replace souls.

Yesterday I picked up a woman who needed to go from Mid City to Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital because she had a mild stroke and didn’t want to call an ambulance because she feared it would only take her to Cedars and she hated how long the wait at the ER was.

So when I arrived she begged me to come around to the alley to get her because walking was difficult. When we realized the back gate had accidently closed and locked, she had me walk all around the giant building to the front area and meet her at her apartment where I was asked to hold her as she gently made her way down her rickety staircase.

She smelled of urine. She was shaking. She yelled out a few times terrified she was going to fall. You’re not going to fall I assured her. I am right here.

When we made it across town she asked me to get her a wheelchair and help her out of the car and into the waiting room. Which I gladly did. Of course. This woman was younger than my mother.

There are things robots are great at. And there are some things the human touch is ideal for.

Carrying Angelenos around this beautiful town isn’t for everyone. And it sure as hell isn’t the place for an untested bot in 2024. Unless you want to find a safe space to light up, piss or puke.

Three things I do every time I read these curious stories in my favorite paper.

everything butt

it was oscar sunday, griffith park. two babes in their 20s sporting skin tight outfits heading to venice. first time to LA. from utah.

the best way to describe the outfits are aerobicise, parachute gear, no bra, white nikes. but mostly power rangers.and sunglasses.

because it was a few hours before the oscars, hollywood was a mess. roads were closed. demonstrators.  clogged freeways, so i was more than happy to take a ride to the beach even though i would only get $28. fuck it. waze said it would only take 45 minutes.

i knew it was a lie. ended up being an hour but immediately we were talking sex drugs and youtube.

blonde in the back, 22, told me she wants to be a sugar baby “my tastes are very expensive. i need a sugar daddy who understands that.” she stated as her friend, pre med, also blonde but maybe more natural? thus darker? giggled, clearly having heard this proclamation more than once.

are you down for whatever from this man?

i mean if he takes care of me, i’ll take care of him.

you’re 22? how old are you willing to go?

40? maybe 42?

i hate to tell you this, miss utah, but the 40 year old sugar daddies wouldnt appreciate you. could you go older? wiser? easier to please?

have you heard of anna nicole smith before, ladies?

they hadnt so i told them the tale. when it was over they were blown away. as was i. how did none of it ring a bell? the legend of anna has died with gen z? mama mia.

by the time we got on the 101 near coldwater miss utah had settled on 60 as her ceiling.

what if he wanted you to bring a friend or two home from the club? i asked

why would he want something more than what i can give? she asked, seriously.

lets pretend this man is truly wealthy. and has traveled the world. and has seen and done some things we cant even imagine, he might request some things that don’t make a lot of sense on paper, but in this uber we dont kink shame. life is fleeting.

fine, she sighed looking out at a wee bit of traffic as we approached the 405.

the ladies were headed to a bar in santa monica they accidentally thought was in venice.

so i had them change the destination on their app, which lost me a few bucks but who’s counting. they were on a mission to retrieve the blonde’s wallet which they had accidentally left behind Oscar Saturday because their outfits had no pockets

first time in LA you say? did the men of santa monica beach pay you any mind?

oh yes. free drinks all night. thats why we left without knowing we had no wallet, miss pre-med said. but ive been checking the cards online and no one has charged anything on them, so we are hoping the manager found it last night.

tell me about utah.

it’s terrible.

i hear it’s pretty.

this is pretty, one of them said while we cruised in the fast lane between the unusually green hills of bel air and brentwood.

we had established early that one was catholic the other was agnostic and neither had boyfriends. so i asked, whats it like dating mormon guys.

so weird they both said in perfect harmony then laughed

i hear they do everything but, i asked.

EVERYTHING BUTT, miss utah laughed and kept laughing cracking herself up. her friend joined in.

because they think only pee-pee to pee-pee sex is sex?

yes they said and asked if i had ever heard of soaking?

is that where the dude goes in slowly but then just lays there without moving?

yes! they screamed, startling me as we took the curve from the 405 to the 10 west, sin in our eyes, i mean sun.

but here’s the weird part, the blonde said, there’s a friend who’s The Shaker. she laughed

so hard she farted. then her friend laughed. i rolled down the windows and they laughed more. perfect day.

The Shaker, the future doctor explained, shakes the bed so neither party engaged in the lovin can be held accountable bc they arent the ones moving… they just happen to be on a bed being rattled around by the pal who has to feel a bit awkward.

we got stuck exiting onto the 4th street off ramp so i took off my cubs cap and said out loud, Lord, these are two lovely young ladies. please help them find their wallet, and eventually realize their dreams in the nicest ways.


$12.45 tip.

been writing to people

sometimes i wonder if its a huge mistake but i doubt myself too much

my brain says i should write new people. people who might be down to go to the barn dance with me

sometimes its just nice to close your eyes and write what you really feel to the people who are on your mind and in your heart

of which i have been blessed with many fond memories

and incredible souls to write or call or send telegrams to.

today i ate a red meat burger from jack in the box

something i hardly ever do

and half way through eating it i felt a little sick but i kept eating

and i also go paid double something for something i really enjoyed doing

which is a blessing from above bc i need it right now whoo boy

mister and missus

sometimes you gotta wait. sometimes you dont mind it.

they were coming out of a sports bar. slightly older than the type youd see exciting such a joint. turned out he had just retired and she was a year away. he was from london. she from the valley.

both had been married before. neither thought lightning would strike twice but right away you could see these two weren’t the problems in any relationship.

they laughed. made space for each other. complemented. allowed each other to finish telling tales on the long trip due to traffic on the 10

we were going from the marina to pasadena. finally i was gonna make a few bucks that night. so i didnt mind waiting as she used her cane to get in while he kept the door open as if they were on their first date.

dont let my motorhead tshirt fool you, im a sucker for romance and love asking people about their first dates, first kisses, and first time knowing whoops ive fallen into something suddenly out of control.

i was in a tom waits cover band he said from the back seat, holding his bride’s hand. i wasn’t allowed to play any instruments back in london so when i moved in with some lads in echo park i picked up the bass and they taught me the rudiments by learning tom waits songs together.

omg rain dogs is one of my all time faves, i told them.

earlier than that, he said. ’70s tom waits, when he was a beat poet, the crystal gayle years.

i didnt have the heart to tell me that was my least favorite era but any style of the gravelly voiced poet is better than most. we crept along the 10 and i turned down the radio.

her friend brought her to the party which was originally a practice in my mate’s living room but people began to appear like this one and before you know it, it was a party.

the missus chimed in by saying i didnt tell him until later that i didnt know who the hell tom waits was, which is ironic because i worked at warners when he was signed to asylum.

do you fall in love with people and their little details? is it just a libra thing? it’s good i dont have a meter like an old school cab because when she said that i wanted to give them the rest of the ride free. which is reason a million i need to figure out what im doing wrong with the lottery numbers.

i knew she didn’t know tom waits, he chuckled.

sometimes the conversations get so sweet and tender you just want to sigh, which i did right as the traffic opened up and i gunned it around the curve next to the convention center.

what was your wedding song, i asked?

we had two, she said, but don’t tell anyone because we didn’t have the rights cleared.

her husband laughed, there were 50 people there. who would care?
she cared. still does apparently.

my favorite song since being a little girl was elvis’ cant help falling in love with you, but i really enjoy bruce springsteen’s version and he put it on tape for me when we were courting

the one i choose was ‘Little Trip to Heaven,’ he said.

‘On the Wings of Your Love,’ she finished.

so i said, hey siri, play little trip to heaven on the wings of your love by tom waits.

the muted trumpet set the tone of the old school romantic tune. you could almost smell the cigarette smoke in whatever studio he recorded it in.

or was it a bar

or was it a dimly lit living room apartment in pasadena where they’d later recreate that first dance moment while the warm santa ana winds sneak in through the cracks of the old house

$7 tip